My dearest friend here at Shevet and bunkmate has been sick this week. Poor girl has traveled all over the world and been sick with every random disease known to man. It seems no international adventure is complete for her without at least one battle with a foreign infection.
Thankfully, I have managed to avoid succumbing to this terrible sickness. But in return, I have gladly helped out with her main role- Children's Activities. Like me, she came for three months this summer. This whole time she has brainstormed brilliant crafts and games that incorporate Bible stories or are just plain fun. She also plans outings to the park, fish pond, and McDonald's for ice cream! Needless, to say, she does a lot of amazing work.
Throughout the summer she has had various shorter term volunteer assistants. The girl assigned to help her right now has been here for almost three weeks. But when there are six kids in the house, planning activities that will entertain all of them is overwhelming, so I have been pitching in to help.
This morning we only had three kids- Mohammad age 11, Nour age 3, and Ali who is 9 months. He didn't really participate. But coming up with something for an 11 year old boy and a 3 year old girl to do together.... good luck. Solutions: arts and crafts. Mohammad wasn't really into the idea. We were making masks with circular sheets of paper. But we showed him cool designs and pulled out feathers to make it more exciting. Eventually he got halfway on board and made a pretty decent mask.
But he was quickly over the whole project and we moved on to more appropriate games, such as pick up sticks. That quickly became a crowd pleaser and the mothers drifted over to watch and participate. After a couple rounds of that we played the ever popular Candyland! This has got to be the best cross-cultural game when you can't speak the language. There are so few rules, no numbers (Arabic and English numbers look different), and lots of fun colors. The whole group upstairs joined in and we had a very entertaining game! I love how the simple things are so exciting here because they are so new to these families. I'm sure many of our western ways perplex them, but they are always gracious when we make cultural errors.
As I count down my last week here, I count my blessings, remembering all the amazing times that I have had here, all the lessons I have learned, and all the friends I have made. God has definitely been good to me.