Three weeks ago I got lost in Znzibar.
When I landed on the island I broke my phone (just after sending Yael a text message about some ministry of education stuff) and had no communication with the life outside of the island. Hence, after a few days I had to find an internet connection in order to tell my family that I am OK.
I have started walking around and ask people where can I find a place with computers and internet connection. Each one sent me to another place and from there to a different place, up to the point that I did not remember anymore where I have been. Barefoot and with one bottle of water I have started to wonder around.
In a short time, I thought I found the road back to the beach, walked on it for half an hour until I figured I got completely out of the town and had to go all the way back just in order to be lost even more in the narrow and not very organized streets. In the very end I have somehow found my way and got to the place in which I have stayed, went to the manager and with some Israeli hutzpa convinced him to let me use his personal laptop to send a message home.
At start it felt like a complete waste of time. I could have gotten what I wanted in the first place without wondering around and feeling so lost for hours. But, then I suddenly experienced a new feeling, I felt oriented and located for the first time in days in this very small place. I gained confidence and felt so much more comfortable in the place I have been.
And why I am I telling this story of my irresponsibility? Surly not to convince you to go travel abroad with me. It is just for one reason- to let you know that I believe in the value of getting lost.
The theme of this year, as you have probably heard already and will hear in the future, is borders. Before examining external borders, political and national, we should confront and explore our own borders, which many time are the things who also keep us safe. Our agendas, points of view, cultural perspectives and beliefs guide us, but in the same time holds us in the same place and prevent us from being truly challenged. From growth.
You may have crossed geographical and national borders in order to be here today, but the hardest thing about EMIS is challenging the borders of who you are, of opening your mind. Because when you do that you might feel lost, not anchored in a sea of questions instead of on the safe ground of exclamation marks!
I want to encourage you today to allow yourself to wonder and explore, to take off some shields and get out of defense mode. You do not need to completely lose yourself in that quest and absolutely not leave behind all the values you brought from home. Just let yourself to get a little disoriented in order to be found again. I truly believe that it will make you stronger and more confident in the long run when you will know your own way after facing the challenge of being out in the open without some of your borders.
In conclusion I would like to say something that now I hope you will take more as a blessing and less as an insult - get lost.