Monday, November 7, 2011

For the first time, returning to and Al Aqaba from the weekend was really depressing. I'd been with the Daragmeh's in Luban Sharqia, making sweets and getting ready for Eid, but some project deadlines brought me back to Al Aqaba. It was hard for me to explain my way out of Luban Sharqia. No, I'm not employed, yes I know that nobody works on Eid. Yes, I want to stay and see the children in the streets and eat the barbequed sheep, and I knew it would be a much more festive atmosphere there. But Rebuilding Alliance doesn't have a holiday. It was really hard to explain that I don't have a work schedule. I'm a go-between, and if I don't deliver the messages, or take the footage, or submit the proposal, it won't get done, and that's the kind of work I've always wanted. If Al Aqaba can get an article or a picture in a magazine, or donations for the new houses, or a grant for the Women's Society, that's it. It's not work. Like in Palestine, hospitality and taking care of people isn't considered work, it's just life. Work is that thing you have to do, and you don't do it on Eid.

It was hard to explain. But the family loaded me up with sweets, including these sandwich cookies that are like Argentinian alfajores, but with apricot jam instead of dulce de leche, and date cookies, and their father called me a Service, and I promised to call if I could make it back. Probably not that afternoon, though.

But I got back to Al Aqaba and it was dark and rainy, and the internet wasn't working. So I cleaned the apartment, and ate dinner with Haj Sami's family, and hung out with Haj Sami while his wheelchair was broken and he was waiting for his nephew to get the new part in Tubas. It wasn't a good night to need maintenance. Haj Sami wasn't happy. But we watched little Roya running around all cute-like and then I asked Haj Sami what it felt like to pray. I wanted to know if it took him away for a while, made him forget. He just said, "I feel very good," then he told me stories about the Prophet Mohammad and it seemed to cheer him up. One time he asked me why we dream. I laughed and said no one really knows, but sometimes we dream of things we want, and don't want, and can't have. He told me sometimes he dreamed that he was back in the hospital in Israel in 1971, where he lived after he was shot. Sometimes he dreams about the nurses, who took care of him and taught him Hebrew.

I was down because it was raining and I had no internet. I take so much for granted.

Sadiq brought the wheel back from Tubas. It worked alright, but we needed to pick up a new one from Jerusalem soon. I went back to the apartment at 9 and spent a long time working with footage from the weekend and listening to one-hit-wonders from the 90's.

Ooh baby, ooh baby, you're makin me crazy, you're makin me crazy, every time I look around (everytime I look around)....