Monday, July 7, 2008

Camp Day 1 - Friday

- The kids were planning to be at the church ready to leave for camp at 10:30am, so Pastor Arkoti and I left at 7am to go shopping for food. We purchased some things on Wednesday, but all of the fresh things needed to be purchased today and because we have very little refrigerator space, meat will need to be purchased for one day at a time. I enjoy that men here, particularly Christian men, treat women like they are cherished. When I go shopping by myself or with other women, I am loaded down with heavy things. With men, they carry everything. I have no desire to be “treated equally” when the bag of potatoes weighs 80 pounds.

- I learned a new expression in Russian. I was told I have “meat in my head”. It is a compliment; it means I had a good idea. I never heard it before and at first I thought I misunderstood. We were in the midst of loading lots of food into the van and I thought Arkoti said I had meat on my head and I just couldn’t figure out how that could have happened. So, maybe the compliment was a little overstated, my head is not full of meat, there is still a little room for “air”

- Our camp is basically two small buildings for sleeping, a “kitchen”, three outhouses, and an open field; everything is about a ten minute walk from the river. It is really roughing it. The kids are all sleeping in tents in the field with their counselors and the other adult workers are sleeping in the buildings. I am sharing a room with five other women and we have a large set of bunk beds. The bunks are rough cut boards all laid together to form two beds, one top bunk and one bottom bunk. I am sleeping on bottom with two other women. I am so glad I came out to camp on Wednesday to help “clear” the open field – this was done with sickles, rakes, and hoes. On Wednesday, I was really concerned about everything, but the group that stayed and worked all day yesterday did an amazing job. Truly, if I had not seen camp before today, I don’t think I would appreciate how great things really look!

- Daniel, from the Christian Church was very unsure about coming to camp. We had only been here about two hours when he came and asked me if I would drive him home. Nothing had really started yet: everyone was settling in and decorating their tents. So, he was feeling bored and discouraged because the only other guy he knows at camp, Dema from the Bethel church is two years younger than him and is in a different tent and group. So, he doesn’t know anyone and doesn’t think camp will be interesting. I thought about asking Leana, the director of camp to allow them to be together, but decided to just pray about the situation. I told Daniel if he still wants to go home on Sunday, I will take him when I go to church. I sent Pastor Sasha a text message asking him to help me pray for Daniel (one of only two kids from the Christian Church at camp) and I am trusting God will work it out.

- I am working on learning names, there are several kids I know from Kid’s Club and from camp last year, but several still to learn. Today, there is a lot of free time and the transitions are a little bumpy as everything is still being “worked-out” but I am having fun just goofing around and playing with little people. It is exciting that I am sleeping at camp. Last year I came out everyday for just a couple of hours and led crafts, but this year camp is further away from home and I really wanted to have the whole camp experience. The kids think it is very cool I am staying and I am not sure that the adults know what to think about me staying – which I find to be a little funny.

- A cool answer to prayer. We had thunder and dark clouds, but rain on the first day would just be miserable. So, we prayed for no rain, and praise the Lord! No rain!

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