We got to the airport about 2am after spending the evening with Talal and Neena. Talal drove us to the airpot. We went to a club. Was the beginning of the Eid so every one was out partying. Such a fun time. I was exhausted with no sleep the night before and the thought of flying home and leaving this wonderful country and wondering if I would ever get back again. I felt so sad. Lebanon has stolen part of my heart. We met wonderful new people. We touched family and friends from the past. On arriving at the airport we ran into Maroun Khoury from New Bedford, MA. The saga of Walid knowing everyone on the world goes on. Met 2 girls from San Diego at the airport too. They are from Escondido. Small world. The flight from Beirut to London, just great. Beirut took all our luggage and no extra fees. Maroun sat in front of us.
Left London with no problem after spending some time talking with Maroun. He left for Boston and we went on to New Jersey. How I hate Newark, New Jersey . Every time I have ever flown into there, there has been a problem. We missed our flight to San Diego. They are so unorganized and rude. We had a 3 1/2 hour layover and missed the plane. They sent us to the wrong gate 2x. Then were putting us on stand by. Can you imagine on a Sunday night. Plus was the night of the NY run. Totally exhausted and not seeing straight. Walid finally convinced a nice English girl that if his wife was unhappy so was he and that was not a good thing. We immediately got on a flight. I do not know this girl but will be forever grateful. We arrived home at 9pm. Lucy picked us up and we finally got home to our own bed. With the time change we had been up the equivalent of about 32 hours straight.
Our wonderful perfect trip is over. Back to reality that is life at home. I thank all the wonderful people who made this trip my gift to my husband. But I cannot wait to return. To this magical country called Beirut where modern life reels with the ancient foundation of the world.
We got up fairly early this morning with banging on the door. It was the local priest. He invited us to see his church in Bkeshtay. He is a relative somehow I guess. His name is Nicholas Karam. We have to be polite even though we did not get in till the wee hours of the morning. This is our last day in Lebanon. The church is across the street from Joseph Saliby’s house. The church is beautiful. The old one was bombed I the last war. They are still restoring the ceilings in the sacristy. Walid talked to him about us getting re-married and renewing our vows during our next trip. He agreed. Joseph Saliby will maybe stand up for Walid. Maya will do the make-up. A new dress purchased from Leyla’s Boutique. I would like Lucy to stand up for me. What a dream. We have always talked about getting married in Lebanon.
After visiting the church we went to the Saliby’s for breakfast. Maya gave me beautiful Lebanese make-up and manicure. I will go home looking like a queen. I feel like a queen. Next trip we will know our way around Lebanon so much better. Everyone has been so wonderful. We will miss everyone.
The highlight of the day was a girl herding goats down the street in front of the church and by the Saliby’s house. It was magical. The scene reminded me of the sheep in Wales back in 2005. Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me and got no photos.
In the late afternoon we went back to Sitti Melecki’s house and packed our suitcases for the flight home. We had to get it done before the power went off again. We just made it. Back to Saliby’s for a snack and coffee. Then back to the house for a short nap. We are totally beat and we leave at 4am.
Talal picked us up at 10:30pm with Neena in the car. We went to a club near the Rouchie. The dancer was better than the one yesterday. But the music was not that good and too loud. The dancer’s show was nice. She was a good dancer. Place was full of people celebrating the Eid. What a great way to end our trip. I am feeling tired and sad. The trip of my dreams is over and there is still so much more to do and see in Lebanon.
Another fabulous day. This morning I taught my class. Power went out as I started but came back on as soon as generator kicked in. I taught from 9:45 till noon. great class. I come alive when I am teaching. Especially when I have good dancers in class. I covered both Sattouta and Amouna. They loved Sattouta. just fell into place after being at Beit el Din yesterday.
Had my Dunkin Donuts. Talked with Mario Harb awhile. He seems to like us as he has befriended Walid. Also had a long chat with Maya Goarry of Italy. So sweet! Then Amani Jabril of Georgia and I came up with an idea to work together for another tour to Lebanon but not a festival. need to pick select people to attend. Walid and I are also talking about doing more things in Lebanon. I want to research the dance here. I got a new watch. it is cute and different from what I usually wear. Came back to hotel to change clothes. Then it is back to the theater. Amani Jabril asked me to critique her class. i really like her so am happy to oblige. Walid renewed his phone. Sophie the French girl asked me if I would like to go to France and teach. I can do that. I would love to.
Amani, Ali and Nour are back to normal. The whole thing is winding down. They have so much responsibility. Must be a relief.Tonight is student performance night.We will be there to support. Neena should dance. Get out there. Margo will help her but she will have to work her butt off. Margo can get her a place to live that is inexpensive and safe. she also has an agent. he wants her to study Kaleegy for Ramadan Shows. It is a start. She will really need to work hard but she is young and can do it if she really want s to. Again thank goodness for Walid.
Francois Ramieh was Margo’s fiance for 10 years.He is a fabulous dancer and choreographer. Cannot wait to see how the girls made out. Georgia took the Orientale with Francois and Lucy took the veil class with Margo.
Show was did not really exist . Only one girl was prepared to dance. Theresa from Memphis. Too bad but she was game. Do not understand why some of the others thought they were good enough for the competition. They should have been more realistic and been in this show. Theresa did an fine job. have to give her credit. She is a nice girl. Knows Cindy/Shahira from Knoxville. Afterwards we went to Stambouli’s with the girls. Food was excellent. Nice surroundings. Got home about 11:30pm great evening and meal.