We have arrived in Israel. Physically that is. I am so exhausted from the day-long journey from Lexington to Tel Aviv with an extended bus ride to our hotel to know that I am clearly travel weary. I’m exhausted enough that I left behind my reading materials for my next Residency meeting on the plane.
Other than forgetting an important book on the plane, the trip to Tel Aviv was fairly uneventful. There were few moments where it seemed like we were on a roller coaster over Europe, but that and not being able to sleep more than about 90 minutes were about the biggest enjoyments of the flight.
The rest of the day was about getting acquainted with Israel, going through customs, and resting at our hotel for the evening. Between Tel Aviv and Tiberias, which is where we are staying until Friday, our tour guide brought us into connection to several of the cities we will visit later as we drove by them.
One of the things that struck me was how much northern Israel is very much like any other metropolitan region along a coast line in the United States. As we were driving through Tel Aviv, I couldn’t help but think that the area looked a lot like a city you might see on I-95 in Florida. The stark contrast between northern Israel (more secular) and the areas surrounding Jerusalem (more culturally religious) will come into play later in our tour.
The highlight of the day, though, was being able to call in to talk to Abbi and Noah for a few minutes. I believe Noah must have known that I was tired, because the entire time I’m on the phone with him he is playing his Goodnight Daniel Tiger, which plays a lullaby every time you press it.
By the way, for those not following along on social media we have brought a small Daniel Tiger on the trip for Noah to connect to what I’m seeing. This was an idea that was suggested by his developmental therapist and it has been a blessing already.
Tomorrow we begin the touring sections of our agenda. We will see Mount Hermon, which maintains Israel’s border with Syria and Lebanon and is the place many believe the Transfiguration took place. We’ll also visit the Mount of Beatitudes, which is where Jesus gave us the Sermon on the Mount.