Noah is a great boy in many ways. In addition to his obvious good looks and smarts, he is very funny. Often, in order to get him to pose “regular,” we have to indulge him in a silly pose of his choosing. (Thank goodness digital cameras have reduced the marginal cost of opening the shutter.) The Ramon crater insufficiently magnificent? Not to worry, here’s a little goofball in front of it. And what photograph can’t be improved by holding up a stick? Sometimes, we get into the act, too, especially when he’s the photographer.
Here are some of the best examples from our year in Israel:
In addition to Noah’s graduation, we spent our last week in Haifa on a farewell tour saying good-bye to our favorite people, places, and food.
We started out the week going on a short hike on Mt. Carmel between picking Noah up from school and meeting Yaffa’s family for dinner in Usfiya – one of the Druze villages just past the university at the top of the mountain.
the trail follows a narrow wadi (gorge) through dense woods
it involved a lot of scrambling over rock, which Noah enjoys "more than a playground".
Sarah & Yaffa & a table laden with Druze salads
Our friend Mikael threw us a farwell bbq at his place with a group of other Technion-ites and our friend Osnat made us a farewell Shabbat dinner, including a dish that she recreated from notes taken at a special dinner in Athens to commemorate our trip together in May.
When we hiked earlier in the week, Noah was pretty tired after a full day at school, so we didn’t get far. We decided to go again while he was in school Fri. morning and we made it through the wadi and up to an area of Mt. Carmel called “Little Switzerland” with stunning views of the wadi below and the sea to the east, and more salamanders and lizards than we’d ever seen in one 4-hour period. This part of the hike also took us into the heart of where the forest fire burned in December. It was encouraging and amazing to see all of the new growth and still awesome to see the scope of the damage. Sorry no pictures this time, but we ran out of the house quickly so that we’d have enough time while Noah was in gan.
The night before we left, we had had some final closure to our year by having a picnic dinner on the beach with several friends, including the same family we had dinner with on the same beach our first week in Haifa.
Sarah, Julia & Ron
Noah & Ella
One of the symbols of Israel is the rimon (pomegranate). It is mentioned in the Torah as one of the seven species of Israel and, in a region that can be horticulturally challenging, grows naturally in abundance. As such, it is seen everywhere from ancient mosaics to modern art, a symbol of fertility.
To end the school year, Noah’s class had a mesibat siyyum, a big party to celebrate their graduation. They performed songs and choreography to show off all they had learned this year about modern Hebrew.
This was the event where it sunk in that we were leaving Israel. We had been in denial for the couple of weeks leading up to our departure. When we saw how much Noah had learned this year and how much he loved his friends and they loved him (after the show all the girls wanted to take their picture with Noah), well, the tears just wouldn’t stop. Roy didn’t really cry, but he couldn’t form a complete sentence either.