Roots Camp started its first day with a visit to the Qaser el Yehud Baptism site on the Jordan River. We met Malik from EcoPeace, who spoke to us about the national and religious importance of the Jordan River to all of the communities in the region. A lot of the water from the Jordan River is diverged for domestic use in Israel and Jordan and the countries even discharge their wastewater into the River, so there is not much clean water left in the Southern part of it. We learned about the quality of the water in the Jordan River and the religious importance of the baptism site in Christianity. Then, we divided into three groups, each representing a different village with different water sources, to discuss water usage. You can see some of our ideas in the pictures below.
Then, we drove close by to the site of the old Lido Inn, which has a beautiful view of the Dead Sea. We discussed the drainage of the Dead Sea, and the political and environmental issues caused by the factories that take minerals from the Dead Sea. We took a whole group picture that you can see below.
Finally, we arrived at Kibbutz Ketura. We got settled in our rooms and had a pool party with a group of American high-schoolers were were visiting as well. Omar and Meytav shared their experiences at Kids4Peace and explained the program to the American kids. After the BBQ and swimming, the kids went to bed to get ready for your next day!