"Just mere steps into Achuzat Sara brings one into euphoria" - Gabe Kalter, AS volunteer 2016.
This line was stated last year when asked to describe Achuzat Sara in one line. As a first year volunteer last year, I thought this line was just a cute, funny way to describe our summer. When I walked back into Achuzat sara this past Saturday night, I realized how true it was. Just walking into Achuzat made me forget all my worries, as my excitement for another summer in what is possibly the greatest place in the world, could not be contained. I was so happy just to be back in a place where everything was so genuine, smiling was contagious, and happiness was spread through environment. I could not stop thinking about my kids who I was with last summer, the youngest group ages 8-10, and was pumped to see them again to spend another incredible four weeks with them. When I saw them the first morning it was like we had just continued where we left off, welcoming me with open arms (both literally and metaphorically) and just as excited to be with me. We harbored that excitement to this morning as over 100 soliders from the army came to Achuzat to run activities such as pita baking, spinner making, origami, and much more. The kids were so excited to make the toys and then fill their stomachs with delicious pita smothered in chocolate spread. After that we had a karaoke/dance party and I am not exaggerating when I say that every kid was smiling ear to ear. Whenever there's a dance party in Achuzat Sara it's just 100 percent pure joy as we put the kids on our soldiers, jump around with amazing energy, and just live in the moment with the kids. Following that we ate lunch with our kids and then split up into each of our groups for post-lunch relaxing. My kids, being the youngest, just watch tv, play on computers or use our IPhones. During these times it's easy to feel as if you're not doing anything and it could be boring, but these moments are actually crucial as the kids realize you're there for them in every moment of the day, even when things aren't as exciting. After that we loaded the buses to go to Jerusalem to see the fascinating light show outside the old city. Beautiful images of the history and story of Israel are displayed via lights onto the walls of the old city and the results are just extraordinary. It was a great, relaxing way to end a day packed with excitement and activities. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings in the Gan Eden that is Achuzat Sara.