How a shower transforms.
The journey thus far is a mix of a sense of mission and merry making. Sometimes the merry making tends to blur the mission a little but it doesn't take much to bring it all into focus. Its been exhausting at times with long stretches of driving. Being yelled at is no stranger but everything's forgotten soon enough. One convoy rule; what happened yesterday is forgotten today, as in mistakes. Everyday is a brand new day.
Today's IKIM radio interview asked how much longer do we have. That's one thing I don't want to think too much about. We'll get to Gaza when we get to Gaza, Insha Allah. Pretty much the same as the time I spent in Jerusalem, nursing my injured uncle on a visit there. I had no idea how long I'd be there as his injury was severe, so took it one day at a time & turned every day i nto a learning experience. I'm applying the same principle here. We put aside an entire month but are prepared to go the extra mile if needed.
The stories I've heard here are remarkable. Over IKIM today I related the story of Tony Upton. His picture's on the blog. He spent an entire day at his church in Belfast, over 6 masses & collected 1,400 pounds & purchased a van with that. The community donated aid like whhelchairs & other necessities to fill the van with. Together with a friend, Fra, they're determined to make their way to Gaza. These guys are not exactly living the comfortable life & making ends meet is a challenge. Friends & family back home are working extra to send the funds needed for their trip, like fuel & food costs. &they still have no provision for their trip back to Ireland. These men are so outraged by the injustice against the Palestinians that they went out on their own. And here we are, everything's made easy for us, no worry about fuel, food or ticket back home. Tony was especially moved by the video of Muhammad Dura being cold bloodedly shot by Israeli soldiers even as he was shielded by his dad. If this is not the stuff of what heroes are made of, tell me what is.
Then there's John, another Irish & a bricklayer by profession. Lives some 40km outside Belfast & had never met a Muslim before this trip & of course finds us quite human & different than widely portrayed. A young man & when asked how does his family feel answered "My mum's very proud of me."
I'm simply moved beyond words. A cause that's so dear to our hearts is equally dear if not more to these people. Enough to sacrifice so much more than us. What else can I say.
There are so many more heroic stories & Insha Allah will find time to write about them.