Friday, September 17

The Beginning of the End

matthias's birthday marks for me the beginning of the end of our time in palestine. we didn't really know it at the time, but his birth definitely was the beginning of two months of craziness. this is what happened between his birthday and november 16:

-matthias was born. spent two nights in the hospital and then went home. we had a wonderful friend who came for like two weeks to help out with hiba. she ended up cleaning our house, doing dishes and laundry. it was great, especially since i didn't realize how much i needed that rest.
-paidia's annual carnival. three nights. i was the volunteer coordinator and the carnival was run by volunteers. organizing, transporting, helping 30+ international and local volunteers each night. oh yeah, and matthias was less than a week old.
-plans were made and preparations were made to build the high ropes course. this means jason was working quite a bit. in addition to matthias being a few weeks old, hiba was around too. i'm so thankful for her daycare and the ladies there and so glad she liked it.
-ben, the ropes course guy, came to help build it. he stayed with us for a week and a half. matthias was a few weeks old at this point.
-my mom came to visit. yay! it was wonderful.
-ben left, jason continued to work on the leadership center and ropes course.
-we had a visa appointment. they sent our applications to "the committee". we were pretty much convinced we would get the visas and if we didn't, we'd stay anyway. this was the end of october. they said they'd let us know within two weeks.
-november 2 - got a call from the wonderful ministry of the interior. our applications were back and we could come get the results. they couldn't tell us over the phone. i already had plans all day, so i thought i'd just go the next day since we were gonna stay either way.
-november 3 - we got the news that our visas were denied and we had until november 16 to leave. sure runied that day. we were still planning on staying.
-november 5 - we decided to leave. it was probably the hardest decision of our life. also, since we waited a few days to decide, it meant we had 11 days to pack up, sell stuff, change plane tickets, figure out what we were doing when we got back to the US....all that fun stuff. oh yeah, matthias is just over a month old.

the next 11 days were crazy. looking back, they were actually pretty fun. we both worked a lot, jason with paidia and me with getting ready to go. we hung out with friends every night till the wee hours of the morning. we played tons of games of catan with rachel, saleem, and munther. we had bbqs with anyone who wanted to come over. i had my last friday lunch with the girls. jason played his last day of friday basketball. we had three going away parties (we're pretty awesome like that). we really savored every moment that we had.

but, because it was so crazy, i didn't really have time to process what was going on. or energy to, for that matter. there were so many big things that happened in the next two months that it's easy to think back and know exactly what i was doing each day a year ago. so this year, it's nice to be in a place to look back and remember, to process leaving, to grieve what i lost, to see what i gained, and love what we did.

i think it will be a long two months. maybe harder than last year. because this time around i know the end. ignorance is bliss. and those two months were crazy bliss. i know i probably look back through rose-colored glasses - i mean, it was crazy. and we were all tired and worn out. it was hard and by the end, i was glad to be done. but it was exciting stuff that we were doing. we were around wonderful people that we loved and who loved us. and those last 11 days sure were fun. it wasn't perfect and i sure wouldn't want to actually do it over again. but for now, i'll savor the memories as i think back to the beginning of the end.

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