We arrived in the Negev desert in the middle of a sand storm. (Those are cacti - Israeli's are like cacti, rough on the outside and sweet on the inside.)
When I realized we were going to Merchav Am, I was pumped. I had been to this place back in December with my previous group. Out in the Negev, there is a group who moved from the cosmopolitan areas into the desert because they think (just as one of the original Zionist founders, David Ben-Gurion preached) that living in the Negev is the most crucial part of Israel surviving.
So this new community was just getting started in December and we go there and help them plant trees. As cool as it is to plant the trees and contribute to this settlement, the two guys in charge are really what make it worth every second. They are just so chill. Stop by and say hi to them if you ever find yourself in the desert.
A tree from December and the new planters.We also stopped by the side of a winding road to check out, Makhtesh Ramon. It's a huge crater. The wind was so strong you could lean into it at like 45 degrees and not fall over. When we turned around to go back to the bus, we saw some cars on the cliff behind us.
Following our mitzvah of the day (that means good deed), we proceeded to my now least favorite night of the trip of sleeping in the Bedouin Tent. It's like Disneyworld in the desert, such a tourist attraction but that's not why I hate it. We all sleep in a tent together and usually people are loud and obnoxious and snore which does not help with the fact that you have to wake up at 4am to hike Masada AND it's crazy stuffy with sand and you sleep on dirty mats. But I digress, it's part of the trip.
Here's a pic of two ladies enjoying themselves on a rushed camel ride in the middle of that sandstorm I mentioned.