Friday, May 14, 2010

Machol Romania is Born!

Well, here I am, writing about Machol Romania. Honestly, I don’t even know where to start.

We arrived before the appointed time, at ten in the morning, and were worried that we’d have to wait in the lobby till we could check in. It turned out that it wasn’t so. The organisers were already there, and they were very nice to welcome us with bread and brandy. I checked in and loitered around, helping the organisers when I could. We were waiting for the rest of the people to arrive. As they started pouring in, the organisers were really too busy to stay with the instructors during lunch, so I ended up keeping them company. I had known Oren, from Machol Ungaria, but I didn’t know anything about Eran. It was really nice having lunch with them (I use that phrase, though actually I didn’t eat myself), since this close encounter allowed be to get to know them both better. They both gave me a positive impression, and I was looking forward to the sessions with them.

In the evening, we had the opening party. I was surprised to people from so many countries (Bulgaria, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Israel, Serbia, Turkey). We had a menorah put up, and we all placed our blessings for the machol inside. It was a very nice moment. Here’s a video of the first day:

The next day, we started the dance sessions. They were awesome. Both the songs and the dances, the instructors and the young instructors, everything was very nice. We were split up into three groups: beginner, advanced, and seniors. Most of the participants were in the advanced group, so we used the largest hall, which was actually the hotel’s restaurant, after having cleared out the tables. We barely fit even there. It was awesome. This second day, we had the baby party. Honestly, at first I thought this was a stupid idea, but in the end, it turned out really well. Here are the highlights:

The third day, once again, we had dance sessions. I think this was the day we had a debka session, and it was awesome! Thank you Lena for the great dance you’ve taught us! In the evening, we had a very nice Kabalat Shabbat, followed by an amazing Shabbat meal. I was really impressed by Eran’s sefardi-style kiddush, and even though we didn’t have music, we would sing and dance along, well into the night. It was a very memorable Shabbat experience, and I’m sorry for not praising it in the feedback (hope someone from amongst the organisers is reading this post). Here are the highlights:

The next day, we went to Brasov and Bran, and it was a lot of fun… or so I think. Honestly, I was sleeping the whole time. I got wasted the night before, and was resting up, as well as working on a project I had due the day right after machol ended. This was the last night, in which we had the Yom Haatzmaut party. It was a huge success, and surprisingly, a lot of people stayed up, dancing till morning. At seven, we went to eat breakfast, and it was very funny, since the rest of the gang had already gone to sleep, so it was only Dana, Eliza, Erwin and myself, all four of us almost collapsing due to lack of sleep.

Then, we had to make our bags and go home, and everyone was “I’m so sad it’s over!” And it’s true, we really were. It was a really amazing experience overall. The place was good, the food was good, the people were good, the instructors were good, the atmosphere was good, everything. I do have a few complaints, but those are of a technical nature: the internet connection was miserable, and at one point the whole system crashed, and we couldn’t enter our rooms, since they were using magnetic cards instead of old school mechanical locks. But those are small details, compared to the real fun I had there. I also think that everyone else agrees with me. Congratulations to the organisers for making the very first Machol Romania such a huge success! Looking forward to next year!

Next time, Kiddy Bleh...!

Friend Fact:
You know about those annoying Friend Facts on Facebook? Well, I've decided to add some facts about me at the end of every post. This way you'll get to know me better. It's easier than dedicating a post to what kind of ice cream I like or who my favourite bass player is. However, don't get startled if these facts turn out to be a bit weird (read "anime-related"). Today's fact? I've added the "Jewish" tag, and this is the first post to wear it. Will I update the past ones to have it? I don't know. Probably not. Why? I'm just lazy! :P

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