Saturday, June 22, 2013

Town to Town


Throughout my last two years in High School I drove a total of 130 miles a week in Humboldt County. Every day I would drive to school in Eureka, pick up my sister in Arcata, and then go to night classes near Loleta. It was a small yet spread out community where a destination a few miles away seemed next door. I never thought about how lucky I was to be able to travel so much on a daily basis. I always had the confidence of being able to be where ever I needed to be with no obstacles or challenges.
What really brought this privilege to my eyes was my travel around Israel today. I went to a small town outside the Gaza Strip called Sderot, where no resident had such a privilege. The people there where all of low means who could not travel or move out of the town. Being immobile in such a place was so bad because the town was 804 meters outside of the Gaza Strip, which means it is in rage of small SAMs. Throughout the last decade the town was hit by thousands of rockets, sometimes fifty in one day. The town's sirens that simply said "Color Red" would play over and over again, causing the township to stop what they are doing and find the nearest bomb shelter. I could hardly relate my small town experience in America because of this reality.
I had one moment, however, where I could relate our two small towns. We went to lunch at a small 'mom and pop' business for lunch today. The food kept coming and the people were lovely. It was some of the best Middle Eastern food I have ever had and the staff on site treated us as family. The customers around us were joking around, and it felt as if everyone knew everyone. I could finally relate. But as we got up to leave, something dragged me back into the reality of the situation. I saw the colorful bomb shelter right next to our bus and I remembered that the sirens could have gone off at any time.

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