Filed under Showcase, Student Life

Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history

Photo+courtesy+of+Cate+Woodward
Photo courtesy of Cate Woodward

Photo courtesy of Cate Woodward

Photo courtesy of Cate Woodward

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The recent Nexus trip to Israel was unforgettable due to the experience of exploring the middle East, riding camels in the Negev Desert, and eating a traditional Bedouin feast while watching the sun set over the desert.

“You have never truly experienced the world until you’ve ridden a camel,” said Libby Shannon, a CHC freshman who was one of 12 students who made the trip.

The trip started with 12 peers discussing physics lab reports and AP English essays, and ended with a group of friends discussing hopes of peace and the meaning of life. The students that traveled returned jet-lagged while they rapidly attempted to make up work, but every single one agrees that the experience was worth it.

Travels began in the historic city of Tel-Aviv, which reminded the group of a smaller New York City with its tall buildings and modern, diverse population.

In Tel Aviv, the group explored the city while learning about its history and architecture. The architecture included examples of many different designs and creations representing the different types of people that left their mark on the city during their time of ruling. It was really fascinating to hear about the ancient civilizations that conquered the previous inhabitants.

In addition to seeing its vast history, the group enjoyed meandering through the modernized city halfway around the world. It was fascinating to experience classic cafes, elite shopping and historic artwork that adorned the hotel walls.

The hotel in which the group stayed displayed art in every corner, and each piece told a different story, describing different interpretations of art and life in Tel-Aviv. One of the most entertaining piece was of an old woman who was unable to raise her right hand. People on the trip spent time talking about it and interpreting it. Some thought that it could represent the failure to find peace, while others said we were reading too much into it. Regardless, the artwork was beautiful and it inspired talk of the city’s rich history.

After two amazing nights in Tel Aviv, the group traveled outside of the city to meet up with home stay families at the Ramot-Yam School.

The newly introduced students from both schools played icebreaker games to get to know each other. The games were fun for everyone and set the stage for the group’s five days together.

Each student had a different host on the trip, and they experienced what it was like to live with a completely different family in a different culture. Despite the expectation of experiencing a new living style, most of the students found that there were not too many differences. While many lifestyle aspects were the same as in the states, there were cultural differences, and it was fascinating to learn and understand them. For example, the houses, though very nice, were a lot smaller, with less furniture and a middle eastern flare of square roofs and walk on balconies.

During our home stay school day, our new friends would go to school while we explored different parts of the Israel. It was a good opportunity to meet up with our friends and talk about our experiences from the previous night while continuing to immerse ourselves in the Israeli culture.

One of the places that stood out was a school run by the nonprofit organization called Hand-in-Hand. The school taught both Jews and Arabs in classrooms together. It was incredible to hear about the risks families took for the hope of peace.

One such story that stood out was told by a Jewish woman who sent her child to an Arab community for an 11th birthday party. She was afraid that her daughter would not understand the strange looks, or that she would be in danger from other neighbors who were not willing to let the Jewish community into their Arab community. She told that after the sleepover birthday party, all was well and felt comfortable with her daughter going anywhere after that.

Shira, the group’s talented tour guide, described the experience as “a ray of sunshine” to those who have been living their entire lives with the struggle for peace. She believed that this school offered a possible solution while providing hope for peace in Israel.

Once we bid a sad farewell to the families we stayed with for the week, our group headed to Jerusalem, where we spent the remainder of the trip.

In Jerusalem, the group visited the city of David and the Capitol building. We also drove to the desert, where the students were able to float in the dead sea, checking the world-wonder off of their bucket list. The trip to Jerusalem ended in a picture perfect way, staring at a desert sunset while enjoying a traditional feast of falafel, pita bread, and hummus. The meal prepared the group for an unforgettable visit to a Bedouin camp.

Bedouins are desert nomads, traveling constantly while typically staying in one location for a couple of weeks, at most. They treated us to dinner, coffee and tea, and they told us about their traditions of respecting hospitality and making guests welcome. The group ended its Bedouin stay by riding camels into another desert sunset, laughing and talking about memories from the trip.

“It was a truly remarkable experience!” Sophomore Frank Zhu asserted. “I can’t believe how involved I can be in their community and see the legends with my own eyes!”

Despite being nervous at the outset of the trip, the Israeli people and culture were amazing, and the group returned with shared memories and bonds that will remain.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history

    Showcase

    Distinguished Scholars Inspired by Alumni

  • Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history

    Features

    Mesa Wins 6-3 in CHC Supreme Court Opinions

  • Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history

    Features

    Hernandez v Mesa Case Editorial

  • Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history

    Showcase

    Nexus Trips Excite the Mind and Soul

  • Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history

    Showcase

    !VAMOS A PERU!

  • Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history

    Showcase

    The Distinguished Speaker Series has a bright future at CHC

  • Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history

    News

    Qdoba Hilltop’s closing brought hard feelings to many

  • Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history

    Green Team

    Andrés Ruzo ignites passion and excitement in captivating visit to CHC

  • Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history

    Showcase

    STRI students see the sights and bond on recent trip to Washington, D.C.

  • Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history

    Showcase

    It has been March Madness for sure, and four teams look to make history

Nexus Israel: An unforgettable trip of culture and history