This article is about Anna from Austria’s journey at EMIS.
Anna wrote a German article posted in the renowned Spiegel newspaper, which can be found by clicking on this link:
Posted on Spiegel November 28, 2014.
I Wish The Day Had More Than 24 Hours – Spiegel
Anna Kraeftner, 17, has been in Israel for three months, and has hardly left her school’s campus. Now, the student from Vienna leaves her school’s campus for her first trip: to the desert.
The first time in the desert; I think to myself: “How will it be? Hot? Beautiful? Which proper equipment should we bring?”. From the beginning these questions were going through my head as I was notified that we were going on a trip to the Negev desert. And finally the trip commences.
I sit on the bus for three hours with students from China, Canada and Tanzania. Similarly to me, they have never seen the desert before. We get off the bus, the view leaving us speechless: endless skies, with shiny hills, and as far as the eye can see there is nothing other than sand and rocks. For me, hiking usually meant woods and green trees, but during this trip, my perception changed hiking in the dry sand, spending hours walking into the limitless distance. It is quiet; very quiet. We continued to hike through a nature preserve, in which we were the visitors, and the plants and animals were the inhabitants. Therefore, we were conscious about our noise, trying to be quiet and leaving minimal trace.
Cold, in Israel this means 18 ° C
I am happy that I chose to wear shorts and a t-shirt even though it is the end of October. Now we realize why our house-parents would not let us go without three liters of water and a hat on our head to the desert. However, when the broad sky turns red from the setting sun, the air suddenly feels much colder.
Well, cold. After three months in Israel that means 18 ° C.
With jackets, sweaters, and long pants we sit around the sizzling campfire, listening to our tour guide who tells us more information about the Negev desert. Many of us are astonished and amazed to learn that 2/3 of Israel is desert. Almost no one knew that there are still Bedouins, the desert-dwellers, living in Israel. The Bedouins are among the poorest in Israel. We also found it interesting that even strawberries and tomatoes grow in the desert by advanced irrigation systems.
There are not only the 85 students from my school on this trip, but also many Israelis from the other school that is on our campus. Usually we only see those students in the dining hall, but this trip gives us the chance to get to talk with them intimately. A trip like this strengthens bonds between people, and think about the future when we will make an effort to greet each other when we meet on campus.
Completely different than Austria
Up to this point I had a routine. It was not even half a year ago that the school principal showed my mother and me the school facilities, and since then I have had the chance to be a tour guide for the many guests who visited for the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony was an event that was attended by excited students, proud parents, the whole teaching faculty, prominent figures, and supporters of the school. During the festivities, the glee club sang “Imagine”, the school band played “Here Comes the Sun” and some students prepared a dance consisting of dances from their home countries. The whole event was a huge success.
The classes are different than the ones at home in Austria. It was new for me that we often work in groups to do homework or presentations.
It never gets boring here. There is still so much to know about our classmates who come from 35 different countries. In addition, there is hardly a week that goes by without a workshop from a company or organization, or presentation from a journalist. The only thing that I would wish for is for a day to have more than 24 hours!
Written in German by Anna Kraeftner
Translated into English by Anna Kraeftner and Hannah Cook