We have learned that the drought in Eretz Yisrael right now is extremely severe, and we prayed very hard for rain on Hoshana Rabba and Shmini Atzeret. Just a few days after 7 Cheshvan, when we begin to say Vten Tal Umattar Lvracha, Hashem answered our prayers with above-average rainfall. We pray that this is only the beginning, and that it will continue throughout the winter.
The only thing is, the rain came right as we were up North for our four-day Galil Tiyul! But no worries; we had a great time anyway. We managed to get a few hikes in before the rain, as well as our traditional "Avraham's tent" donkey-riding program at Hoshaya (no pigeon mishaps this time, thankfully!) and spent some time feeding cows in the Golan and visiting a nice shopping mall in Kiryat Shmoneh.
On Shabbat, we were joined in the Keinar Hotel by a number of our teachers and their families. We had a great time!