Trip Start Aug 29, 2011
28Trip End Oct 02, 2011
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Where I stayed
What I did
Breakfast was even weaker than normal, which sucked at the time. It ended up ok because when I got to the warehouse I was going to work in for the day, they started with a food break. The soldiers working there pulled out cans of corn, fruit cocktail, tuna fish, baked beans, pickles, and olives. They had breakfast out of the cans and shared with us. I suppose when you're tired of tomatoes and cucumbers even corn mixed with tuna sounds good, just because it's different. I didn't stoop that low, but I did partake in some of the other food.
After breakfast, we pressed the soldiers for work, and they set us to folding some of the large vehicle covers. So far, so good. However, the next task frustrated me. We were to take all of the items that we counted on the very first day off the shelves, put them into boxes, mark the boxes with the quantity, and return them to the shelves. I was asking myself why we couldn't have just put everything in boxes on the first day and saved all of this work. But, I did it anyway. To be fair, I actually had a lot of fun boxing the items as long as I allowed myself to ignore the inefficiency of the tasks. The team I was working with really made the difference between frustrated boxing and fun boxing.
Also, the soldiers were entertaining us while we worked. Some of them were filming a video involving them rolling around on chairs and shooting staple guns at each other. There were quite a few bloopers and the whole thing was hilarious.
When they weren't shooting at each other, I did get a chance to talk to some of the soldiers, some of whom were Druze. (For those who don't know, the Druze religion is an offshoot of Islam that is about 1000 years old. A long time ago, it was closed to conversions, so you are either born Druze, or you can never be.) One of the soldiers and I had a very interesting conversation about how his family feels about him maintaining (or not) status within the religion. We also talked about his opinion on the religious elders and some of their decisions that had affected him personally. It was very interesting to hear his opinions on some of those topics.
Lunch was good enough to make up for breakfast though.
I was particularly tired in the afternoon, and started off with making boxes and unloading skids. When we were about done with our time, we took a break and I found a coloring book, which excited me. I ended work with a big smile because I got to color in one of the guy's coloring books.
The evening activity was talking about the Entebbe Rescue. The situation starts out sad and scary as people are hijacked and held hostage. However, it ends (mostly) happily with a daring rescue that brings most people back to their families. We were split into groups and got to act out the various scenes of the hijacking and rescue. Hilarious! This is another example of how the people in my group were fabulous and made the trip great.
After our hilariously poor rendition of the events, we watched an old movie about the event that had slightly better acting.
While there were a bunch of ups and downs, this definitely helped make me feel like I was experiencing "real life," which was part of the purpose of this trip.