by Kivah Zola
Today we woke up late for a change, 7:45! We oh so cheerfully went down to the lobby to daven. Every morning for the last week the girls have been learning Torah with Aviva. She has been teaching us a little bit about the prayers and the meaning of what we are saying. Today we focused on the birkat hashachar, the first of the fifteen prayers we say is ”asher natan li sechvi bina le havcheen bain yom ovain laila”. The word sechvi really means rooster and the literal meaning of the prayer is that we are thanking G-d for giving the rooster the ability to know and separate between day and night. Aviva taught us that Sechvi also means heart and that this payer is really thanking G-d for giving us the ability to choose with our heart. She also taught us that we know what is right in our heart but we ultimately act with our brain.
After breakfast we left for the water park where we spent the greater part of our afternoon. We split up into groups and explored the various attractions the park had to offer. Much to his dismay, Ethan was gushing blood so he was rushed to the hospital (just kidding). After going on the baby slide, we then moved on to the giant white slide that shot straight down. However, we were distracted by a sea lion show, which some people got very into (David). There were a few kids who did not want to go on the big slide, but after a while of encouragement from everyone else, they overcame their fear of the slide and slid down where they realized “there is nothing to fear but fear itself” ~ Ben Parzow (he is reading over my shoulder).
Later after the water park we traveled to the Jewish Talmud Torah in Malaga. It is the only place where the Jews of Malaga are able to come together as a community. The school also hosts events including bingo for elders and opportunities for the single Jewish men and women to meet each other in an area where there are so few Jewish people. The school is very small and they cannot afford the resources that we in the US take for granted. The kindergarteners as well as the older students share a room in the school therefore the manager of the Talmud Torah wanted us to make it a friendly environment for all ages. So we split into groups and some people cleaned the kitchen where they cleaned old dishes, arranged the cabinets, etc. Others cleaned classrooms. My group cleaned the kindergarten room. Our job was to throw out old toys and arrange them nicely and also to install new blinds. We threw all the old stuff into a nearby dumpster, where we met a very friendly man who was eager to take all the stuff off of our hands in exchange for some trash bags. The people were very thankful that we came to clean up because we had saved them weeks of work.
The people in Spain have extremely different lifestyles than us in the US part of which includes having late dinner as seen by our delicious kosher meal (at the same place as last night), which began at 7:30 pm. We were all much more focused on the “futbol” game than the food. The food was delicious as usual, and each time the waiter came by he shouted “espana”. From the balcony of the restaurant we could hear the shouting of the crazy Spanish fans. People were dressed in red everywhere and there were horns honking constantly.
After dinner, because we all had such “a boring day”, we got back on the bus and went to an amusement park, known as Tivoli World. Since the game was on, we were pretty much the only people in the park. We were there from 9 pm until 1 am, just our group riding the rides over and over again. Some people did not want to go on the drop tower with us i.e. Gabe, Susie, and Leora entertained us by dancing crazily next to the ride. Our favorite ride was called Techno Jump. Saphira, Debi, Ben, Ethan and I made friends with the two operators Willie and Fidel. They asked Saphira for her hand in marriage and as an engagement present they let us ride as much as we wanted and as fast as we wanted. Willie got scared off once Rabbi Tessler came over for he realized it was his fiancee’s father who also happened to be a Rabbi but we still got to keep riding. After riding the Techno Jump about a million times, we went to the dragon, which was a crazy ride. We didn’t have enough people with just part of our group, so to our surprise Rabbi Tessler and Aviva joined us! Saphira was not proposed this time, so we did not ride as many times as we wanted, but the operators had fun with us and made the ride extra long and nauseating. We were sad to leave, but all exhausted and ready for bed. We got on the bus, and counted off when we realized Ben was in the bathroom, of course!
Written by Kivah Zola
–Edited, and given personality by Ben Parzow–