At the beginning of February CARAVAN took a one-week brake from its work. Maxime spent the week with his family in Britain, Charlotte, Aglae and Benedicta enjoyed the peace of Naccash and the remaing Caravanistas braved the mountains of Lebanon to go skiing. Georgina, Paul, Julius, Jakob and I, Callum, rented a chalet in Faraya for three days, in a place called ‘Hotel al Badr’. The chalet was very cosy, had a stove, fridge, TV and two sofas. The hotel owner, ‘Mr Joe’, with typical Lebanese hospitality, offered us free ‘manoush’ every morning, cooked outside the hotel reception on order, and encouraged us to eat at the restaurant of his friends nearby.
After consuming two or three hot ‘manousha’ at 7.30 am, we took the snow taxi to the slopes, with ‘manousha’ stuffed in our pockets. The weather was not too cold, but also good for snow. We skied for two days for seven hours and enjoyed it hugely, especially the falling over. From the top of one ski lift we could see Chabrouh, to which I walked on Wednesday afternoon when it was too rainy to ski.
On the evening of Friday everyone was back in the flat and we celebrated Georgina’s nineteenth birthday with a huge party. We were honoured to have a DJ, who offered us his service for the sake of friends. The party was long and fun. The following morning we woke up late and cleaned the flat. Callum went to Surat with Doctor Issa again.
After our long 3 weeks of Christmas holidays we all started service and university refreshed and full of energy. We all missed our boys and girls and were delighted to see them after such a long time again! Personally, I just couldn’t wait to go to the garden and collect leaves with Ayman! :) Unfortunately, our heater in our house broke and it rained in Michel’s office, which is now in our apartment. So we all tried to our best to keep warm, wrapped in blankets and jumpers. Despite our best efforts, Julius, Jakob, Aglae, Charlotte and me got a cold and had to stay in bed for a while. After we overcame this issue and it started to become warmer again, our fabulous fridge broke.
We came up with new ideas for our service in Deir el Kamar and Antillas. With no doubt, the most fun we had was the Aerobic with the girls!
Last week we celebrated Georgina’s birthday. Luckily, the sun was shining, so we seized the opportunity to rent bikes and cycled along Zaytouna Bay. Later on, we had cake on the balcony and drinks in the Mexican Bar near our apartment.
For now, we are all really excited to leave for our spiritual retreat tomorrow.
While most of us went home for the Christmas holidays, Charlotte, Maxime and Paul stayed in Lebanon. Apparently they enjoyed the pleasure of quite a few invitations (which are famous in the Caravan team for the "free food", which is normally offered to such occasions): At Christmas eve they stayed at 3 different locations. First of all a Lebanese friend invited them to a pre-Christmas dinner, then they stayed at the house of a knight of the Order of Malta for the actual Christmas dinner and in the end they went partying at another friends house. As if that wasn’t enough they were again invited for a lunch with a Lebanese friend at the 26th. From the 26th to the 30th of December they participated in the fabulous Chabrough Christmas Camp. From sunrise till dawn they took care of our disabled friends in a Christmas themed environment in the snowy mountains of Lebanon. Charlotte, Maxime and Paul each individually celebrated New Years Eve. Coming back from Britain at the 4th of January Callum partied with us on the occasion of his 20th birthday.
I think I can speak for all of us when I say, that we all really needed this break (also from one another) and enjoyed our time with families and friends back in our countries.