…by Samuel

When we came in this morning we were warmly greeted by the boys we met yesterday. They were friendly and seemed happy to see us. We started the day off by thinking how we can make the place welcoming and feel ‘homely’ for them. There was quite some furniture to be moved around so we asked some boys and they were more than happy to help. They understood that we were working towards something and helped in their own way. One of the kids drew a picture of me and showed it to me. The smile on his face and the openness was really important for me.

At lunch, while cueing in line you could see who had been at the camp longer and who hadnt. The +/- 10 new boys were cutting in line and being a bit rude, those who were there already were friendly and respectful of the rules. One of the boys, an afghan who could speak english and seemed to be their leader, had saved food for one of us as we came into the dining room. That was a very friendly gesture.

As the day continued we worked more on the house and had some sharings with the boys. One nice moment was when we had tea together. Another time we asked them how they want to have their feast on friday. Friday is a muslim feast day remembering abrahams (almost) sacrifice of isaac/ishmael, and it marks the end of ramadan, an occasion where they can eat a lot. It usually involves a lamb but they were happy with normal food and dried and fresh fruits. Most important for them was to get a haircut and clean shave. We will try to arrange those things for them and have them feel at home. I think its about respect for them and equality. In my country (the netherlands) I have always lived alongside muslims and I have experience that they’re not as bad as everyone makes them out to be.