After a nearly 1-hour departure delay, we had a very smooth, approximately 10-hour flight to Tel Aviv. Despite what we had been told by Fr. Edwin, many of us were awe-struck as many Orthodox Jewish men began standing up, donning their Tallit and their Teffilin, and praying the Shema in the aisles of the plane around 7 a.m. local time.
We arrived to be greeted by a 45-minute wait at passport control. Once through there, we collected our luggage. However, Mr. Marlow’s bag never appeared.
We were met by two of the students who guided us to the bus and our Israeli experience began.
We were taken to the Amal School in Hadera. There the students and faculty had a lunch of Shawarma prepared for us. We enjoyed lunch, toured the school, and the students then departed with their host families for the remainder of the day. We did not get to experience school life as the schools here close at 1:00 on Fridays in preparation for the Sabbath. However, we learned that school will be back in session on Sunday morning as they attend school 6 days per week here.
Mr. Marlow and I were then taken to our hotel in the city of Haifa. Haifa is a city north of Hadera right along the Mediterranean sea. The city is made up of Jews, Arabs, and Christians living and working side by side in harmony. As the Sabbath was beginning, many of the businesses were beginning to close. However, we were still able to find quite a few places open to eat.
A good night’s sleep set us up for a great day Saturday. We are heading to the north to visit Galilee, Nazareth, and other places.