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The Lebanese Flag over the ruins of the ancient city of Byblos.
Lebanon is all mountain, so, except for a small strip at the edge of Mediterranean, everything goes up and around and around!
It's hard to see around the thousands of corners as the streets wind through the city of Beirut. Mirrors are a good plan—this one on the street outside of the entrance to Cedar Home.
The gate to Cedar Home is never closed—a testament to the lack of crime in the city—a surprise considering Lebanon's history.
Cedar Home shares its spot on the hillside with a church and a now defunct seminary.
On the way up the hill to Cedar Home.
This is the building in front of Cedar Home. Church is still held here though the Seminary no longer functions.
The Cedar Home building.
The main dinner area/activity room just inside the entrance to Cedar Home. We had Sunday lunch with the girls the day after we arrived.
Each floor has apartments. Two of the larger apartments are the girls' quarters and are spacious and comfortable.
One of the bedrooms in the girls' quarters.
The second of the two apartments for the girls.
Part of living room area in girl's quarters. The older girls stay in one apartment, the younger in the second.
Housemothers, Sara and Coco.
Very interesting banner on the wall outside the girls' apartments.
Kitchen at Cedar Home where the girls' main meals are prepared.
The cook, Salma, with Leah and Shannon and Lucas, a baby who had been abandoned at birth outside the doors of Cedar Home. He is soon to be adopted by a family in Florida.
This area will be converted into an activity centre/qym once money is available.
It is easy (and cheap) to get clothing for the girls within Lebanon.
The second to top floor of the complex is under construction—one bedroom apartments for guests.
Another view of the unfinished apartments. The first floor is administration and meeting room, the second is the girls' apartments, the third, group guest apartments (and maybe as more girls are added, girls' apartments), the fourth quarters for Karim and Rita and a guest apartment, the fifth, one-bedroom apartments under construction, the sixth, a terraza and meeting room,
The terraza under construction.
The grounds need a lot of work. This is the basketball/tennis court.
Basketball/Tennis Court area. This will all be cleaned up and groomed and beautified as money comes available.
Apartment buildings behind Cedar Home—if there is a square inch of room, someone will build a building to fit there. Many illegal buildings constructed in unsafe areas.
Construction immediately behind the basketball/tennis court prevents the girls from using the area for now.
We helped the girls with their homework. Here Chris is working on math.
English and science were also on the agenda.
Leah works on English as did I. The girls have massive amounts of homework to do every day.
Leah teaches Hiba (and Alicia) how to crochet.
A better shot of crochet in progress. Hiba told Leah her story—one of the many sad ones.
Hiba was so excited to get a hat made by Leah complete with pompom!
This is the street leading to the girls' school—cobblestone streets and houses dating back to Roman times.
This used to be the girls' home before the war forced it to move to Beirut. Now the plan is to turn it into a boys' home.
You can still see the bullet holes.
The structure is sound but the reminder of fifteen years of war remains.
A lot of clean-up is needed.
One of the bathrooms at the boys' home location.
Living room area at boys' home.
One of the bedrooms in the boys' home. The Scouts often use the house, even though most of it was trashed and gutted during the war.
Karims tells part of the team the plan for the boys' home. A top floor has already been partially finished but lots of work to yet to done.
Yet to be finished at the boys' home.
This will be one of the rooms set up as a workshop where the boys will be taught carpentry, plumbing, electrical work. skills that will get them off the streets and into the trades where they can make a living and provide for themselves.
Not everything was investigative, though everything was informative. We visited the ruins of the ancient city of Byblos while in Lebanon.
Byblos is on the Mediterranean and still serves a fishing hub.
The sea, the sea, the beautiful sea!
It was a picture perfect day for a trip to the Mediterranean.
Entrance to the fortress at Byblos.
Still ruins being excavated.
Chris tries on a sarcophagus on for size.
Shannon looks out to sea at Byblos.
An absolutely wonderful lunch at Byblos.
Lunch. Onions, peppers, eggplant, potatoes and three varieties of meat, plus salad and hummus etc. The salad had purslane in it—first time I've had that and it was wonderful. I will look for seeds for my garden for this Spring.
The city of Beirut is built on top of ancient ruins, some of which are being excavated. But space in this tiny country is at a premium and not everyone cares about the ruins.
We were not allowed to take pictures inside this Greek Orthodox church in downtown Beirut. They completely restored it after the war, but left a few bulletin holes as a reminder.
At present Muslims and Christians peacefully co-exist. Beside this mosque in central Beirut a Maronite (Christian) church stands. Once the mosque was built the church built a higher tower so that its cross was above the towers on the mosque!
We attended the Resurrection Church in Beirut. They have every piece of modernity possible. Also three congregations: Syrian, Lebanese and Iragi.
A quiet place on the top of a hill for those who which to meditate and home for a cloistered order of Maronite monks.
Love this tree at the monastery.
The real Cedars of Lebanon are few now...the forests from which Hiram cut trees for Solomon's temple during Biblical times.
Snow in Lebanon near the Cedar forest called, aptly, "The Cedars of God."
The last night the team and all the girls gathered. I got to tell one of my Bible stories to them.
Rita, Karim's wife, is the one who keeps Cedar Home running smoothly—a remarkable woman of faith.
The girls were so excited about the gifts they were given that keeping still while I took photos was practically impossible!
Most of us on that last night in Lebanon.
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