Lebanon~ you had me at hello. I miss you so much already… The very first human experience I had there was the sweetest taxi driver, who had the softest, kindest face. This first person who drove me into your world, who was such a beautiful gentleman but with a tired, sadness in his eyes. This is not an easy country to live in, at all… But I can easily say that this place is by far the biggest love affair I’ve ever had, of all the countries I’ve sauntered into.. This land has something so different. The people here are like no other. I have never felt sooo taken care of in all my life~ the tremendous generosity, humanness, & care showered over me was incalculable. AND one of the things that stands out amongst the rest is your humor. Through all the darkness & turmoil that is happening right now in this country~ the people have such a light disposition through it all. In my entire life, I have never smiled & laughed more than the last 3 months I spent with you…. One of my Lebanese friends joked to me that ‘the Humor is all we have left’… Lebanon is a country of vast contrasts. To me as an outsider, nothing made sense, the country seemingly in complete disarray, everyday something more confusing would pop up, & the tv would bring more terrible news. Compared to the world I grew up in, Lebanon felt like a jungle. But in a magnificent, tragically beautiful way.. A country, to me, that is brimming with disparities, contradictions, & immense wonder.. A place that is pristine, rugged, sun kissed, tropical, dirty, gorgeous, & full of laughter & sorrow all at the same time… Every day was something new, unpredictable, & left the most incredible impressions on my soul. But amidst it all, this country has such an unmistakable warm heart. I’ve never in my life made more friends so quickly, eaten so ravenously of the irresistible Mediterranean cuisine, and had so many magical moments as I did in such a short time span with you all. Your country is so beautiful~ the little beaches of Kfarabida, hiking in Al Ammouaa forest, the mountains & waterfalls of Tannourine, the views of Harissa, the cute cafes of Byblos, the cliffs near Lady of Nourieh, the tiny gorgeous town of Douma, & my favorite, Faraya. I wanted to thank my beautiful friend Shady for showing me the highest peak of Lebanon, Qurnat as Sawda’, & the mountains of Zaarour & Sannine. You were immensely genuine, kind & lovely to be with.. My friend Victor for driving me around in the golf cart everyday around the old Souk of Batroun & making me die laughing..You’re seriously wonderful.. For Khairallah for your endless sweetness, warmth, motorcycle rides, & taking us sailing. My friend Joe who invited me to his birthday pool party in the Saqi Rechmaiya hills & made me feel soooo welcome, with me knowing noone there… And of course, my dear Elie~ for taking care of me through everything. It wasn’t easy all the time for me to be in a country like this, the complete opposite of where I’m from .. Thank you Elie for all your love, patience, & togetherness…. There are SOO many people to thank, the list is endless, I can’t possibly name everyone.. 💜 Lebanon has my heart & always will. Your vast mountainous beauty, ice cold waterfalls, gorgeous coastline, & salty beaches will always be close in my memory… My life there was priceless. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have experienced this land. With magnificently built men, women with stars in their eyes, & children with delight on their faces. I love you. Thank you for everything ~ you were beyond my wildest dreams.