Resort Shenanigans

We could feel the electricity in the air as the small boy stood on the edge of the pool with the ball in his hands. When he squatted down and threw it as high as his little arms could manage, there was a chaotic outburst of cheers and splashes as we all jumped and jostled to catch it. Chelsea was victorious this time and emerged from the broiling bunch of arms and legs with a wide smile on her face and the small round ball grasped tightly in one hand. She threw it back to the boy and the game started again. We’d been at the Dead Sea five hours, and after lathering ourselves with mud and salt and baking in the hot sun, we had decided to return to the resort pool to relax for a bit. After finding a small ball in the water, a group of five of us started playing various keep-away games until a small Jordanian boy kidnapped our ball. It turned out to be a good thing he did. We had been playing a competitive game where one person throws the ball high in the air and the rest of the group competes to grab it. After a player has caught the ball two times, he or she becomes the new “thrower” and everyone else tries to catch it. The boy had caught on and all he wanted to do was to throw the ball for us. So he did. Again and again and again. Apparently, he didn’t get the concept of trading off, but we decided it worked better that way. Pretty soon, the whole pool was watching us (either because the girls were wearing bikinis or because they were interested.) A boy named Mohammed came over and introduced himself and asked if he could play. Of course, we said. Five minutes later, half of the pool had joined in. Several other girls tried to play, but by that point, the game had gotten quite rough and the only people who could keep up were those with natural aggression or previous sports training. Unfortunately, we all had to go home too soon, but it was a fun day to relax and have fun with people regardless of what language they spoke.

You can see the boy throwing the ball on the left edge of the picture. The group waiting to catch it is on the right.

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