Matchstick People

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Here is another post by Emilie Whitman who was on our November mission and also spent several months in Jordan volunteering at the Malk-SCM Children’s Center.


We were in Rehab, Al-Mafraq, a small town with no consistent medical services. A chilly wind slapped our faces as we stepped out of the vans. It seemed to sweep straight through the cement-block building in which we would work for the day, reminding me that November in the Middle East is still November. Inside, a teenage boy handed us paper cups of hot liquid, more sugar than tea. The doctors and dentists set up shop downstairs, with the gynecologist and humanitarian and psych teams in the rooms above them. Our psych team was four — Syrian psychiatrist, American psychologist (my dad), Swiss psychoanalyst and sand-tray therapy specialist, translator, me. We poured dusty sand into a small tray and arranged the figures (trees, tiny gnomes, animals, soldiers, fences, shells) on a table.

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