Every year, in the garden of the hospital of Bhannes, it is the olive harvest. Given the situation, the Sisters do not have the financial means to recruit paid staff to work in the garden. Volunteers from the Oriental Work came in great numbers and with enthusiasm to help with the olive harvest. After the harvest, the olives are pressed in a mill and used as oil for the hospital meals.
A few days before, Rosalie Projects had shared with you this article "Life is stronger than anything else, especially when you have faith" that Sister Elisabeth Noirot shared with us about the activities of the community.
Several volunteers from the Work of the Orient tell us what they experienced on this beautiful day.
«When the team of volunteers in Bhannes offered to come and help with the olive harvest near the hospital, we all responded positively. I was delighted to be able to help, especially as I was unaware of how the traditional olive harvest works in Lebanon. The oil that comes from it is in all our Lebanese dishes so it was rewarding to learn about the process before the olive oil. To get the olives to fall onto the tarpaulins on the ground, we had to climb the trees and then shake them or tap the leaves with sticks, the old-fashioned way. It was great to discover the traditional method of harvesting and to share a long moment with all the volunteers gathered and happy to be able to perform this service. Also, being able to go to the mission site of other volunteers like Yolande, Laetitia and Raphaëlle, allowed me to learn more about their daily life and their community» said Blanche.
"The olive picking in Bhannes was a great day out! A bit of outdoor activity with friends at the service of the Sisters, Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, and the opportunity to discover another place of mission" said Laurie.
« The olive harvest at the hospital in Bhannes was a joyful time of service. We were very well received by the Sisters and perfectly guided in our work by Elias and his team. The day took place in a relaxed atmosphere and it allowed us to share a real moment of complicity between volunteers. It was an opportunity for all of us to experience the intuition of Saint Therese of Lisieux: "I have chosen the love of the Lord in every ordinary thing, so I will put so much heart into making them extraordinary » said Louis-Omer.
« A call from Yolande, Raphaëlle and Laetitia to ask for help to pick up the olives of Bhannes? No sooner said than done! Here we are, 25 volunteers from Œuvre d'Orient, wearing our best smiles, and with energy to rain down zeitouns.» said Adèle.
« There are no greater joys than to meet at weekends with volunteers, especially when it comes to discovering each other's communities. Then even greater is our joy, when with our small hands, we can all do great things together.
A beautiful sunny Saturday was enough for us to fulfil our mission with enthusiasm and dynamism; it must be said that with the continuous discovery of Lebanese food, a little physical work does not hurt. »
« The programme included picking, sorting and collecting olives in the morning, and for a small group it was waste collection. The sisters' gardens needed it. And it was with a musical background and a good atmosphere that we embarked on a treasure hunt for the most improbable waste. The top three were a pair of boots, a tyre and an umbrella. The reward was surely this good moment shared between volunteers, and the big, bright and grateful smiles of the sisters, who that weekend, as in our daily life, push us to do great things! » said again Adèle