I ready myself.. 
I ready myself and pick up the packages to be delivered. I ready myself.. I braid my short, blonde hair .. I ready myself. 

I grab my camera, my bag, my water, the gifts.. I ready myself... 

We are off... 

Off down winding streets full of children crossing... people wandering to their destinations before fasting ends.... Muslims... Not a christian in sight... it's Sunday... 

left turn, right turn, right turn and left.. a maze of streets and cars and ..random cats crossing.... 

Familiar ... familiar sign .. familiar turn .. I know we are almost there ... I ready myself.. 

I ready myself to see the small children.. bombard me as I come through the door in hopes of ... chocolates and candies.. a hug and a smile..perhaps a toy .. perhaps to be remembered... 

I ready myself.. 

I ready myself for the teenagers and their wanting eyes scanning me for the latest pretty thing.. or my hair color or eyes ... they reach to touch my skin, my necklace, my shirt, my hair ..

I ready myself... 

for the quick exchange of arabic or Hebrew .. or listen to the low mumbles ... I ready myself to converse with them .. in a little exchange and we laugh ... 

I ready myself.. 
to hand out the few things we have .. the gifts of under clothes .. that shouldn't be gifts at all but necessities ..just because they are needed .. but here you see it is something special.. not a right of passage for a young woman .. but something pleaded for .. yearning hearts and growing bodies ... help me ....

I ready myself for the inevitable question .. do you remember me?? Can you take me with you? Can you take me to your home? 

I look at the little ones and I smile .. I look at the older faces turning 16, turning 17 .. and 

18 .. you are OUT THE DOOR, thrown into a world that a family is required to survive .. to thrive .. a culture that is made up of clans .... 

and you, my pretty one .. do not have one .... 

I pray .. I hold their hands, I stroke their hair..I carry the burden and lay it at the Lord's feet ... 

I leave ... 

I cry .. 

I pray .. 

I mourn... 

I pray .. 

I ask God.. knowing HE loves them more then I could imagine... and I celebrate HIS goodness even tho I don't understand it ... 

I ready myself.. to do it all again .. 

and again 

and again .. 

these faces .. are never forgotten ... 

So, I ready myself... and I put a smile on my face... and I ready myself.. for I am thrilled to see them....

So I ready myself and I 

SMILE 

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