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  • It's April 26, 2017 in Saida, Lebanon. I wake up to the morning Dhuhr prayer, coming from the nearest Mosque.
  • YAWN!!!
  • I decided to get ready for the day ahead of us, because I knew this was going to be one of the most unforgettable days of my life. 
  • COMING!!!
  • PAOLA!!! Come on let's go, if we leave any sooner we will get to village after sunset!
  • That morning we were headed to Kfarchouba with my Aunt Sabbah (right) and cousin Niserine (right).
  • Good Mornining!
  • Sabah Alkyhyr (good morning) Paola, today we are going to see your family which you haven't seen since you were a baby 
  • On our way to the village I couldn't help but think of all the differences between home and Lebanon. Everything was just so different, the scenery, the vibe, everything. 
  • OMG! Look we are up in the Mountains! You would never see anything like this back home.
  • Really? I guess staying in village will be a really fun time with the family.
  • Everyone on the village is very excited to see you Paola, you have grown a lot in the past 7 years.
  • How?
  • Little did I know how truthful her words were. 
  • You know Paola, life in the village is very different from life in the city even here in Lebanon.
  • The view outside was unlike anything I've ever see
  • How could they fit 12 people in this house?
  • Welcome to the Village!! This is the house where me and your aunts and Uncles grew up.
  • We will give you a tour of the hosue much letter, let us introduce you to your relatives. 
  • When I walked into my eldest aunt's house I couldn't help but feel different from the rest of my cousins.
  • While my father and his sister were catching up they kept asking if I understood Arabic, which I do not, so i felt really left out. They also kept asking me about my faith since my mothers side is not Muslim, so I responded saying that I was Muslim. They just giggled and since they saw that the question made uncomfortable didn't bring up the topic again.  
  • Of course I am, why would I not be I've been raised Muslim my entire life. 
  • So, Paola are you Muslim?
  • My father and I decided to leave my aunts after dinner because we were super tired. My Aunt Sabbah went to her house in the village and my father and I decided to sleep at his old house.
  • Yes you can but it's not like the city Paola, Hot water is very scarce, take a shower quickly and don't use all the hot water.
  • Can I go take a shower before bed?
  • I was very confused as to why things in the village were so different. Yes the scenery and land was completely different, but everything so far seemed almost parallel.
  • How can I not take a long shower? I need to wash my hair that takes 15 minutes alone. 
  • Little did I know tomorrow was going to be an even bigger eye opening day.
  • As I was drifting off into my sleep, I couldn't help but compare the village life to my life. Everyone is more conservative, the scenery is completely different,  and the atmosphere feels very fresh and open. 
  • After giving me a tour of his two-bedroom home which my father grew up in, we had to go to our farm to get food.  I had never been farming before and I didn't think there was any reason to because there was a store down the street. 
  • Since we do not have food in the house,we are going to the our family farm to get what we need for breakfast.
  • We have a family farm? Why do we have to get our food isn't there a store around here?
  • As I was getting food I couldn't help but feel bad for the families who had to do this everyday. I knew it was their only way of getting food. If I had to live like that every day of my life I would never get used it.
  • You would never see loose animals like these roaming the streets in the U.S.
  • On the way back home, I saw a bunch of little kids playing with a water bottle filled with a bunch of coins. I was obviously confused because I had seen a soccer ball in the local market. 
  • Then I realized something. Although living in the village you have the access to food and some necessities some families do not have the money to get luxury  items.
  • I learned that a want was different from a need. To have fun people will use their imaginations, and create anything they can, which completely different from what we do at home in the U.S. 
  • After eating breakfast I decided to go back outside and play with the kids for the rest of the afternoon. Who knew playing with a plastic bottle filled with coins would be so fun?
  • YEAH!!!
  • Can I play?
  • I bid farewell to my new friends and set back on my way to the city the next morning. I realized that the village was way more than just a village to me it was a place to enjoy your family, and a place of new experiences. It taught me a lot of lessons and made me very thankful for what I have today. Thank you Lebanon 
  • Coming!!!/ Bye!
  • Bye friend!
  • PAOLA!! Come back to the house we are leaving early tomorrow morning!
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