Well, let me rephrase that: I am alive and well and living it up to the point that jet lag has hit me like a punch in the face and I am counting down the minutes until I take an ambien.
However, I have made a tragic discovery...I cannot access my blog at the place I am staying. So, my dear, sweet sister has agreed to post my updates for me when I am unable to. Isn't she the greatest?
Let's give her a round of applause. Go ahead, clap away. You know you want to.
Big thanks to all of you who prayed for travel mercies. I had wonderful flights and easy connections with no lost luggage. And for you foodies out there, I have already tasted goat-cheese pizza, mint green tea, hummus, pita bread and some yummy salad that I am sure has a name but I cannot recall at the moment. Jet lag, remember?
As a side note to my BSF Friday night girls: I am SO GLAD we went out for our Mediterranean culinary adventure last week. The Super Combo has come to the rescue more than once!
I woke up this morning at 3:30 ready to face the world but realized the world was not ready to face me. So, after playing with my new camera and taking many pictures of the wall, the door, the floor and myself (by the way, DO NOT take pictures of yourself at this time of day. Not pretty, people. Not pretty), I went back to bed and started the day again at a normal time.
For the majority of the day, we were in a meeting with another non-profit ministry that we may partner with in the near future. They were amazing men who have a passion for serving the people in their country and the Middle East region. It was highly informative, educational and inspiring.
Here are a few pictures of the city outside of the office windows. Cool, eh? Is it what you thought it would look like?
However, the highlight of my day, other than the amazing hummus, was meeting my new friend Bob. That's right, his name is Bob. He works with the non-profit and he and I chatted for a good hour or two about culture, sports, traditions and movies.
I asked Bob what he would want all of my friends and family to know about his home country and this is what he said:
"I want people to know that Lebanon is a modern country with creative people and new ideas. And we are also the country with the most freedom in our region. We have the freedom to be a Christian and not be persecuted for it. It is not that way in other countries."
Whoa. That is not at all what I thought about Lebanon. But, the more I am here, the more I see his very words in action. Admist the bullet-laden buildings, this city is modern and progressive. And its people are extremely diverse, intelligent, hard-working, beautiful and free to express their thoughts and beliefs.
Here's what was on his desk:
Thankfully I will see Bob again tomorrow so I am sure I will have even more insights to share.
But until then, the ambien is calling my name. Can you hear it? It sounds amazing.
(written Thursday night)