The day began with a visit to Dangur - the original site of Kibbutz Nirim on the Egyptian border. One of the veterans of that battle (Solo) gave the kids an explanation of the historical background and a description of the battle. The kids are photographed from the top of the memorial there, with a view of the entire area.
After the explanation at Dangur, the kids were hosted at Ma'ale Habsor, in the computer center - where they had their lunch. Following lunch, 8 of OUR 8th graders with whom the Albany kids had been in touch via the website (those who did NOT go on their yearly class trip) joined the Albany kids and we played a few group games to get to know each other. We then took them on a short tour of the school's sprawling campus.
Following the tour of the school, my 11th graders organized an activity for the Albany 8th graders (and a few MHS 8th graders who stayed on to participate). The topic was Independence. The concept (devised by my 11th grade class, and in the planning for WEEKS!) was to have a shouk. Inside two classrooms were tables with 4 different activities, in English, that the 11th graders devised by themselves, on the topic of Independence Day. 1. Hatikva - the song and background information; 2. A creative activity where the kids had to draw the Israel flag as they see Israel today. 3. A "Snakes and Ladders" game about Israeli history 4; A Box of Crayons - an activity around a poem drawing peace. Outside, there was a campfire, and our kids prepared batter for pita; so when a group finished an activity inside, they could go outside, roll dough into a pita, cook it on the fire (because my kids said that how can you learn about Independence Day without a campfire!!!!!!!) and ate it with Labane, Humus or chocolate spread.
After this, 3 of our 11th graders and I accompanied the bus to Kibbutz Nirim of today, to get a tour of a kibbutz. The kids were taken around the kibbutz and saw the dinning room, the cowshed (a BIG hit) they saw how our laundry is done on kibbutz, where and how the children spend their days on kibbutz (children's house) - they found a ball, a field and had a flash game of soccer, and finally, we ended the day up at the little museum on Nirim that commemorates Dangur. Unfortunately, I did NOT take my camera with me on the tour through Nirim (why? Who knows! I was exhausted by then and not really thinking straight ;) But you can be sure that THEY took plenty! You'll just have to wait until they get home to see them!
They left here at about 17:00 - tired but (I believe) very happy.
The Albany visitors are a great bunch of kids - and I was REALLY proud of my 11th graders. Their creativity and organizational skills made the day! The big bonus of course, were the 8 8th graders from MHS who got to meet them and schmooze with them a bit, before the trip to Jerusalem on Sunday when the entire 8th grade class from MHS who have been corresponding with the Albany kids, will ride up to meet them in Jerusalem.
So- until then - th-th-that's All, F-f-f-folks!