Monday, July 7, 2008

Camp Day 2 - Saturday

- I am truly praising the Lord for every word I understand and can speak in Russian. Camp is a big deal for me because no one here speaks English. Really for the first time, I am totally forced to speak Russian. God is so good to me.

- Praise the Lord, Daniel has decided camp is okay and he wants to stay!

- “Squishy face” Luda. I have one little girl whom I simply cannot remember her name. She is tiny and blond and just doesn’t look like a Luda to me. When I said that she squished her face up at me, which made me laugh and then I squished her face more and poof, she looked like a Luda. This also made her laugh. Now when I see her, I remember her name because I think she is my squishy face girl. Today she told me she wants to go home. She is pretty young, probably 8. I am praying she will stay.

- Today we went swimming in the river, which is remarkably deep. There is really no bank to the river, just big rocks you can jump off of into the water. The more shallow banks are filled with plants and there are snakes there. (we won’t go into the answer I received when I asked if the snakes just stay there in the plants are). I helped “lifeguard”. Several of the children don’t know how to swim. Which seems strange to me because they live on the sea, but the sea here is very shallow, so they play in the water, but most don’t feel comfortable if the water is over their head. So, in addition to Veta (short for Victor) and Leana, the couple we have who are supervising sports and swimming, Pastor Arkoti, and I stayed in the water for the swimming time for each of the groups. Veta supervised those who know how to swim and the non-swimmers lined up and waited for Leana, Arkoti, one of the counselors or me to hold them and help them swim in the water. How trusting they are. They don’t know us and some of them are afraid of the deep water, but they willingly come into our arms leaving the safety of the rocks. I could probably find a lesson in that kind of trust.

- Our camp area does have a well, but it is filled much like a cistern, there is no underground spring. Right now the well is not working, hopefully tomorrow – I really don’t understand all these things. Anyway, so today we had to make a water run. All the “clean” water we brought with us is gone. So, with two 40 liter drums and a 60 liter drum I drove the van with four men I just met to get water. I thought we were headed into town to buy water, but instead, we went off-road for about 10 minutes to a pipe coming out of a rock with a slow but steady stream of water. Where this water comes from – I have no idea. I was reminded of my earlier ejournal about being content with all water and I vowed to be content with this water too. So, as the tubs filled, we had lots of time to wait and visit. First, Sergey was telling me lots of history about this region of the country and how this river was Tsar Peter’s favorite place to fish. That this river is deeper than the deepest part of the Azov Sea. Then Volva who had been wandering around came up and gave me a little bouquet. Now, this bouquet did not have any flowers, but just some random plants, which seemed strange to me, but I thanked him anyway. He asked if I knew what the plants were – of course I did not. This led to an explanation of the usefulness of each of these non-flowers. It was cool.

- Tonight for dinner, I was forgotten. The children are divided into groups by age and gender and the counselors eat with their groups. After all the groups have eaten, the other random adult workers get to eat. I was playing with kids and I realized the other adults were eating. I went back to find, everyone else eating and Dema, our cook, said, “We forgot you”. Which is okay, there was still food, just no more meat. Not a big deal. Dema gave me extra candy to make up for my lack of chicken.

- Tonight in the evening service, the younger boys put on a puppet show. I love this group. They are the largest group, the loudest group, by far the most unruly – so of course, I think they are wonderful! As they were preparing, several of the little guys couldn’t help but to peak over the top of the puppet stage or around the sides to see the audience. It was completely adorable. Then in the middle of the show, one of the puppets fell onto the ground in front of the stage and just a hand was sticking up in the air. Then in a scrambling rush, Benjamin ran around the stage, picked up his puppet, put it back on his hand, ran back behind the stage, and rejoined the show. Totally hilarious!

- I think no one slept last night. Every kid I talked to today told me they only slept one or two hours – that is crazy! I think everyone went to bed earlier tonight. On my way back to the room I passed two of the teen girls on a self-appointed patrol of the tent area. I guess the boys pulled a couple of pranks last night with tooth paste and they have decided they will be sure it does not happen again. Secretly I suspect they may be planning a little revenge, but we will hope that is not the case.

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