Monday, June 27, 2011

Leaving Beirut

Sunset rooftop party overlooking the Corniche...Bye Beirut

Too many goodbyes, good connecting with people who have become real friends, in a place that feels a lot like home.
After four years we leave Beirut, for New York, Tennessee, Washington State, and then Baku

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wishes granted

Leaving is generally hard, bittersweet--the excitement of adventure beckoning, tinged with the sadness of losing the familiar and loved. In the shadows behind the long list of Must Do (banks, addresses, belongings to shed or pack or send), lie a wistful collection of Wish We Could Do One More Time. Tom had hoped to see the South one more time before we left and hike the Qannoubine Valley a fifth (6th?) time, and I to visit a particular restaurant beneath a waterfall in the Shouf and spend as much time as possible with my friend Elisabeth. Both of us regretted never having seen nor hiked a particular area in the north along the coast. And I wanted my fill of mezze, mezze and more mezze—the good ones with the less common items like hindebeh (dandelion greens with onions that are gently fried for, like, an hour) and chanklish (sheep milk cheese served with green onions, tomatoes and olive oil). Somehow, and without planning, we got them all!

We joined a day trip from ACS to sites in the far south of Lebanon, including a Hezbollah museum—below is K with artillery (?). And us posing with UNIFIL soldiers near Fatimah’s Gate (where, two weeks later, eleven people were killed by Israeli snipers during a demonstration commemorating Nabkha).

And the amazing Qannoubine Valley hike, during which we had a great mezze meal J

The waterfall restaurant with Elisabeth, following mezze :-) The added bonus and main inspiration for the trip was that Ben was briefly in town. Yay!

And a scene from Batroun in the north, after hiking the north coast with the Hash House Harriers for the first time (and another fab mezze meal!)

22 days left in Lebanon...