University of Haifa International School Student Blog
A couple of weekends ago, the International School sponsored a weekend trip to go hiking and camping in the Golan Heights and Galilee Region and at first, I was unsure if I wanted to go, because I am not the most outdoorsy person in the world, but I wanted to take advantage of all the opportunities I could to see Israel.
On the first day, we hiked along the Kziv Stream and focused a great deal on learning about Israeli nature. During our hike we found porcupine quills, holes dug by wild boars (which had us singing songs from the Lion King for a while), and beautiful trees resembling maple trees which were native to Israel. The nature scenery was so beautiful, and it didn’t even feel like we were in Israel anymore; it was so filled with green space and a temperate climate, it felt like when I visited Washington State last spring!
Day two of our hiking trip started with meeting our new tour guide for the day because unfortunately, our original guide got injured about five minutes into our trip the day prior. He seemed very energetic, and it was just what we all needed, seeing as how we woke up at 6:30 in the morning after a day full of hiking; needless to say we were a tired bunch.
Through our early morning grogginess, we started hiking around the Zavitan Stream and this trail looked vastly different than the previous day. Instead of lovely forests and streams resembling woodlands, it was basically desert, with short shrubbery and barely any water source to be seen. It was also hotter that day because the temperature wasn’t regulated by any streams or shade from the trees, and it was a much harder hike. We were basically climbing up and down rocks the entire time, which turned out to be a great workout but it was very exhaustive! It got me thinking I should start bouldering or rock climbing when I go back to Minnesota, seeing as I was so good at it, and only managed to trip once.
The best part of the trip for me though was being able to swim in this waterfall pond, even though it was incredibly cold! (Even for a Minnesota girl!) Prior to going down to the waterfall, our tour guide shared this lovely poem with us, titled “Moments” by Jorge Luis Borges, which was basically about experiencing life fully and taking advantage of every opportunity you are faced with, otherwise you will regret it later on in life:
“If I could live again my life,
In the next – I’ll try,
– to make more mistakes,
I won’t try to be so perfect,
I’ll be more relaxed,
I’ll be more full – than I am now,
In fact, I’ll take fewer things seriously,
I’ll be less hygienic,
I’ll take more risks,
I’ll take more trips,
I’ll watch more sunsets,
I’ll climb more mountains,
I’ll swim more rivers…”
The poem definitely convinced a fair number of us to dive into the freezing water, and I will remember it for the rest of my life; it was such a unique experience for me.
I cannot wait until our next hiking and camping trip, which will be in a few weeks, where we explore the Dead Sea and I am excited to see what that has in store for me!
By: Dana Rademacher