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Up, Up and Away in My Beautiful Balloon!

We had yet another amazing, jam-packed day here in Israel. We kicked off the day off the day with an exciting hot air balloon ride. The hot air balloon beautifully overlooked the city and landscape of Tel Aviv. We were given a real perspective on how large the city is. We then continued our journey up to a poor Arab village called Jisr Az-Zarqa. We were given a wonderfully guided tour by a woman by the name of Genevieve. Genevieve is a Jewish French woman who made aliyah three years ago to Israel. She is getting a graduate degree in conflict management and her project is the village. The project is about how an Arab and Israeli got together to create a guest house to show how both groups of people can work together to reach a common goal and better the society that both live in. Genevieve brought us to the fisherman's beach and we walked around and learned about the history of the village. We walked up to a slight elevation where we saw the landscape of Jisr Az-Zarqa and the surrounding neighborhoods. The interesting part of the landscape is that it was like seeing two completely different neighborhoods; one poverty stricken neighborhood, the other a wealthy community. The only separation between them was a wall. This was a super eye-opening experience. After we took our bus up to Haifa and greeted our extremely kind host families and reunited with our Israeli friends. They took us to where they enjoy some of their free time. It was a place called the Scouts and it is basically their BAYGL. We played games and got to spend time with the kids in the program. We then enjoyed a nice evening at the Grand Canyon mall, which had lots of great shopping! Can't wait to spend the rest of our trip with our Israeli friends!!!!

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