An Outing to the Beach
Shahad and Ranim are cute young girls about 12 years old. Three times a week, they and their mothers are forced to drag themselves from their homes in the Ramallah area to the Augusta Victoria Hospital. Abir, Shahad’s mother, speaks English so it is easy to communicate with her. I must converse with Ranim’s mother in the little Arabic that I know. She is a gentle woman and always shows her gratitude with candy, cookies and the like.
Shahad and Ranim are good friends and sometimes I get to drive the two of them together.
A few days ago, I took the initiative and drove to the Mediterranean beach. The drive took about an hour and passed quietly, but when we reached the shore the children were terribly excited. The two mothers were also overwhelmed by the beauty of the seashore. “It’s my first time on the beach”, said Abir. We found a shady place and the mothers and girls immediately went into the sea to splash in the water.
They took many selfies; the excitement was amazing. The girls marveled at the many seashells on the beach and the sweeping waves as they crashed onto the shore. It was hard to say goodbye to the sea and go back to the sand. But I enticed them with popsicles. We sat and talked with Abir translating. The girls continued in a state of high excitement, chatting, sharing experiences, and eating snacks.
After about an hour and a half at the beach it was time to return to Qalandiya and real life. When they got home, they both sent me selfies taken at the shore that will remain with me as souvenirs. Hopefully next summer they will no longer need my ride.