I received an update from Colin who has been working in A Rocha, Lebanon. He has worked with the Aamiq wetland project. A Rocha is a Christian conservation orgaisation doing an excellent job in many countries of the world.
I thought his summary of his ups and downs of the past 4 years was worth passsing on:
During my four rich, varied, often challenging years in Lebanon I went through the whole range of emotions – many times:
Excitement and trepidation to be going to a new country and a new kind of work
Joy at being surrounded by the mountains, woods, and marshes of Lebanon
Wonder at the sight of thousands upon thousands of storks, eagles, cranes and buzzards passing overhead twice a year
Frustration at the difficulties of communicating in a place where most people don’t speak my language and satisfaction when at last I was able to talk to people, and be understood in my very broken Lebanese Arabic
Gloom at the scale of the problems facing both the wildlife and the country as a whole: hunting, uncontrolled development, fires, poverty, political instability, assassinations, warHope that things could change and were changing and always the sure knowledge that however bad things got, God has a plan for Lebanon as for the whole world which is beyond anything that we can ask or imagine
Security and comfortableness (is that an word or did I just invent it?) to be surrounded by good, loving and supportive friends in the A Rocha team but also in the village, my church and especially the music group. The team in particular was much more like a family than just work colleagues
Sadness when saying goodbye to members of that family at different times during the four years but again joy in welcoming new brothers and sisters to the team
Disbelief, shock and fear during the summer war in 2006 and numbness followed by anger during the evacuation and immediately afterwards (and almost the same emotions again in early 2008 during the “mini-war” when it looked as though the country might descend into civil war again) Doubt about whether I ought to return after the war (and then again about what I ought to do during the tense days in May 2008)
Relief, joy (again) and renewed hope on my return to Lebanon in 2007 – and again in late May 2008 when, against everyone’s expectations peace suddenly broke out and a president was elected followed by the formation of a government.
This emotional rollercoaster continued as I prepared to leave – gloom followed by hope followed by uncertainty followed by excitement about what I might do next
I'm sure that sort of experience is something many of us can identify wih, as we blown about by the winds and elements, a bit like flocks of migrating birds.
Migrating white storks in Lebanon.