Our favorite thing to do with our free time here is to go hiking. With the end of the semester, Friday became available again for spending time together as a family. With only 4 more Fridays left in Jerusalem, we decided to use a few of them to do a more hikes before the craziness of moving set in.

The first hike we did was organized by an amazing person from our synagogue. His name is Asher, and he organizes hikes most Fridays for the enjoyment of whoever wants to come. Asher has vast knowledge of the geology and plant-life in Israel because he took a tour guiding course simply because he wanted to know more about Israel. As we hiked, he along with a few other licensed tour guides, would tell us about the history, the geology, and the plant-life of the area. We went into caves and across fields. We saw wheat and cattle. It was a very hot day but it was great to be outdoors. We also got to meet lots of nice people and learned lots of neat things. My favorite part was learning what a caper flower looks like and how it relates to those little green things that people cook with. We had a really great time!

The second hike we did, which will most likely be our last on this adventure, was a repeat of the first hike we did in Israel. We decided that it was time to go back to the Jerusalem forest. We hopped a bus and made our way to Hadassah Ein Kerem, which of course felt extra special since it is where Adina was born. While we were on the bus, we heard the squeaky noise of balloons. We turned around and saw a man making some sort of balloon creation. We thought nothing of it, but when we got up to get off the bus, the man handed a balloon flower to Adina and wished us a Shabbat Shalom. Only in Israel!

Adina played with the balloon flower for a bit while we waited for the next bus. She had fun waving it around. When we finally arrived at the start of the hike, Adina started to get tired so we put the flower in Adam’s backpack. He said he felt a bit silly but it is just part of being a father. As we started making our way along the path, great memories of our first hike on this trail returned. It was fun to compare what we were seeing to the last time we were there. We also spent a lot of time contemplating about how much our lives have changed since the last time we were there. It was a wonderful way to reflect on our time here and discuss our excitement and anxieties about moving back. We only did about half of what we did the first time, but it was just the right amount of time for us to enjoy being outside.

Sadly, as soon as we returned home and rested from our excursion, it hit us that we are really moving and that we have a lot to do before we vacate our apartment. With stress levels skyrocketing, we started to advertise our things and to organize paperwork for our upcoming move. The rest of our time in Israel will be focused on visiting with people, working, and getting things done for the move. We won’t have much more time for hikes, so we are glad that we did these two.

Until next time…

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