Below is  first installment from chaperones’ Christina Krogh and Eric Bracciano’s about the Everest Collegiate seniors’ pilgrimage, entitled: “Arrival in the Holy Land.” We will be posting highlights on the blog as the week progresses.

After two safe flights (and more than one flight attendant standing in awe of how great our students are) we landed in Tel Aviv. The kids have adopted the practice of clapping at the end of each flight.  We can’t tell whether they’re being sarcastic, or if they’re legitimately celebrating a safe landing. (Either way, it’s pretty adorable.)

Moods have fluctuated from excited, to nervous, to exhausted and cranky, and back to excited again.  Sitting on the bus from Tel Aviv to Nazareth, they were taking in everything with a sense of wonder and the following comments: “Palm trees!  Flowers! Green grass!  It’s a camel!!” etc.

(The roads here are nicer than those in Michigan, in case you were wondering.)

Fr. Daniel led us in prayer on the bus, and took a moment to give a brief introduction to the trip.  We’ve heard it a hundred times leading up to this trip: “We will be walking in the land where Christ walked.”  There are emotions tied to that knowledge, of course, but we couldn’t anticipate how it would feel once we got here.  Sitting on the bus, watching palm and cypress trees go by, seeing the hillsides covered in bright green grass and white rock, we can almost see Him out there. We saw the nine-meter high wall that separates Israel from Palestine.

We finally arrived at our hotel around 5:30 pm after a two-hour drive from the airport in Tel Aviv…checked in…to our rooms and prepared for Palm Sunday Mass in the hotel with Fr. Daniel….after Mass, the group proceeded up to the Dining Room for an absolutely delicious feast!  (More to come…)