THE LEAVING BEIRUT SERIES Part 3: The Things I’m Taking With Me

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Some things you miss, but some things you don’t have to miss cause you can pick them up and take them with you. Here’s all the things I’m trying to stuff in my (definitely overweight) suitcase next to the bags of turkish coffee.

The Hospitality: I don’t think I really understood this until LJ came and was blown out of the water. After a week of camp and a whole host of new friends she said, “I can count on one hand the number of Greeks who know my first name.” There were already more than that in Lebanon after just a few days. The Lebanese want to know you, want to be your friend, and want to invest in your life purely because of their love.

Social Culture: In the same vein, this is a culture that puts people and relationships above everything else. This is the thing that drove me the craziest because it dethroned my Queen Productivity. I’m sitting in the office yelling HOW DOES ANYONE GET ANYTHING DONE IN THIS COUNTRY from behind my computer while everyone else cultivated meaningful relationships and stuff. I still got a long way to go here.

The Cheek Kiss: Equally important, the Cheek Kiss is an excellent and valuable way to greet someone and I plan to continue it so don’t be surprised when I kiss your face.

Cultural Awareness: This is my space to formally apologize for complaining that we learn about intercultural communication in every single Comm class. I get it now.

Self Awareness: Most notably, when I need to stand up and walk into the next room and sit on the floor in the dark and read my Bible cause it’s just not working out.

A Good Chunk of the Arabic Language: Which I intend to use until you all catch on and use it with me. Don’t worry, a dictionary’s coming tomorrow.

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