August 3, 2011

Yael Greenberg – Wednesday August 3
We left kibbutz Lavi bright and early, like everyday not on time. Got on the bus and left for Haifa to spend the morning with residents in a psychiatric group home.  Victims of terror attacks (who participate in the Operation Embrace trauma support program at Rambam Hospital) also joined us to help out with the residents.  On the bus we had a very intense game of trivia about our trip so far. The teams were led by Daniel and Rubin so we had the R team and the D team. Although Rubin and Daniel were the team leaders neither of them really took part in the game, but they helped a little whenever they were needed.
The questions ranged from: sing the Greek national anthem, to what was the name of our tour guide when we went to visit the tomb of King Philip II. It was a very close game with a lot of chesed from our rabbi that ran the game (who by the way would make a great talk show host) the game ended with a 13 to 13 tie we don’t know yet who is the winner cause we had to cut the game short. At last we arrived at Haifa.
We sat down with the people at the home.  They explained to us a bit about what they do there at the home, the work they do with the people that live there, what kind of people live at the home then we explained to them who we are what we do, where we were, what we did at Greece.
Once we were done explaining about us one of the women living in the home asked us “why did you guys come here? Why do you want to spend time with us when you can go and be with normal people?”  And our representative Reuben (who ever since Restion in Athens has been our SOS spokesmen) answered.
“We believe that every person in this world is special in their own way and we don’t think other people are better than others. We came here because we wanted to be with you. We want to spend our time with you” Everyone there was really touched by the fact that we came there.
After the introductions, our strong boys went outside to plant a garden with the people from the home while some of us girls helped to make lunch. It really was a great morning.
From Haifa we drove down to Netanya . We met up with Rachel Colburn, who represented a program called Hoops for kids. This program helps kids living in Netanya from underprivileged homes with after school sports like basketball and tennis in the hope of building their confidence and empowering them with good skills. We played a bit of tennis with the kids out in the heat. The kids were so cute.  They seemed to like that we were there to play with them. After playing with the kids we got some free time to play ourselves. We just hit the ball around for bit but to tell the truth those 20 min of playing on the tennis courts was the best stress relief I have had this whole trip. Plus I have to say Dani and I have very intense tennis grunts.
After saying goodbye to the kids we got on the bus to go horseback riding on the beach. We got to the horse ranch in Machmoret and we were all ready to ride.  Sadly we had to leave one of our dearest friends who could not come with us do to her lower back pain, but the rest of us got on our horses and rode off into the sunset.
After the horseback riding we drove to Tel Aviv. We spent forever trying to find our hotel (hotel is an over rated name for the place we stayed at) but at last we found it. We got to shower and relax in our rooms before we were going out to the Azrieli Mall for dinner. Now what we thought was just going to be a relaxed dinner in Tel Aviv turned out to be an insane scavenger hunt around the mall. We were divided into teams and each team was given a list of things to do.
• Have an Israeli teach you 5 new Hebrew words.
• Take a picture with a female solider.
• Get 10 tickets from the arcade (that assignment would have worked a whole lot better if the arcade in the mall hadn’t closed down).
• Eat and take a picture of an Israeli food.
• Take a picture with a cute looking old man.
• Have an Israeli teach you an Israeli song.  
• Explain to someone in the mall why the second temple was destroyed and videotape it.
• Take a picture with a product or a store that has Aviva’s maiden name in it
• Take a picture with the most Israeli looking guy you can find
• Find Saphira and Aviad.
Now for my team which was: Dani, Sammy, Yoni and I, finding the first 9 things were easy. Except for the finding of Aviva’s maiden name. For that we had to make at least 10 phone calls 2 of which were international but at last we found it (BTW it’s Fox for whoever didn’t know). Our real challenge was finding where Saphira and Aviad were hiding. At first we thought that maybe they were hiding in some bridal store because they are getting married soon. Sadly that wouldn’t help us. We spent forever trying to find them when really they were hiding in plain sight. I actually saw Saphira once as we passed by her but she was wearing such an impressive costume that I had no idea it was here. Finally we did find here but we still needed to find Aviad and our time was running out. Just at the point when I thought we were going lose because the other team had already found Saphira and Aviad and all they needed was to learn a song this very oddly dressed man smiles and waves at us from the escalader it took us like 5 seconds to realize it was Aviad!!!!! We ran after him up and down the escalator, it was like something out of an old black and white movie with those really silly chasing scenes. But we got him and with that we won the game. It was the best win ever. We just got so into the race that the feeling of finally winning was so good Dani was actually shaking on the floor.
We left the mall to go back to our….. I’m still not totally sure what to call it….. It definitely was not a hotel….. Let’s just call it a place to sleep.  Said our goodnight’s and after a long day went to bed.
But I still wait for our prize from winning the scavenger hunt and I will not rest until we get it.

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