Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Shalom! We made it!

Nearly 24 hours after our group of 20 students and two advisors met at the Minneapolis airport, the much anticipated day of traveling is complete and we have finally arrived in the beautiful city of Tel Aviv, Israel on May 21st, 2013!
Nearly 24 hours after our group of 20 students and two advisors met at the Minneapolis airport, the much anticipated day of traveling is complete and we have finally arrived in the beautiful city of Tel Aviv, Israel on May 21st, 2013! We all could not be more excited that we are finally in Israel after preparing for the trip during our 7 weeks of class. For the students, this is all our first time visiting Israel and we are ready to dive into the culture, history, and business of the Middle East!

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Our 11 hour flight from Toronto, Canada landed around 4:30 pm where we were met by our tour guide for the trip, Steve. A short and informational bus ride later, we arrived at the Ruth Daniel Residence in Jaffa, our hotel for the next two nights.

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We then had the pleasure of listening to a presentation on the uniqueness of Israel's economy given by Assaf Luxembourg. He gave us a brief overview of the way Israeli's conduct business and communicate with each other. Perhaps the best way he described it was that there is no "Minnesota Nice." Around 8:15 pm, our group headed to the hotel's dining room for our first delicious meal in Israel. Everyone was very open to trying a little bit of everything in order to taste Mediterranean food!

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After dinner, Steve gave us a quick orientation to Israel which was followed by a walking tour of historical Jaffa, which is one of the oldest port cities in the world. We walked a few blocks down to the clock tower square, then made our way to a top of a hill which gave an incredible view of the Tel Aviv skyline. The streets of Jaffa were very lively with multiple live music performers, markets, and people enjoying the beautiful night.

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So far, we have had a fantastic first day in Israel! We are all looking forward to a good night sleep after a long day of traveling and adjusting to a different time zone so that we are ready for a busy day tomorrow!

Shalom!

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