Today we had a very long eventful day. We began the day with a trip to the Ibrahem river with the boys. The river was 1 ½ north of Beirut in the mountains. It was absolutely gorgeous. The day was a cool and overcast so it was fun watching the boys get up the nerve to jump into the freezing water (some were braver than others). Some of the older boys hiked up the trail to a deeper section of the river where they were able to jump off the cliff into the water. Most of the boys took their time trying to build up their courage before jumping in but some were fearless and jumped then immediately hiked back up the path to do it again. Even Jeremy and Les took turns jumping off the cliff, which the boys loved! Joseph brought inflatable rafts for the little kids so they had fund paddling the up and down the length of the shallow end of the river. It was such a great day and the boys really enjoyed playing in the river.
After we returned we were invited for dessert at Akh Fady's home. His wife Peggy made a delicious fruit punch and cake and then served us ice cream. While eating Akh Fadhy told us of how he became a Christian and began working at Dar el Awlad. He and is family are so special to the boys and have made us feel so at home.
After dessert Joseph and his wife Trisha treated us to dinner at an Italian restraint in downtown Beirut. We enjoyed great conversation and good food. When then took the scenic route home, driving along the coast in downtown Beirut.
Tomorrow is our last day in Lebanon. I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown by. I’ve had so much fun spending time with the boys this year. It’s been so special to return and see the boys recognize us from last year. I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know the new boys. I know that these precious moments we have spent together mean a lot. I will recall a fond memory from my time here in the weeks/months to come and know that the boys will also have memories of our time together. It means so much to them that we come back each year. I have been so blessed to get to know these incredible young men/boys with beautiful smiles and big hearts!