I hoped I was. I told them, I wanted to. I will try. One thing I did know for sure is that I will never forget them. NEVER. Nor will I ever stop keeping in touch with Mustafa to see what is going on.. I was leaving an art teacher there to keep things going.
When I arrived in Lebanon 15 days ago. There was no school. To help establish a school, set the philosophy behind it, train the teachers, and then do art with all the kids and train and hire an art teacher.. Plus buy all the school supplies, set the bus schedules, Inventory textbooks, create teacher schedules, interview 6 different art teachers and watch them teach, practice for the mural with all the kids, create the mural, clean up the mural, start a website, deal with internet shutdowns,deal with my stupid credit card that kept getting blocked every time I wanted to make a large purchase (Even though I had let the credit card company know I was going to Tripoli) and also have time to play with the kids and film a documentary... I felt like I had lived a thousand lifetimes in those 15 days. Not to mention that a crazy many by the name of Abo Samir kept making threats to the school that he would be shooting fire at the school buses or "kidnapping the American girl" (me).. I had been on my toes and probably slept about 4 hours every night. My mom was getting worried and asked me to stop working and take a break. I told her "Im only here for 15 days.. lots of work to do!"
The odd thing is that none of that stuff felt like work. I felt like I was on vacation the entire time. I was so happy I couldn't even contain myself. I floated instead of walked. You know when you are so happy that that you smile giddily everywhere you go? That was me. The kids have that affect on you. To see change happen before your very eyes is magnificent. To have an idea one day and then go forth and throw every impossibility out the window and focus on the one reason why it has to work and then watch that one reason manifest itself.. This feeling right there, coupled with the strong sense of intervention for the future of Syria.. that feeling right there is euphoria. What do I mean by intervention? I mean that if we take the kids that have dealt with war, get the yucky animosity out of their system, teach teamwork, kindness, respect, forgiveness, and the idea that you can be anything you want to be.. then these kids will go back to Syria one day and contribute to the positive rebuilding instead of getting caught up in the waves of violence that occur when two sides continue life beside each other long after a war. These kids will be leaders one day. These kids will be the future. This is the goal, the idea, the hope.
Tuyoor Al-Amal- Birds of Hope. They chose the name, they voted on it..
You should have seen their faces when I handed out the cards that the kids in America made.. they were touched and felt the idea of one human race.
I could write on and on about my experiences.. so what I will do from here on out is just reminisce moments that stuck with me and describe them in detail.