After spending the past couple of months bonding with teammates and other-team mates alike, it's strange saying bye to so many after such a short amount of time. The experience has left us all with something we can hold onto for the rest of our lives, not only that we were part of history in bringing baseball to Israel, but also the sense of living with a purpose that people in the Middle East seem to have every day. When a persistent conflict surrounds the environment every day, with the (even slight) possibility of violence happening in your own back yard - that gives each and every day more meaning and intensifies the emotions experienced by all. It has been something that no one will forget, and everyone will cherish.
Most everyone I have talked to wants to return next summer for the second year of the Israel Baseball League, given that circumstances allow for it. For myself, it will depend on where I am working and the state of my baseball readiness. If I were able to come back every summer, I certainly would. Everyone has worked to hard to right the ship and it has shown, and the players are all thankful for the long hours put in by executives Larry Baras, Dan Kurtzer, and Martin Berger, as well as the under-appreciated and over-achieving interns - David Rattner, Andrew Wilson, and Jeremy Baras. Thanks guys, for your hard work, and for making this a summer I will never forget.
This will close out my blog from Israel. I hope to continue this as new pictures catch my eye and memories pop into my head that I may have forgotten, and will post them once I return to the states (I fly at 11:30pm tonight). Thank you to everyone who read - I was blown away by the sheer number of visits that this blog received, and I appreciate all those who left comments and words of encouragement.