July 27, 2014

Today we embarked on a long drive to Denver, Colorado. On the bus, we watched The Laramie Project, an inspiring movie about gay rights. We were able to catch up on some sleep and became closer by bonding on the bus. We went to the Celestial Seasonings tour where we got to see how the tea is made. We were able to sample all teas such as Sugar Cookie Tea, our personal favorite. Afterwards we got back on the bus, just to go on another bus tour! On Billy’s Banjo Bus Tour, we enjoyed delicious Kosher pizza while our awesome tour guide told us ghost stories about the town and about the history. To end a great day we davened Maariv at the hotel and even had some chofesh (free time) before curfew. We are so excited for another long bus ride tomorrow to Nebraska!
-Sam Tanchel and Kelly Naar

July 27, 2014

Today we made our way to our last new city of the summer- Louisville, Kentucky. In honor of rosh chodesh- the celebration of the Jewish new month, we had services separated by gender. We took some time to think about the prayers and share how the attributes mentioned in each prayer reminds us of a friend on the bus. After completing Shacharit, we loaded the bus to head to Louisville. No visit to Louisville would be complete without a trip to the Louisville Slugger Factory! It was a really fun visit. We finished off the evening with our bus Talent Show. Looking forward to our last few days!

July 26, 2014

After a later wake up, we were ready to spend our final Shabbat together. During Shacharit we learned about the weekly parsha and answered some trivia questions about the reading. We did kiddush together and then had a discussion about Shabbat- how we feel about it, what it was like to observe Shabbat as a community, and how we will observe Shabbat at home next week. In the afternoon we had free time to nap, swim, run, play games, and just hang out together. In the evening we talked about how to bring all of the amazing experiences we’ve had this summer home with us and not forget each other and everything we’ve accomplished. We wrapped up the night with popsicles. 

July 25, 2014

It’s hard to believe that today was the beginning of our last Shabbat! We have had such an incredible time together changing the world and making it a better place, heading into Shabbat today was certainly bittersweet. Today we had the privilege of volunteering at the Memphis Jewish Home, a Jewish nursing home in the city. We went from room to room as Mitzvah clowns to brighten up each of the resident’s day. At lunch time, we helped serve lunch and then had the privilege of eating salmon, baked potatoes, and veggie burgers with the residents. After volunteering we went to spend some time on Beale Street before heading out to do our Shabbat shopping. It was a beautiful final Shabbat evening together before we went to bed.

July 27, 2014

We spent the day exploring Oklahoma City. It was nice to have a full day in a city where we didn’t have to drive in the morning to get there! We celebrated by sleeping in a little and having a hot breakfast of waffles in addition to our regular cereal, yogurt, and fruit. With our stomachs full, we departed for a water park and had a blast swimming, sliding, and splashing with our friends. Once we had lunch and dried off, we went to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial, and were really impressed by the beauty and compassion with which the memorial was completed. In the evening we went back to the hotel for dinner and then out to the movies. We had a choice between seeing Planet of the Apes or Planes. Overall, it was a great day in OKC!

July 26, 2014

In honor of Shabbat, we slept in late and had a sweet breakfast of donuts, in addition to our regular breakfast foods. We participated in morning services together and then had a kiddush snack before our sichot- discussion groups. In the afternoon some of us took naps while others went to the pool or played games. We had an interesting discussion in the afternoon about whether or not the stories in the Torah are to be believed in a literal way or if they are just stories to teach us lessons. In the evening we did “reverse” gender bonding. In this program the boys had a program led by the female staff, and vice versa. 

July 25, 2014

Today we departed our dear friend Texas and headed to Oklahoma City for Shabbat. We kicked off the morning with a discussion about the “Mi Chamocha” prayer. We talked about God’s attributes and what makes God holy and special. On our drive today we stopped at the National Route 66 Museum. There we got to learn about and explore different artifacts from the original highway through the southwest. Once we got to Oklahoma City we went “shabbopping” (Shabbat Shopping) to pick up some special Shabbat snacks and food for the week. We welcomed in our fourth Shabbat together in the evening and had a nice night of learning, praying, and celebrating together. 

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