Eilat- sitting in Israel looking at Jordan





When I woke up to start my day tour of Petra I was feeling a little shy. My guide was amazing though, a 22 year old Jordanian guy who immediately put me at ease. He split the group into 3 cars and put all the young people in his car. I met a really cool girl from California, a guy from Spain and a guy from Canada. The drive to Petra took two hours and the scenery was breathtaking. Upon arrival to Petra we were immediately surrounded by Jordanian children trying to sell us things, “my friend, my friend: special price for you- free gift, just for you, my friend…” It was amazing to see Ramsey (our guide) interact with them. He was so loving yet stern when they were trying to charge us too much. I feel like since he does tours there 6+ days a week he must have developed some sort of parental type relationships with them and it was beautiful to watch. Speaking of beauty, the walk into Petra was unbelievable! I felt kinda like I was in Utah sandwiched in between 2 massive reddish colored rocks that created a crevasse. Then suddenly, it opens up into a beautiful ancient city. Aside from all the tourists you can even almost picture being back in time. There are camels everyone clothes in vibrant shawls, men in turbans and women with only their eyes showing. The architecture there was mind lowing. The fact that these people hand carved these buildings so long ago is unreal! I was so impressed! After Petra we had some time to explore Aqaba city which was right on the water. Ramsey was so excited to tell me about how they had Popeyes, Burger King and Pizza Hut there- ugh. I spent the next day in Eilat (southern Israel) sitting on the Red Sea looking at Jordan and soaking up the sun. Bucket List is goin pretty well so far- Med Sea, Red Sea, Dead Sea- check! Petra- check!

Railroad Earth

Just a little more about Israel after birthright…

I am so glad I got to stay after and discover Israel a little more! My friend Talia took such wonderful care of me, we went exploring and walked around so much of Tel Aviv. My favorite neighborhood was called Neve Tzedek, it was filled with art, caf├ęs and shops. We also went to this neighborhood that used to be a railroad station and is now redone but still has the old railway cars. She lives really close to the Yemenite quarter so we walked around there a bit as well. For breakfast one morning we went to this little hole in the wall restaurant and got a bowl of something called Yemenite mush. It was sort of like pancakes and eggs mixed in a giant bowl with some tomato sauce thingy- it was DELICIOUS. The coolest thing about the restaurant is that none of the workers there get paid, yet they come in daily or weekly or whatever to help out just because they enjoy it. I can’t imagine anything happening like that in the states! I decided to go to Jerusalem one day to meet with some doctors that my grandfather has been working with for a few years. They were so eager to meet me and it was an amazing experience. None of them have actually met him in person but they had such wonderful things to say about his young heart and curiosity for life. One of the phd students even told me the only reason she is in medical school is due to a scholarship fund my grandpa made! For those of you who know him, you know all these things to be true. From Jerusalem I headed straight to Petra…