Hello Micah families!
It’s Courtney and Mark, and we are writing to you from northern Israel on Kibbutz Gonen, where we are in the mountains enjoying beautiful sunsets and friendly peacocks that roam the grounds. We apologize for not posting on the blog as much as we would like to, we have been really living in the moment and practicing being unplugged when we can!
So much has happened since we left the Negev desert on our hiking retreat. We spent the days in southern Israel befriending dairy cows on our kibbutz, snorkeling in the Red Sea, and speaking with Bedouin women who confronted cultural obstacles to start their own cosmetics business. The Bedouin women inspired us to not shy away from a following the difficult path of advocating for equal gender opportunities, both socially and economically.
After that, the kids challenged themselves both physically and mentally during army day, where they got a brief taste of what a member of the Israeli army goes through in basic training. While they walked many miles, camouflaged themselves into the trees, and spent sleepless hours of the night taking watch, many of the kids said it was one of the most personally rewarding and unifying to the group.
From there we moved further north up to Tsfat, where we spoke with local artists, baked challah for shabbat, and learned about Kabbala, or Jewish mysticism. While we spoke with many different artists from diverse backgrounds, what drew them together was their love for Kabbala and Israel. We reunited with the other Micah in Israel group and as celebrated Shabbat it felt a little more like home in the 04009.
Looking forward to another post with more stories to come soon.
-Courtney and Mark