Saturday, June 22, 2013
mountains beyond mountains
I just got home from camp this afternoon and I'm trying to fathom everything that happened into one post because tomorrow I leave again for France. I don't know how exactly I'm going to do this considering I wrote around fifteen pages while I was gone, but I'm sure going to try.
It was a good week. I went to work camp in Denver (last year we went to one in Orlando) with a group from my church, along with other teenagers from churches all over the country. We started the sixteen-or-so-hour bus ride last Friday, spent Saturday night in Colorado Springs, and then rolled into camp on Sunday. Monday through Thursday, we spent the day doing work on people's houses who can't afford it or aren't physically able to. This mostly involves a lot of painting, scraping paint to prepare for painting, and yard work like weeding. Among other things. We also had morning and evening program which included singing, dancing, and praying. Among other things. Then Friday was our free day, which we used to go white water rafting, before heading back home.
My favorite part of camp and traveling and maybe life in general is meeting all different kinds of people: talking to them, hearing their stories, and just hanging out with them. Everyone from George, the 94-year-old driving a golf cart around the neighborhood we were working in, to the boy on the bus to our work site, ironically also named Jorge, who talked to me about running and school. Everyone from the lady whose house we worked on, who had the cutest two dogs and who bought us pizza for lunch one day, to the people from my church who I already kind of knew but got to know better this week. It is the people who make the experience and it is the people you will remember.
That's what I love about camp: one day you can be complete strangers and the next day you're acting like siblings, dumping water over each other's heads, singing along to the radio, making fun of everyone's accents. You start to talk like a farmer from Illinois and you pick up slang from Nevada. You learn people's stories, sometimes all at once and sometimes just through who they are. You work together, scraping paint and weeding, you pray together, and for a week, you live together. And then you go your separate ways, but you don't forget.
It was a good week. There are lots of things I will remember: Laughing outside a rest stop at five in the morning. Visiting the sketchiest Pizza Hut ever. Listening to the radio while scraping paint and hearing Justin Timberlake literally ten times a day. Trying to find out how the Spurs were doing and realizing they had lost when I looked over at the guys and they all looked like someone had died. Watching someone carry a duffle bag sprinting down the street like some comical scene from some movie. Traveling with a group of 50: "While they probably have the authority to kick us out if we all started chanting "Food!", they don't have the manpower." Screaming as we went through the rapids while rafting and shivering and huddling like penguins afterwards because the water was freezing. Breakfast at IHOP this morning and an incident that was probably illegal. Laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes and had to sit on the ground. Yes, it was a good week.
Here's to the next great adventure.
I didn't take that many pictures at all, but these are from our little side trip to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs last Saturday. Those mountains.