Giving Back

Today the campers had their second day of community service after Deir Ghassaneh at the Tent of Nations complex next to Bethlehem. An old Palestinian grove where Daoud and his family before him have resisted the constricting life of cultivating the land surrounded by 5 settlements. They rely mostly on international volunteers to preserve the area and maintain an active foreign and Palestinian presence to deter settlers from approaching the area or causing any further damage or land theft.
The campers' task was to clear the land and work the soil to insure a bountiful harvest as well as ready the terrain for the young trees and vines planted to replace those destroyed by settlers. 
The work although tiresome, was necessary for the campers so that they may understand the value of the land and the strain of working it and protecting it on a daily basis. Daoud conveyed the importance of preserving the heritage and manifested the resilience of Palestinians when faced with violent encroachments to their rights. What was even more admirable is that the response was always through non-violent resistance; an important lesson for the campers to take in and consider as inspirational in the context of the Palestinian struggle.