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Tuesday, 17 January, 2012 - 10:38 am

After an unforgettable experience in the Holy City of Jerusalem, Mayanot 389 boarded the bus and headed south for a taste of Bedouin hospitality. Along the way, we stopped at a gas station and stocked up on our new favorite Israeli snacks. Before we knew it, the Bedouin camp emerged from the pitch darkness of the desert. We were directed into a single large tent, sat on thin mattress-type mats, and waited for our dinner. Soon, we were presented with our meal: a round tin tray piled high with rice, potatoes, chicken, laffa (a flat, wrap-esque bread), and a variety of usual Israeli salads/side dishes. In true Bedouin fashion, we didn’t eat off individual plates; we instead shared the trays with small groups of our friends. After dinner, we went back to the bus, collected our backpacks, and found our bedroom for the night. We slept in a similar tent to the tent we ate in, aside from the divide down the center that separated guys and girls. We were paired up with Mayanot 302, another Mayanot group that we have seen frequently throughout Israel.  Our nightly program consisted of a Bedouin man talking about Bedouin culture and lesson on how to play a traditional image from the culture. A few of us were willing to try out the instrument and were able to play it pretty successfully. We moved out of the tents and made our way to our bonfire. We roasted kosher marshmallows and played some group games. The 30-degree air began to get to us and most of us went into the tent. Some people decided to use newly purchased hookahs while others stayed outside and enjoyed the desert at night. The tent was extremely cold during the night and lots of us didn’t get a great night of sleep. The other group took most of the mattresses and since we are such a giving and thoughtful group, we decided to let the other group have them.  We all were very excited to  wake up and go camel riding. Our night with the Bedouins will definitely be a unique memory from our Israel adventure.

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