By Jordan Schmidt, Bus 8 Participant
Throughout our time in Israel, our entire bus has bonded, reinforced old friendships, and made new friendships that will last a lifetime. This week, we welcomed seven new members to our group: native Israelis. Something that I think is so amazing about our group is our community and how open we are to meeting new people. This was shown when Ben, Tom, Omer, Dafna, Ella, Jasmine, and Lia joined Bus 8 and were immediately integrated into our welcoming community. Already, I have gotten to know and become good friends with many of them.
One day this week, the bus was split into groups to go with the Israelis to their homes for lunch and to learn about their lives outside of NFTY in Israel. At Omer’s house, my group listened intently as we learned about the surrounding area, how his family came to live in the Moshav, and about other parts of his life in Israel.
After the visit and getting to know many of the Israelis, it was easy to see differences, but more importantly the similarities, between our lifestyles. Despite living in totally different geographic communities, we are all still teenagers living in the same world in 2019. Many of us have similar interests and some of us even have similar personalities. As we finish our last week of this life changing trip, I am so excited to continue or learn about my new friends and forge bonds that I know will last forever.