Even though I am writing this from the continental United States, there will be no entry entitled “The End” because for me, this adventure has no end, just different phases.
I spent my last week of the program traveling the country with my mom (on her first visit!) We had a short time, but managed to accomplish a lot: Jerusalem, Ein Gedi, Massada (sunrise hike), Tel Aviv and Ceasarea. Overall, I think she had a good time. Because it was not a formal tour, she had more of a “second-trip” experience.
It was once explained to me that on each trip to Israel, tourists get to see a different side of the country. Typically, the first visit is to family or on an organized program and therefore, visitors get a “glossy” perspective: they see the sites, hear the history, and are awestruck by the sheer miracle that is Israel. Trip #2 generally brings greater depth and understanding of the intricacy and complexity of Israel and the numerous conflicts that define it (please see older posts for more on that). Trip #3 is a “coming to terms” trip and one leaves having seen the good, bad, ugly and honest. Each successive (and initial) trip is unique to the traveler, but the first few visits often follow the similar pattern.
Never have I claimed to be a good tour guide, and for that reason, along with others, my mom got an experience very different from one she would have had, say, on an adult mission. But thankfully she plans to go back with my dad and then she can really get a true trip 1…the second time around.
Back to my opening line: TAMID’s 2010 summer fellows have all safely returned to America, but our work is not done. From here, we continue to develop and nurture the many relationships we built over the past 3 months: Consulting projects are being solidified and as the school year progresses, we will select companies for the 2011 fellows.
So, with the prospect of more to come, I conclude my blog with thanks to TAMID, my fellow fellows and everyone instrumental in making this program one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
If you have any questions about the fellowship program, TAMID, or anything in general, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
תודה רבה. להתראות!