Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – second breakfast that is. After entering the field just after sunrise at 6AM, the team puts in a full 3.5 hours before they get their first prepared meal of the day. Often before entering the field, the team only has time for a piece of pita with peanut butter, maybe some eggs for those lucky few who identify as “morning people,” and some coffee those that are caffeine addicted among us.
In other words, by the time 9:30 rolls around, we are all more than ready for good food and some shade. At 9:30 on the dot there is a mass exodus from the field to the little tea shop down the hill from site. There, we find everything we need: shade, food, water, bathrooms (sometimes), pop for purchase, and good – if somewhat tired – company.
The little tea shop is a light-filled, vibrant, and cheerful place, with saddle bags of local wool handing from the ceiling, bright colored flags all about, colorful benches also in the same wool as the saddle bags, and a delightful family of cats.
As the shop owner kindly explained, he keeps cats to chase away the snakes. The mama cat and her two older kittens (four months old) have quickly made friends with the students, eating leftover egg yoke after the shop owner has given them yogurt for their own second breakfast. The newest batch of kittens, born about a week ago, are just starting to open their eyes.
On the other side of the site, some Bedouin take second breakfast in the black tea tent they set up at the start of the project. Sometimes providing the only shade on site, the rest of the team has quickly learned to take advantage of it as well.
The half an hour goes by quickly and soon we have to return to work. But the break both refreshes us and gives us the stamina to finish the day.