First Impressions

Traveling to a new place is exhilarating–and exhausting. Weeks of planning, days of packing, six to sixteen hours in flight finally land you in your first moments on foreign soil. No true traveler expects sunshine and paradise as soon as they step foot out of the plane. Jet lag, language barriers, and passport control hit you before baggage claim. But for Lights Camera, Learn, it’s all part of the experience.

This week, the Lights, Camera, Learn team assembled in Nazareth to begin our first program of the summer. Seven interns from various places around the world arrived curious and excited about the adventures and challenges ahead, and in only a matter of hours, connected with one another over a shared passion for film and culture.

Almost as soon as our team arrived, we began to explore: from the small village where we are staying in Ar’ara to the region of Galilee in the north; across to the ancient city of Acre; to Baqa Al-Gharbiyye and then up to the storied city of Nazareth; to the coastal destinations of Caesarea and Haifa.

Three days of adventure quickly bound our team to one another, and to our new local friends who guided us through our first days in their country. To be in such group; to hear the ideas that have come about between our team of interns; to get a better understanding of this country’s politics, history, food, music, and lifestyle from its people; is nothing short of inspiring.

All of us have been witness to first impressions this past week: of one another, of Israel, of its diverse people and unique cultures. Our most important first impressions will come when we meet the first batch of kids we’ll be working with for the next two weeks. By then, our team will be well-rested and ready to connect with the people of this country on everything from film to music to dance.

In only a couple of days, it has become apparent that neither a language barrier nor jet lag will stop this team from giving this program their all, and finding the fulfillment in the unfamiliar. The coming weeks are all but guaranteed to leave every one of us with an impression that lasts.