After the wonderfully intense learning experience I had last summer as I traveled to Poland with the Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellows Program, I was eager for another opportunity to travel. When I started applying to programs in the early weeks of 2019, I could not have imagined what would be in store. Summer 2019 brings the opportunity of a lifetime as I will be travelling to 4 different countries (5 if airports count) on 3 different continents over a period of 3 weeks.
Earlier this year, I found out that I was accepted to the Echoes and Reflections Advanced
Learning Seminar at Yad Vashem for 2019. This is an incredible opportunity to study the Holocaust at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel, which is the official Israeli memorial and a world renowned museum dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. Alongside 34 other educators from the United States, I will work alongside leading educators and scholars to explore this history and strategies to facilitate impact student learning related to this important subject. Through this program, we will also travel to various sites in Israel, including Old Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, and Masada.
So how does a 10 day fellowship in Jerusalem, Israel translate to a 3 week multi-country adventure? Upon finding out about my acceptance to this program, I began to network with my colleagues and several of us expressed a desire to explore other local sites. This ultimately led to several of us booking a tour that will take us to Cairo, Egypt and to Petra, Jordan. before head to Jerusalem. During this 4 day excursion, we will be travelling to a number of cultural sites as we learn about the rich history of these ancient sites. Some of our destinations include the Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza, Mohamed Ali Mosque, Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili bazaar, Wadi Rum, and the site of Petra.
The final official country, technically the first in following the actual order of the trip, is France. The flight that I booked to Cairo includes a long layover in Paris, so I will be leaving the airport for a day exploring the city. My agenda for the City of Lights is brief. Although there is so much to see, I don’t want to overload my short time there and certainly don’t want to risk not making it back to the airport for my flight. My original plan was to visit Notre Dame, literally the one place in Paris on my bucket list. Unfortunately, the fire in April changed this plan. I still plan on going to view the famous facade, but will be visiting some other sites instead.
So here is a breakdown of the key dates and locations of my Summer 2019 adventure:
– July 1: Depart from Atlanta
– July 2: Paris, France
– July 3-4: Cairo, Egypt
– July 5-6: Jordan
– July 6 -20: Israel
– July 7: Bethlehem
– July 8: Old Jerusalem
– July 13: Dead Sea and Masada
– July 19: Northern Israel (Nazareth, Galilee, etc.)
– July 19 – 20: Tel Aviv
– July 20-21: Return home via Moscow (5th country if counting airports) and New York
I hope that you will follow my adventures this summer as I post about my travel experiences on this blog and through my Instagram account @travellingteacher118f.