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Expect the unexpected when you travel – especially in Israel. Mitzpe Ramon is in the Negev Desert, south of Beersheba. Here, overlooking the Wilderness of Sin, Israel’s Founding Father and first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion is buried beside his wife.

The unexpected bonus - the graduation of an artillery unit, completing their basic training. Here we witnessed young soldiers struggling up the hill carrying weights on their shoulders. Parents and comrades cheered as the exhausted trainees marched into this nostalgic space, covered in dust and sweat after their challenging desert hike.

Three years compulsory military service shapes Israeli young people into an impressive force that builds national pride. The presence of a military drone reminds us of recent technological achievements that make Israel a powerful force in the Middle East. Close by the Officer’s Training College and the Satellite Control Centre are located.

Fighter jets fly over Israeli air space every minute of the day and night. The ‘Iron Dome’ protects the land from any aerial attack. No wonder I feel safe in Israel.

It’s believed the Wilderness of Sin is the place from which Moses launched the twelve spies to check out Canaan. It’s in this harsh wilderness that God allowed the Israelites to wander for forty years, the consequence for listening to the distorted report from the ten who slandered God’s promise to Abraham that He would provide a home for His people.

It’s no wonder Israel has such tough troops!

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