First trip on Kivunim

I back from my first trip a few weeks ago; we went to Greece, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan. It was so much amazing. Below are different stories and memories from each country, in order of the trip.


We landed in Greece and were all very excited. We were on our first trip and gaining a new participant, Sasha. In the middle of our Greece trip we went to Delphi, which was my favorite part of our time in here. Delphi is where the oracle, the “profit”, was and we had learned a lot of the history before we arrived. I am not sure what I was expecting but I fell in love with this site. It was so beautiful. I could have spent so much time just wondering this site for hours and seeing the views change with the light. There was a theatre, which was used during the time of the oracle that was still standing. It reminded me a lot of the Elizabethan theatre at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I could only imagine what it was like to sit and watch the plays that were performed there.


When we got to Bulgaria we were greeted with snow and winter weather. It felt just like Ashland in winter. It was so pretty with the snow and all of the lights that were up. Just image forty-four 18 and 19 year olds throwing snowballs and goofing around. This was Kivunim on the first night in Bulgaria. Well, that was Kivunim most of the trip when we were going from place to place.

The views were beautiful. One gorgeous view we went to a monastery, which the mountains around it reminded me of Chamonix, France. Another view we went to on the last night was to an overlook of the whole city. It was cold and slippery, because of the snow, but absolutely stunning. If I hadn’t been freezing my hands off I could have stood there for hours. I would recommend going and visit, I would think of going back in a heartbeat.


Azerbaijan was the strangest place we went to during this whole trip. It was still very communist and there was a ton of propaganda spewed at as a good portion of the trip, because the government officials we met with wanted to put their best foot forward, which at times, is hard to do.

I think my favorite memory of being in Azerbaijan was the last night before we flew back to Israel. We had come back from seeing a fire temple and were at a restaurant. We had finished the meal and there was music, both traditional Azerbaijani music, with traditional dancing, and non- traditional music. One of the boys, Ethan, and I got into a dance off. It was so much fun but I could not keep a straight face for a good amount of the time. What can I just say, only on Kivunim…? Or maybe should I say, only in Azerbaijan…?

About the Author
Hannah C. Bellinson is from a small town in southern Oregon. She is a student taking an academic gap year before she goes to college. Hannah hopes to study theatre and film.