Quinn Snider’s Middle East Reflection

Hi, For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Quinn Snider. As some of you may know I was previously in the Middle East on a study tour with Westgate Mennonite Collegiate. I was asked to share a certain memory or experience that happened to me while I was there. Though I have so many, a couple stick out in particular.

One other of my school mates and I were billeted with an older christian couple that lived in Beit Sahour, a small town near Bethlehem located in Palestine. Right next to their house was their son and their three grandchildren all under the age of 10. You can imagine they kept them busy and certainly us busy that night to, wanting us to play soccer, to take  them for ice cream, or telling us about how good their english was. They seemed like such a tight knit family and their grandparents would do anything for them.

Some of you may not know but the Israeli’s determine how much water they get and when they get it, but the Palestinians never know when they will get more. The water is collected on the tops of their houses in large black containers. But despite all of this the first thing they offered us was a shower. This just blew me away because they don’t know themselves how much water they have or when more will come but they are willing to let both of us use it in spite of that. For me it just took hospitality to a whole other level. We didn’t end up showering however they did insist many times.

Another billeting experience we had was staying with the Mar Elisas students for two nights in and around Ibillin. They got a chance to come to Canada for a week and a half in September and stayed with us and now we got a chance to stay with them. They were so nice to us and their families greeted us with smiles and lots of food. We went and swam in the Mediterranean and also toured around Haifa, sharing laughs and making memories. I wish it could have been longer but overall it was an unforgettable experience getting to witness their culture first hand.

This trip for me was very eye opening and if I were to get the chance to go again I would take it in a heart beat. I met tons of new people and connected with others I didn’t know as well. I am very thankful to have gotten this opportunity, and will remember it forever.

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