I do not recall there being much to do in Metula, at least not for a couple of young kids from out of town. I do remember going to a small convenience store located near the hotel and buying some popsicles. I can also remember how shocked I was to see that fish was being served up for breakfast at the buffet in the hotel dining room. I have a vivid recollection of playing war with this set of plastic toy soldiers. My parents must have bought it for me in Metula because I am fairly certain that I did not bring it with me from back home. The set was pretty cool though as it included more than just little plastic soldiers. There were also jeeps, tanks, helicopters and fighter jets. I lined each little army opposite each other and had them fight a war on the hotel room floor. The battles were hard fought and very bloody with each side sustaining massive casualties. As I was playing at war, I wondered what it would be like to live in a country such as Israel or Lebanon, countries where the threat of war and violence seemed ever-present. I wondered what it would be like to be a soldier, ready to fight and perhaps die at any moment.
The second night of our stay in the northernmost town of Israel, my mother was packing up our luggage in anticipation of our departure the next morning. I was playing war again and my sister was watching something on television with my dad. Eventually my sister and I headed off to bed a little later than we usually would and I fell asleep without much delay. I woke up during the middle of the night. It must have been around two o’clock in the morning. From my bed, I could see that the sliding door leading to the balcony was open and I saw my father leaning on the railing and looking up at the sky. I got up and headed out to see what had captivated my father’s attention. As I stepped out onto the balcony, my father pointed to the sky and I immediately saw a succession of four lights go northwards from somewhere in the south. It happened again soon afterwards and several more times after that. My father explained that the Israelis were bombing southern Lebanon and that they were probably targeting Hizballah positions. Needless to say I was mesmerized, I couldn’t tear me eyes away from the skies. After some time, my father convinced me to head back to bed.
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