So soon I will have been abroad for a week, time is really flying! Well it is true in the sense that I still think I just arrived, but I have been able to do so much during this time. Let us hope I can keep this structured anyway.
I am in Palestine to volunteer at a summer camp for children in a refugee camp (palestinian style). So daytime I play with kids that I cannot communicate with since I do not speak arabic. This actually does not hinder me in anyway as child language is global. It is all about smiles, given them attention and trying to create somekind of rules.
A reflection regarding the children is that all of them carry memories and stories about the conflict. Meanwhile they are mostly looking forward and I personally think I see tendencies to forgive the past. This forgivness is destroyed though, through continued harrassments. I will come back to this later.
The children dance dabka (local dance), play football, practise drama, sing songs, practise different instruments and much much more. During this they have teachers (local volunteers) helping them and this is also where I help. Even though I must confess that I entertain the children more during the breaks... All these activities are combinations of joy and serious efforts.
After four hours of summer camp we have lunch and after that there is different activities for the children but this time more organized with subjects like french, english...
I live in a guesthouse that is owned by the same people that runs the camp. So here I meet a lot of the same people. It is also here that I get close to the people, the lovely people of Palestine that is. We eat, arrange different activities, I follow them when they businesses to do and basically I just make sure that I have fun.
Reflections about the people in general is that most of them focus on the future, try to run their business, show infinite amounts of hospitality, welcome foreigners as soon as they show respect and interest... Well it is quite obvious that people who not just are unaware of local traditions but also disrespect them on purpose are treated quite badly.
Today I was with a group of four palestinians to inspect kitchen tools. Driving for maybe 15 minutes allowed me to realise that there are just small differences between putting five swedes or five palestinians in a car. We discussed women, football and how siperier we all were in comparison to the others... When we arrived to the man who was selling the stuff I was told that it had been used in Israel before and was now beeing sold as second hand in Palestine. This business was morally confusing for me.
First of all we were supporting someone that I generally refuse to buy anything from, Israel. Second we were reinforcing the hierarchy that was created by Israel's army, still exists and will prolong the conflict. Third it was good to see that despite the history, people want to look into the future and are able to forgive if the daily life requires so.
So this trip sparked a lot of questions into my mind and I have not found answers for them yet...