Every day on the Freedom Ride we start with a morning warm-up and a session of sharing feelings and thoughts with each other. The day before was very interesting and tough at the same time. A lot of people shared their feelings about the playback performance, the walk during the Jordan Valley and the meeting with a shepherd who suffers from the lack of water. It is not easy for everyone to speak out in front of a big group but this day a lot of people felt more secure than before and so the day started with a lot of reflection.
In the morning Rashid, our Jordan Valley guide, took us to a farmland where we planted 50 olive trees. The farmer told us about the way the Israeli military activities made it difficult for him to work on the land and make a living. The planting itself was nice to do because of the teamwork and the immediate result of the work. Some of us were really good in handling the pick axe!
In the afternoon we continued the day with different kinds of community work in and around Fasayel. One group cleaned the area around the guesthouse from litter. Another group planted olive trees in the village. The group that did the hardest work were the ones who made bricks. A lot of houses in the Jordan Valley are made of bricks made of clay, water and straw. Next to our guesthouse is a machine which can make these bricks. Freedom riders filled the machine with raw materials and after the production process they laid them to dry. The afternoon sun in the Jordan Valley made sure the bricks dried quickly.
In the meantime The Freedom Theatre’s students made a playback performance for the children of the village. One of the children told the actors a personal story and the actors improvised and gave a show which caused a lot of joy with their young audience! The children were a great group for the students to practice their playback theatre skills with.
After a last dinner at the Friends House in Fasayel we said goodbye to Rashid and his colleagues. We enjoyed our stay in their guesthouse and we all endorse their resistance against the oppression against residents of the Jordan Valley. In the night we arrived in Jericho. After four days without a shower for some of us this was maybe the best part of the day…. 🙂
Written by Stan Verstraete, 2015 Freedom Ride coordinator