Hadaya received 200 donated soccer balls from students, individuals and soccer clubs in the Asheville area, many of them with hand-written personal messages. We deflated them all for the trip and carried them in our luggage. Special thanks go to Christ School, TLC, Owen and Reynolds High Schools, the Asheville area soccer clubs and, especially, Tate and Cam MacQueen.

Today we took (in multiple trips) all the balls to Geitawi Gas Station around the corner where the lovely Mansour offered to blow them up for us. We rewarded him with a couple of balls that he says he will use to play with the Syrian street kids who live near the station.

Walid designed a primitive pulley system to haul the balls back up to his 3rd floor flat, past the power lines and the playful cats, and we managed to get all the inflated balls
back up and ready to go.

The living room floor is now COMPLETELY COVERED in soccer balls! No, I’m not going to make any clever remarks about a floor full of balls....

Also....  Hadaya co-founder and original 'English Rose', VANESSA BELL arrived today :) I’m excited to take her for a death-defying spin around Beirut and feed her some za’atar manoushe!