All aboard El Al! At approximately 10:30 AM EST, about 150 volunteers met at JFK airport anxious but ready to GP (for those in the dark, GP = get pumped). It's safe to say that most experienced some jitters due to the overwhelming nature of the El Al check in line and the 149 other volunteers who may or may not know each other already. However, once it was over and everyone was settled in at Gate B31, social barriers were broken, and all the volunteers began to mingle. The 12 hour flight only gave way to more social time, as volunteers ran up and down the aisles trying to meet as many KH participants as possible without waking our fellow flight members.
Finally, after little sleep and lots of sweat (El Al doesn't provide air vents in the rows), the volunteers and coordinators decided to take a nice stroll in Jerusalem, shvitzing from the 100 degree weather and full from the plethora of pizza.
Afterwards, we boarded the buses to travel to the Jewish people's holiest spot: the Kotel.
First, after the entire program searched the Old City for just one restroom, we stopped at Yeshivat Orayta for some inspirational conversations and some davening to HaShem. When the shvitzing was enough, we went to speak to our God at the Western Wall. Surely enough, He was listening. B''H.
Next, all four programs, hungry and thirsty, boarded the buses to eat in Herzliya. On the Talpiot bus, most volunteers passed out shortly after leaving Jerusalem.
Talpiot was the last group to make it to the party at Columbus, but the party really didn't start til we walked in. We grubbed a bit, then joined the rest for simcha dancing.
Overall, the day was long, tiring, and we all just wanted a shower, but it was fulfilling and I for one am glad I got to spend this day with my fellow mensches.