The parks we’ve visited in Palestine, as well as the parks we’ll be working with in the future, are often outdoor parks. Whenever the sun shines and the climate is onside, we can skate for hours and think of nothing else. However, occasionally there’ll be hard wind, everlasting rain, or even massive thunderstorms. We can’t change the weather for you, but we can give you advice on how to get through these ‘no-skate days’ without being bored to death.
First of all, take some rest. You’ve likely been skating all day, every day, and your body could use some recovery time, really! Get those feet up, cook some nice food, and watch a (skateboard) video. Your tense muscles will thank you for the break, and it will help you improve your skating when the park is dry again.
Secondly, if possible, try to explore the area you are living and working in. Go look for the donkey that’s been keeping you awake at night, and hang out with him. Or google local historical sites or community centres and talk to any locals you know to find out if there are any fun things to do close to home. Maybe you can find an interesting museum, a Turkish hammam, or a nice restaurant. When the rain lasts longer than one day you’ll find yourself desperate to get out of the house. Visiting local sites helps to gain some knowledge of the culture you’re living in as well as providing you with interesting facts to tell the people at home. Ask around to see what the place you are staying in offers and don’t presume there’s nothing to do just because you can’t see it. For example, we visited a gym in Asira which we never would’ve known existed if we hadn’t asked. We did an exercise class with the local women which gave us a thorough work out as well as showing us a side to the local community we never could have experienced otherwise.
As a third, I’d recommend some bonding with your fellow co-volunteers over a game of cards or any other game you can think of. You can visit a local tea or coffee shop to get out of the house and get more familiar with the areas you’re staying in. It is good to build trust and friendship with your fellow volunteers, you’ll find the work easier if you have a good bond and a better support network should you experience any difficulties during your time away.
Lastly, try to check out the weather conditions in other areas. During our time in Palestine, it could be raining at our home in Asira, while the sun was out in Bethlehem. Luckily for us, Bethlehem actually had a skatepark, but even if the place you visit doesn’t, you can always go for a ‘street sesh’ and get to know a new city through its street spots. Even if you can’t grind rails and clear gaps like the pros, you can still cruise through the streets or practise some flatground tricks. Skating new ground will improve your board-feeling and you’ll have more control whilst practising that trick you want to land so badly.
So after all, a rainy day or two isn’t that bad. There are enough possibilities of doing other things besides skateboarding, and, if nothing else, it’s a good opportunity to give your family a call. They’re probably wondering how you’re doing and if you’re still alive. If you’re using the rainy days to bond with your co-volunteers as we recommend to check out this article on living with your co-volunteers, it will help you to make the time together more fun.