29.7.15

אסלה
A day in the sea
After 3 hours at a checkpoint from the West Bank, many in the group seemed a bit serious getting off the bus at the Tel Baruch beach. The sea, though, immediately made everyone break into smiles! I wonder how many years it had been since they’d seen the sea, if at all.
Soon, kids and adults alike tumbled with the waves in their inner tubes. Some of the boys and I threw around a beach ball, often hitting people on the head by mistake, making the laughter grow exponentially.
A crowd favorite was the moment when one of the mothers brought out a darbouka into the water. Many of the women around her clapped and danced, while a boy showed me how to clap, stomp, and shoulder-pump in the style of Dabke. It was magical to see everyone enjoy Palestinian music and culture while swimming at the same time. How cooler could the day have been?
 I also showed several children how to do a water pistol with one hand and two hands. I hope that next time they get the opportunity to visit a beach, they’ll be able to prank their friends and family by shooting water with full ease.
While most of us didn’t speak each other’s language, the waves and all that we can do with the water served as a common language and common joy.
I believe that projects such as this urgently need to increase. First of all, all children here deserve a childhood filled with the beach and fun in the sun. In addition, these projects make us realize the fundamental things that can bring us together.
I wish everyone all the best, and hope to see them again as soon as possible!
Written by Sho, Volunteer from the USA
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