Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Summer Camp!

I just got back from a week-long summer camp for Palestinian orphans and disabled children. And by orphan, they mean missing at least one parent. They go to the beach for a week of swimming and activities and dancing. And very little sleep. I am still recovering, but I had a great time and made lots of new friends! Of course, it’s always easy to make friends with kids. After a few hours when people got used to me, I began to feel like the Pied Piper. I had my own special entourage of little girls braiding my hair, teaching me dance moves, and fighting over who got to hold my hand. It took me a little while longer to make friends with the boys, but after doing hand-stands and flips in the water, crossing my eyes and playing with their bugs, I was in. I received endless bouquets of nicely arranged flowers (that were not supposed to be picked). I spent hours in the water, which I loved except for the sunburn on my face that is now peeling (but this is the first time my legs actually got whiter while I was at the beach), and many many hours dancing. My girls tried to teach me, but I don’t think that’s my special gift. I did learn how to do the dibkeh, a traditional dance of my people which strongly resembles the hokey-pokey when I’m dancing it, but looks really cool when they do it. Man, those kids can dance! I had such a good time getting to know those kids-the little girl who cried for her mother everyday, and the boy who could dance like nobody’s business who almost missed the performance at the end of the weeks. I also got to talk to a boy who told me about his father’s second wife, and how difficult that was for his mother (he wasn’t an orphan or disabled so I’m not sure why he was there, but I liked him). And of course, the little deaf girl who finally got up and danced with me on the last night was really adorable. We both had no idea what we were doing, but it was fun! Then there’s the shy little boy I stalked with my camera because he was so cute. He always pulled his pants up all the way to his chin. I can’t wait to see them again next year. Maybe some of you will be there too!

I am so not good at blogs! Sorry about the oddly placed photos. Hope you enjoy them anyway.

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