On the 2nd and 3rd of October, approximately 100 students from grade ten and eleven of both the Cambridge and IB program from EMIS had their very first trip of the school year to Haifa – the third largest city of Israel. The trip left students with ever-lasting memories with friends and school staff and thus it contributed to the colorful life of students during their time here at EMIS!
We were split into our Mentor Groups for the activities throughout the trip, which helped us to get to know more people or to get to know the people we already knew better. As we arrived in Haifa, we went around the Bahai gardens, and the Bahai temple. Since most of us had never heard of the Bahai religion before it was a foreign yet intriguing experience. Perhaps all students were impressed by the breathtaking scenery of the Bahai marina and the Bahai gardens.
Besides getting to know Israel with its amazing scenery, students were also given the chance to get exposed to Religious places of Christianity and Judaism thus to form their own perspectives and be respectful towards religion differences.
In the little breaks in between we had time to eat and reflect on the things we saw and learnt. It was a lot of information at once at every stop so everybody was tired quickly. The last activity of the first day was a stop at an Ahmadi mosque where we got to know more about this certain unknown ‘branch’ of Islam. After the presentation of the representatives, we could ask questions which caused a pretty heated and very interesting debate.
Looking back at the debate, it is obvious that although we all came here for the same mission and may have the same basic values, we are all very diverse beings from different backgrounds with different opinions which made every activity on this trip more interesting.
At the end of the day we arrived at a Kibbutz which would be our place to sleep at during the night. There we also had time to relax, socialize and bond with our whole grade which was very nice and a good contrast to the busy day. The next morning, we had to wake up early again for a hike on Mount Meron, the highest mountain peak of Israel within the Green Line.
It took us three hours of walking under the sun to get to the tip which was a fantastic outlook of the valleys and hills surrounding Meron. After having rested enough, we were brought to the Druse town of Peki’in, the last religious community we learned about in this trip. We were given an insight into the history and present life of the 5,690-inhabitant town; walking along the small streets gave us the sense of nostalgia.
So concluding, this was a very nice first opportunity to be with our beloved peers and strengthen the bond throughout these two days. We expanded our knowledge about religions and worldviews as that is an important part of our school mission.
By: Anna Schönenbach and Dung Trinh