Robbie Tanner 16 and Adam Baer 16
We thought it would be fun to give out awards today because everyone on this trip is a winner. Although not everyone is mentioned, we really do have great things to say about everyone on this trip. Everyone brings his or her enthusiasm, curiosity, and intelligence to every activity, fueling the power this trip has had on all of us. Without further adieu, let’s see the winners!
Outfit of the Day: Blaine Steinberg. Congrats Blaine on winning this award, although there were a lot of good outfits. We have a very fashionable group. For those that did not see, Blaine was wearing a really nice sweater with great elbow pads, green jeans (very trendy), and a nice multicolor scarf. She was warm, comfortable, and looking mad cool – good work Blaine! Second place goes to Chase Klein for his light blue polo hoodie.
Repeated Outfit of the Day: Emily Uniman. Emily wore her blue shirt with white stars for not only the second time this trip, but also for the second day in a row! I mean, if it’s cool, repeat it I guess. Second place also goes to Chase Klein for wearing his light blue polo hoodie five days in a row.
Water Shoes of the Day: Ben Levander. These shoes were not on display today and have only come out once over the course of the trip. But guys, I assure you that these are truly amazing water shoes. They look like fancy boat shoes but they are completely waterproof! How neat is that?!?
Glasses of the Day: Alex. Shout out to Matt Ross for having really cool actual glasses, but our bus driver Alex was rocking some amazing sunglasses today. Although he really likes giving us a hard time and is very anal about how we put our bags under the bus (another shout out to Matt for getting yelled at by Alex every time he puts his bag in), he was looking fresh. This man looked like he was ready to drive, which I really appreciate. He has done a great job driving so far this trip.
Hat of the Day: Ronen. There were a lot of really good hats out today, including Rabs’ Red Sox hat, Adam’s Masters hat, and Tamar’s nice hat. However, none matched Ronen’s. Today, Ronen proudly wore a bright orange Mayanot hat. Great marketing on their part with these hats. For those who don’t know, Ronen is our fearless, and slightly offensive, leader and tour guide. He really knows how to make fun of Jewish Americans, but isn’t so good at taking flack. He specializes in dishing the jokes, but his specialty is definitely not being the target them. He also specializes in the history and theology of Kibbutzim, flash floods, King Herod, and the fact that “Israel has “number one Potassium export in world.” In all seriousness, we love Ronen in the same way we love our ultra-conservative, somewhat offensive, Zionist grandfather. Well, not really, but we like him okay and he really did explain the idea behind a Kibbutz pretty well.
Song of the Day: Od Yavoh. Ronen played this song on the bus this morning five times; it was cool.
Meal of the Day: Shawarma in Tel Aviv. We went to a good shawarma place in Tel Aviv today. We knew it was a good establishment for three reasons. First, there were Israelis in the restaurant, a very good sign. On a similar note, the menu was entirely in Hebrew, which is also a good sign. Finally, and probably most importantly (as Ronen taught us), the restaurant had three roasting sticks. Most places have one, maybe two if they are good. But three, that’s the sign of something special!
Coolest Part of the Day: The coolest and most interesting part of the day was learning about the Chabad Terror Victims Project (CTVP). This organization does really amazing work. CTVP is a non-profit that, with the help of Chabad Houses throughout Israel, helps victims of terror and war and their families in any way possible whether that be financially, emotionally, spiritually, etc. We heard stories of CTVP sponsoring Bar Mitzvahs for family members of soldiers killed in action, funding trips for wounded soldiers to travel all over the world, paying hospital bills, and much more. We were graced with the presence of one soldier, Ziev who had been injured in the Second Lebanon War and suffered from his injury for seven years until finally having his leg amputated. Throughout his entire rehabilitation, CTVP was there to help and they also took him on a ten-day trip to New York. I think his story and his presence had a large impact on our group, and I think this entire presentation was one of the most meaningful experiences of the trip.
City of the Day: Tel Aviv. Today was the only day we really spent time in Tel Aviv, and we all really enjoyed it. Tel Aviv is very impressive: clean, bustling, and has become a place of very high property value. I think we all left excited for Jerusalem, but a little disappointed we did not have more time to explore the area.
Best Purchase at the Market: Austin Boral. Max Samuels had a really great purchase in buying an Israeli mixtape at the market. None of the soldiers knew what it was but that’s fine! Good music is good music. Yet, Austin had an even better buy. Austin got a reversible hooded sweatshirt. The front half is waterproof and a nice navy blue. The other half is the big winner though as it is a bright, neon green. He looks eerily like a traffic conductor in it.
Recap: Another great day for Mayanot 18.