I decided to try something different for my blog in November. For 11 days, I’ll post stories from the war that didn’t make it into the recently published Coffee & Orange Blossoms: 7 Years & 15 Days in Tyre, Lebanon.
While recovering from our evacuation experience in July 2006, I wrote a debriefing journal, while memories were still fresh. I predicted that the stress of that time in our lives would erase details that could be helpful to remember later.
I almost incorporated this added information into the email pages of the book, but decided that realism would be ruined and the urgent feeling of their brevity would be lost.
Now I offer you these details as an added-value bonus to supplement the rather sparse treatment found in the book.
21 July 2006
The Convent in Lebanon
On the way back from our late attempt to get to the staging area to be evacuated the second time, Denis stopped at the grocery store in Jounieh so we could do a little shopping. We needed more milk and some other supplies (the store didn’t actually have any fresh milk, so we had to beg for some from the cafeteria at the convent that evening).
I got some peppermint candies like lifesavers, which made Naomi very happy. She loves peppermint. We also stopped at the toy store to buy Gideon an inflatable beach ball and Naomi some little toy construction equipment. She has been obsessive about buying a “backhoe” after playing with one at a friend’s house. We needed something to keep them busy for another afternoon and for future plane rides. They really deserved rewards for doing so well at traveling patiently.
When we got back to the convent, Gideon took a nasty fall over a rock wall in the yard. Kimarie had taken the kids for a walk below the TV towers above us, and he climbed up on the wall and fell over it onto a pile of sharp rocks below, cutting his face and eye. It was amazing he wasn’t hurt worse. He was bruised and bloody and looked like he had been in a brawl. I joked that his appearance might get us onto a boat quicker the next day.
The area that they had been playing would have been a deadly place to be the following day, around noon, when the TV towers were bombed.