What a day this has been. Les and Lanna got their boarding cards and should be on their way to Dubai then on direct flight to New York. We were all sad to see them go, the team as well as the kids. We were very thankful that they were able to make reservations and get a flight out so quick. The Orphanage gave them plaques to thank them for their time working with the children. I know the kids will all be asking about them tomorrow.
During the after lunch rest period I got talking to a boy who has finished high school and is still living at the orphanage and working. His father was refugee from Iraq some 30 years ago. Came to Lebanon under an assumed name for fear retribution from Iraq. He married a Lebanese lady and had this son. His father recently returned to Iraq and re-assumed his real name. Since this boy was born to an Iraqi father he cannot get Lebanese citizenship, even tho his mother is Lebanese. He has papers says that he is the son of his father under an assumed name, not the name he is recognized by in Iraq. The boy has been accepted into a private university here and has scholarships lined up. All the universities must report the names of the students to the government, so if he registers for classes the government will ask where his residence visa is, and he does not have one. He said he could do all the class work but since he is not legally here, he could not get a diploma, and without it how could he get a job. He says he would not get deported because he does not have citizenship anywhere,so he would probably just stay in jail here if he was picked up.. Besides he said Lebanon is my home, it is where I grew up, I love the diversity here.
It sure makes me appreciate all the more what we all have.
The children played with their kites that they had made day before yesterday. They enjoyed them. It was fun to see them running and laughing, kites in tow.
Also this afternoon the team gave then the Baylor Tee shirts that had been donated. Most of them put them on and gave a group "Sic Em Bears". I noticed one boy telling his younger brother to not put it on but to keep in neat and folded because it was new. It just hurt to hear him say that, when we have so much we don't need or respect, and they are so appreciative of the little that we have brought.
At 5 the boys went to their apartments for supper and the evening. Brent wanted to take us up the mountain for a picnic supper. We sat on the mosaic floor of a Byzantine Church(built before 714 AD) and had supper. The cool evening air, the sunset and reflections of our time here were the perfect ending to a difficult day.