New Friends, Markets, Horses and Pictionary!

Nate, Remmie, Tadao

Day 8 | 2022 Children’s Village Teen Volunteer Program

Today was a good day. There were highs and there were some lows. We started off by meeting Tomer and our bus driver, Chaer, who we love, in the parking lot at 8:20am. We got onto the bus and went to the Druze school and met the kids there. They gave us an amazing presentation. There were several different kids who got up to speak. And to be honest, some of them spoke better English than us. All of the students at the school are responsible for knowing/learning three languages: English, Hebrew, and Arabic. We heard a song, there was a presentation about the school’s values, and there was a really smart girl that talked about Model United Nations. There were two girls that lead a “guess the drawing” game, or what we call pictionary. It was us against the teachers who were there from Pittsburgh, and it’s safe to say that we dominated. Alex drew first for us and Nate was the second to draw. We did so well and crushed the teachers with a final score of 8 to 3. After we heard from all of the kids who had something to say, we had a little Q&A session where we could ask them stuff and they could ask us stuff. It was really nice that we could speak to each other so clearly without any issues. We haven’t had that yet with any group of kids that we have met. 

When we were done with that, we made our way outside. We just thought that we were going to take a picture and then head to our mini-bus. That is not what happened. On our way outside, all of the girls started asking us for our Instagrams. We took the pictures and before we knew it, we were dancing. There was this one dance when we were all in a circle and we were like spinning and doing some weird stepping and it was great. There were a couple other ones that we did, but that was the best. Tomer tried to get us to get back onto the bus, but the girls were really excited to follow us on Instagram and Snapchat. It was weird, but also kind of sweet, because we had only known them for a couple of minutes but they were acting like we were their best friends. We were trying to leave, but they wanted to give us all hugs and it was amazing. We wanted to stay longer, but at this point, Tomer was almost yelling at us to get back on the bus so we had to go. I hope we can stay in touch with them. 

Our next stop was Acre, an old city above Haifa. First, we had falafels from a street food restaurant. We had falafels on Saturday at a Lebanese restaurant, but this was a different experience. The falafels came in pita bread, and we could choose toppings (such as tomatoes or pickles) and tahini sauce. They were so yummy. We then entered a market, which was essentially a long, covered street with shops on the sides. We had the unique opportunity to taste sahlab, a sweet winter milk drink. We also went into a shop where we could taste some pastries, which were all really good. Our last stop in the market was a souvenir shop, and some people bought some stuff. Unfortunately, since we were having so much fun with the students at the high school, we had to cut our time short. We had to cancel our planned boat trip and cooking workshop, but we were still able to spend a short time walking by the beautiful sea by Acre. We then headed back to the village in Karmiel to eat lunch, but most of us had eaten so much at the market that we were no longer hungry. After having a small bowl of soup or just a cup of water, we went horseback riding! Some of us were master riders and others had never done it before, but it was fun for all of us. The horses started jogging at certain points, and one of us rode it backwards! After that, some of us went to play basketball and some of us just hung out at the house as we prepared to help out with our mishpachtonim.

Once at the houses, all of us had a blast. My mishpachton was very enthusiastic. It was one of the children, Oshri’s, 15th birthday. We had a big party and I gave out my presents to all of the kids. At the house there was a really cute eight year old named Matan, and an eleven year old named Rafael who I hung out with for awhile. We played a fun game called Taki which is basically Uno. Besides that, we had a lot of fun just talking about our different lives. The older kids often had activities, and would hang out together at the social spaces. With them, I went to the playground and ping-pong room. That night, everyone was exhausted so we had a brief reflection, watched some TLC, and went straight to bed.

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