Goodbye Nablus, at Least for Now
Being assigned to write a blog regarding my experiences here in Palestine is something which I find to be deceiving in its façade of simplicity. How to encapsulate three busy and complex months’ worth of adventures and thoughts so abstract from my daily life at home in a way that conveys the true process and learning that I have had is difficult. Reflecting on being an intern at TYO is like rapidly flicking through a photo album without a pause for thought. There are so many emotions and details to ponder, but an insufficient amount of time in which to do so. Do I talk about the uniqueness of the TYO centre, the culture and cuisine, or the beauty of the land here?
Given that it’s my last week here, I have been processing my departure every now and then: What will I miss? What can I do in the final days before I leave? How do I feel about glimpsing into lives here before being jerked back into my reality of home in Western Europe? What history will unfold here in the next few months and years? Some of these questions are easier to answer than others. The latter is something which I cannot explore here, but I hope it involves the white dove of peace.
For me, it is clear what I will miss most. As I outlined in my first blog, the people are always the center of my lasting memory when I travel. Indeed, sites, cuisine, culture, and climate all contribute to this but overwhelmingly, it is those I meet who will stay imprinted in my mind. It would be false for me to assert that every encounter I had here was positive. Naturally, there are bad interactions as there are good. What strikes me here though is the number of warm, welcoming, and friendly people I have found here in Palestine. It is them, their laughter, their ideas, and the light that shone from them that I will miss most.
It is sad to be counting down the days until the end but, alas, it cannot be avoided at this point. Not knowing what the future will hold for Palestine is not a reassuring or exciting prospect for me, but it is something which I try not to focus on. Instead of being unhappy and worried about what may happen, I prefer to think about how thankful I am for having had this opportunity. Being upset at leaving this place demonstrates to me that I enjoyed my time here, that I made the most of my experiences and that I did the right thing by coming to Nablus. For that I am truly grateful and who knows, maybe one day soon I can come back. In the meantime, I will take a small piece of Palestine with me in my heart. I hope that I can return here at some point to learn, grow, and laugh some more.
Inshallah (God willing).
– Niamh, Spring 2017 International Intern