כ״ג באייר ה׳תשע״ו (May 31, 2016) Finishing TRY, Finding a Family

unnamed (3)As we each finished our final exams one by one, the tension in the dorms started to dissipate. We all want to go home, but no one wants to leave. As one person said, “If our families could come live in Israel, it would be perfect.” This is how we went into our last week of Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim 2016.

To help wrap up our four-month journey, we were taken up north for a 3-day tiyul filled with water activities and bonding experiences. We did a water hike at the Majrase Nature Reserve, which culminated in a TRY-wide water fight. We hiked along the Banias River, at the end of which was a beautiful waterfall. We rafted down the Jordan River and also had a chance to enjoy a water park and swim in the Kinneret.

Our journey to the North included a stop at the memorial for the 73 soldiers who died in a helicopter crash above Kibbutz Dafna in 1997 and a visit to Misgav Am, the northernmost kibbutz in Israel, to hear about life next to the border with Lebanon.

The biggest challenge of the trip was trekking down Mt. Arbel. When I say we climbed down the mountain, I mean it literally. There was no trail for us to walk down, but rather a series of ledges with wires and bars to hold on to. Throughout the climb down we talked and laughed and simply tried not to think about what would happen if we were to slip. Once down from the ledges, our legs were shaking, making it hard to even stand.

After we finished the rest of the walk down the mountain, we congregated underneath a tree. Alexandra handed out mirrors and had us write two things on them: Our names and the quote, “It’s not on you to finish the task, but it’s also not on you to ignore it.” We then passed our mirrors around so that everyone could sign their name on them. I ended up with a small mirror covered in rainbow writing and the names of the family I acquired over these past four months.

This final trip was filled with immensely fun activities that brought all of us on TRY 2016 closer than ever. If it proved one thing to me, it is this: These 33 people are my brothers and sisters, and they will always be a big part of my life no matter what happens.

Julia Meadow, 15, lives in Connecticut. She likes to play sports and do art in her spare time.
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