18 October 2011

D-3 Chess Training at Shiraa

The second chess session at Shiraa Association has come!

We received a special guest today, the Palestine West Bank Chess Champion, Ahmed, so we co-animated the class.
Firstly, we went through their notes taken yesterday, and the children got it all correct :)
Then, we continue on new pieces' movements on the board, with some corresponding excercices. We tried as much as possible to make the kids participate.
So everytime a answer needs to be done, the kid are coming to the chess board to show it. They are very proud of themselves when they find the correct answer.
In order for them to work as a team, we made them play one game on the big chess training board, boys against girls ! For every move to be played, one member of the team was coming to the board. They were quite competitive, and instead of playing on their own each move, they were thinking about it all together.
The boys won the game ...

D-3 Cultural differences

Today, I have been invited to Hussein's sisters' place for some conversation.
My first surprise was that they are living in the flat just above :) My second surprise was that they were actually between 40 and 60 years old, which is something I was not imagining for 3 sisters living together.
They actually still live at their father's house because they are not married. They explained me a woman can only leave her parents' house when she finds the man she'll be spending her life with. The 52 years old one confessed she has not lost hope yet and is confident she'll find an husband soon. The 40 years old asked me to take her in my luggage back to Spain as she thinks it will be easier to find there. She asked me "Do they like fat women there?" ;)
One of Hussein's son was translating for me. He added "Men can leave their parents' house whenever they want; I know it is not fair. But I would not like my sister to live with a man if they are not married, so she will stay with us until she gets married as well".
They asked me about my situation and were happy I was married... They could not understand though, what I was doing here so far away from my husband.
It was definitely a cultural shock!
As usual since I arrived, we shared some traditional food; I love their convivial way to eat all together, all in the same plate, with no forks or knives.

D-3 Bethlehem

I visited the church of Nativity, and it was quite interesting to see even though I am not much of a Catholic... they were so many tourists! Mainly Spanish and Russians.
Hussein told me they are all coming to see the church within the day but are not actually making the tourism industry work, as they never stay overnight in Palestine. There is no airport in Palestine, so they are all coming from Tel Aviv, where many touristic packages are being sold, with accommodation within Israel obviously.
Since my arrival, I have already replied at least 10 times to the question "what is your religion?", this is really a main subject here, as well as politics.