the last lunch i had in taganga was at a place called maria's baguettes. i went there with a friend i had made at our hostel and this turned into one of the most interesting meals i've had thus far on my trip.
we sat with 6 israeli guys who my friend had met in the past few days on a trek. the conversation went through the usual motions- where are you from? how long are you travelling for? where to next? where have you been? etc. it then stepped into real world discussion. israel had invaded gaza that morning. the reality for these guys at home was slightly different from my own. the first thing i asked was 'are you glad you are here, away from it all?' their response was not what i expected, but in hindsight i would probably feel the same.
"no. we want to be there. if you understand, our friends are fighting and we are not helping. our families are there. we want to be with them"
the conversation went from there. we sat at that table for 2 hours discussing politics and their point of view. it astounded me that every guy at that table had families who, at that moment, were in shelters underground. to get phone reception they left their shelter and stood under a tent outside, which was risky, even for 10 minutes.
i don't have or know a lot about this situation in israel, and what i learnt that day i am aware comes from one point of view. i've had multiple discussions with other people since then which have covered other sides of the story to the one i heard. so i guess this post isn't about the politics of a situation. it's about my impression of the human spirit. to be away from your families when times are tough is one thing, but when your country is dealing with upheaval on a scale i can't even imagine- and you are thinking and feeling for them but finding comfort in your friends that you are with and being positive about life- that i thought was quite something else.