By Emily Danby (Saida's buddy)
Monday- our time to leave the outdoor centre at Brockenhurst and venture out into the world! After everybody came together to clean and pack away, we all set off on a day trip to the seaside (almost) at Lymington. This would be a chance for the girls to see a traditional English town and get a taste of an England very different to that which they’ll be experiencing the rest of the week in London. For some of the women it was also the first time they had ever got to go to the sea, since it is so difficult for Palestinians to gain access to the coast in their home country!
|The group at Lymington Harbor|
After wandering the town and admiring the boats in the harbour, the British buddies decided it would be great if the Palestinians had a chance to taste a proper English cream tea- it seemed so fitting in this quaint little seaside town! But after quite a lot more wandering and settling down to our picnic, we decided the idea should go on the list of things to do later in the week. After lunch and a few games by the harbour we decided to make our way back through the town and visit the local museum, which had some interesting displays showing the sorts of industry and activities that local women have been involved in over the past few centuries. This sparked some interesting conversation, but some of the girls were more interested in doing some research of their own into the modern day interests of women in the town (i.e, they wanted to go shopping).
|Cordu tries her hand at doing the washing the old-fashioned way|
|Esra'a at the museum|
After exploring the high street clothes shops, we all went to get fish and chips and gathered on the cobbled steps to eat them- all very English! Then it was time to head back to the train station and go onward to London. After a surprisingly efficient meeting while waiting for the train, we boarded and I sat with Nawal on the journey back. I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn a little more about her life, and to practise my Arabic!
|Group-meeting on the train|
As soon as we arrived in London the rural calm of Brockenhurst seemed another world away. We were all very tired from our weekend’s activities and I made sure Hiya and Nawal were delivered safely home before heading home myself. It was a long and eventful day, and a great ending to a productive and enjoyable weekend.