Hello from the desert! We’ll be spending the next two days in the south of Israel, called the Negev, and we’ll be learning the history and culture of the region as well as getting to see some of the innovation that’s making the Negev a place with thriving communities.
We started our day at Shvil Hasalat, and organic fruit and vegetable farm. We got a tour of the farm, and anything we could eat was up for grabs. We tried everything–oranges (still delicious even in the middle of December), strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. Everything was straight off the vine (or tree or plant or whatever), and was absolutely delicious. One of the most interesting foods was the carrots–they came in just about every color of the rainbow! Personally, we were fans of the purple carrots…
Eric and Catherine enjoying some fresh, purple carrots
Liana squeezes her own orange juice! After the farm, we headed to the desert canyon Ein Odovat, where we took a short hike. The canyon is basically a crater, so we were surrounded by rock the entire time. At the end of the hike, we found ourselves at a waterfall, so of course we got some group pictures.
Finally, we made our way to the Bedouin tents! The Bedouins are a nomadic Arab culture, many of whom live in the south of Israel. They traditionally live in large tents and are very welcoming of guests. We stayed in Kfar Hanokdim, which provides Bedouin style accomodations for students, including a traditional tea and coffee ceremony, a Bedouin style dinner, and a tent for sleeping. The first thing I learned was at sundown: it gets cold in the desert at night! After donning some warmer clothing, however, it wasn’t too bad. We later went on a night hike, and then tried to make a bonfire (which failed pretty badly, but we tried).
Bedouin tea ceremony That’s it for today! Next up: Masada, Ein Geidi, and Jerusalem!