Bethany Trueblood: Israel 2017 - Day 1

June 24th

We’ve arrived in Israel! As I write this I am sitting on my hotel bed at the Dan Hotel in Jerusalem, and I realized I have been awake for more than 24 hours! I and many other students were not able to get any sleep during the trip (there was too much to think about, and plane seats are never comfortable, no matter how many different ways you try to contort your body).

The hours passed more quickly than I thought they would, filled with conversations with fellow colleagues about our anticipations for the trip as well as with new friends we made on our journey. One woman I spoke with on the first leg of the trip from Tulsa to Denver is from the Philippines and was traveling with her husband to Canada. They were missionaries in the Philippines for 34 years and recently retired to their home in Oklahoma where they have several children and grandchildren. She was a delightful woman to talk with and told me to come visit their church in Bixby when I return so we can share more stories about our travels. (She said she would also make me Filipino food!).

As we traveled from Denver to Munich, and from Munich to Tel Aviv, it was thrilling to be surrounded by so many different types of people and to hear different languages being spoken. I find it so amazing how interconnected our world is and love that we can share ideas and stories with people from different countries  – even if just for a few hours on a plane. I have been able to travel to several other countries over the past few years, and while I enjoy getting to see different sights and scenic views, it’s the people I enjoy meeting most. I am so excited to finally be in Israel and look forward to meeting more people and hearing more stories. I am especially excited to see what I will learn that will inform my cultural understanding of social work. There is going to be so much to take in just the few short days we are here, but I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Balcony view of the Dan hotel swimming pool and city in the background.

The Dan hotel at sunset.

-Bethany Trueblood, MSW Student

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