It is really hard here, it's not only sad to experience but really frustrating to not be able to communicate with the kids the way I'd like. Their teeth are all rotting and black, their clothes are dirty, they constantly misbehave and seek out attention. They have learned already to react and listen when they are in fear but not through love. I am exhausted. I have only showered once since being here (and the water was fucking cold ) I am living in what is considered the "projects" - only about .2 of a mile from a refugee camp, we have to go through a checkpoint with guards holding huge guns just to enter into the area, I live with 10 people in 3 rooms and sleep on a foldable cot, me and 6 others get up between 5:45 - 6:00 am everyday to drive from Beirut to Sidon to make it to school by 7:30, two of us ride in the trunk of the car (usually me because I am smallest and of course volunteer myself). We get home around 6-6:30 and have "family dinner" so far it has been lentils and vegetables mostly. The school days are long and by 9 am I feel like I've been awake for years.
But I love it. It brings me to tears and fills me with happiness. They are such good people, from the little 3 year olds to the men walking around incessantly smoking with nothing to do, because although they might have been doctors or lawyers in Syria, in Lebanon they are not even allowed to drive a taxi. It is unfair and humiliating. And amazing. And life changing. It is humbling and happy and horribly sad.
I will update with more soon. There is so much and can not wait to share it with you.
*This is an excerpt from an email I sent a friend. It was the first thing I wrote about my experience since being here.