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Volunteering in Israel – My Volunteer Experience in Eilat


Coral Reef Conservation Volunteer Project

Eilat, Israel

Dear Friends!

A week ago I came back from Israel and I would like to share with you. It was the most extreme and unique trip I’ve ever had in my life. God blessed the whole journey a lot. I had an idea to visit Israel but I didn’t want to be a part of an excursion program because I wanted to see people and taste the real life. So I found a volunteer program and went to Israel. 

I arrived in Israel on Sunday. On the way from Ben Gurion airport to Jerusalem and I found a new friend, who said “Welcome to Israel!” Those words made me happy :) By the way it was Sunday (in Russian “Verbnoe voskresenie”), when Jesus entered in Jerusalem and was greeted by people with palms. So I arrived on the right day.

In the morning I had a meeting with the director of the volunteer organization, for an orientation course about the program and stay in Israel (it helped me a lot in first few days). After some rest I joined a free cooking tour and visited the real Middle East market. Beautiful, loud and crowded market!

Later on my new friend and me went to the old Jerusalem through the quarters to the Church of Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall. We spent more then an hour at the square sitting in front of the Wall. It is the most peaceful place I’ve been.

Next day I went to Eilat and it was the most difficult day. I am really thankful to the receptionist at the hostel for kindness. Also I met another girl, who travelled and stayed at our hostel. It was nice to have a company on the Peisah evening.

Red Sea
Eilat beaches!

In the morning I went to the coral reef and met with the staff. In the beginning I wore clothes which covers me from the head to the toes because I was afraid to be burnt :) Probably everybody laughed, when they saw me because it was +35 Celsius degree. Also I didn’t have my voice almost for a week. It was not easy to communicate with so weird voice. Any way little by little I got to know people at the reserve and we become friends :)

My work was very easy like patrolling the beach, talk with tourists and give the bags for trash. I was happy to see happy faces of the tourists while they were getting the bags. I have learned some phrases in hebrew like: Boker tov! (Good morning!). “Would you like a plastic bag?” (Tsarih sakit). Toda! (Thank you!) Hak tsameh! (Happy holidays!).

I visited the dolphin reef, the underwater observatory and had a submarine ride. Also I had the best excursion, I have ever been. I joined a russian family, which took this excursion with the snorkel masks. We were in the water all together, we supposed to look through the masks, when our guide went to the depth and pointed a fish or a coral, after he explained about it. Another unforgettable attraction is the Moises rock. It is big formation of the corals in a distance from the other corals. It is like a small underwater universe. It is very alive and colorful coral with hundred fishes around.

Underwater Observatory

 

Days at the reserve went so fast like a blink of an eye. At the very end I did an introduction diving course, as a reward. I have discovered a beautiful world!

Getting ready to dive!

After Eilat, I had three days for traveling and sightseeing. So I visited the Dead Sea, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

I have met so many interesting people from all over the world. We cooked together, shared meal, talked, laughed and hang out :) We shared our lives! This is the best thing of the traveling!

By the way, people told me that I didn’t see the real Israel because Eilat is almost abroad, Jerusalem – an unique city and Tel-Aviv – not common as well. So I want to come back and see the real Israel!

Love,
Masha

If you liked Masha’s story and want to learn more about the coral reef conservation program, click here to visit the website to explore the volunteering options.

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