It took a total of 16 hours of travel to get to the hotel and I was very excited to take a shower and not be in a moving vehicle anymore. After I settled in I found three other people from the program in the hotel who I wandered around the Old City with the following day. About 10 minutes after stepping out of the hotel we came across a scuffle in the street where a man allegedly tried to take the gun of an IDF solider. It was a very real welcome.
The first official day of the program was sensory overload where we saw the separation wall, as well as the temple mount and drove around greater Jerusalem with two different tour guides. I am still processing my emotions and thoughts from it all.
Being here is exciting and heavy. The information is overwhelming, especially since I felt that I had a good grasp on the conflict, but seeing is something else entirely. I also realize that I have not seen anything yet.