Weston Warhorse

An Adventure to Israel and Back

Elizabeth Enright, Section Editor

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A journey abroad was just the thing Zoë Saldinger needed this summer.
Saldinger, a junior at Weston High School, did not anticipate that her five week journey around Israel this summer would be so eye opening. The program, named Dor l’ Dor, brought her through the country, from Tel Aviv to the Negev Desert.
She said that experiencing the desert was the most grueling part. Hiking in 107 degree heat proved to be a formative experience.
“We spent maybe a week and a half in total in that area because it takes up about 60% of Israel but we went three days in the actual physical desert camping out and stuff,” Saldinger said. “We went to swim in this watering hole. They actually had to pull us out for 7 hours because the temperatures got too high.”
Saldinger said that it was not a language learning experience, but rather a cultural immersion.
“It was a Jewish program, and it was just reconnecting with that and learning about other viewpoints and other religions to have a basis in that.”
Her summer experiences didn’t end there. Saldinger worked as a CIT, or counselor in training, when she returned to the US for a group of small children. This job was in addition to managing her life at home.
From having to transition from weeks in Israel to managing life at home, Saldinger certainly had a busy summer, but she definitely doesn’t regret any of it.
“It wasn’t exactly pleasant all the time but it was pretty fun. It actually was a cool experience.”

Life at Home

With a busy class load and pets at home, Saldinger definitely has a lot to manage. Her love for animals is reflective through the classes she is in enrolled in at Weston High.
“I really like AP Bio,” Saldinger said.
Her two dogs at home, Hershey and Juno, are the successors of her bird, Tico.
“I was 10 and I campaigned for my parents to get me this bird every day. And then I eventually got Tico and we didn’t know what gender Tico was because the beak was supposed to change colors and but it never did. My dog hated it, and he tried to eat it. I just hated Tico. I sang to it for half an hour and it never learned to talk.”
Saldinger said that she used to be an even bigger fan of animals when she was younger, but still fosters a love for them. That is, except for her dog Juno.
“Juno is fat and she’s a yellow lab and she’s gonna be 7. She’s mean to me and doesn’t respect my personal boundaries.”
She doesn’t let her rivalry with her dog distract from her busy life. She still focuses her attention on school and her many out of school activities.
Saldinger obviously has an affinity for culture and the sciences. What she chooses to do with the education she has received can only be figured out with time.

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An Adventure to Israel and Back