July 3rd, 2010
I know! It's been forever since I have written. It seems like I've been too busy with everything else to even turn on my computer. But today I decided that regardless, I was going to try to find some time. Hence this entry. ;-)
Last weekend was marvelous. Peter and Gabi picked us up in the morning of the 22nd and took us to Regina, as planned. We spent the rest of the morning getting there, dropping Peter off at their home, then shopping our little hearts out. Hehe. It was great. We bought a lot of essentials... and a lot of non-essentials. Like chocolate from Czechoslovakia and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. You get the idea.
Peter and Gabi are very hospitable folks. They fixed the most delicious food... the first night, Peter made this chicken pasta dish that was heavenly. Not only was it amazing to eat, it looked great, too. We even took pictures. Peter says we're crazy. Lol.
During the shopping excursion, we happened to discover that Peter and Gabi don't live very far from Ray, our adopted “brother”. So that night, Gabi and we girls walked part way over while Peter rented a couple of movies. When we got to Ray's place, it didn't look like anyone was home so Peter and Gabi waited in the vehicle while we girls went to the door. It was so funny when Ray opened the door. He thought it was his neighbor and wasn't terribly thrilled with the thought of helping said neighbor pump water out of his basement. Then, he saw us. :-) His eyes got very round and he yelled so loudly that Peter and Gabi heard him out in the car.
The next day, we went to Peter and Gabi's church and met Peter's brother's family. Nice folks. Peter's brother is funny. But not as funny as Peter. ;-)
I miss Gabi.
At any rate, the entire visit was great and I am so glad it happened. It was a welcome break. We needed to get away for a few hours.
The rest of the week has been one thing after another. Little, last minute things. Well, Monday was a big job. We got the outdoor chapel in order... pressure washed, benches and chair cleaned and set up, things crowding the front of the chapel were removed and sent somewhere else. Tuesday – we moved from the Kome 'n' See to the Mother Teresa Centre. That felt a little sad. I love the Kome 'n' See and the smell of cedar that permeates it.
Each room in the MTC has three beds in it: bunk beds (twin) and a double bed. Lydia is on the double (because her thing is so not top bunk ;-)), Hannah gets the bottom of the bunk bed and I got the top. I volunteered as I was quite sure I could handle staying in bed the entire night and I wasn't sure about the other girls. :-) At any rate, I hardly slept the first night. You know how long it's been since I've slept on the top bunk? Years. Like 10... or maybe more. I kept thinking I was far too close to the edge for comfort. Yes, indeed.
I made Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies and by evening, there were only four left. :-P
Wednesday – Spent the morning cleaning cabins out back of Kome 'n' See. It's mosquito city out there. We got all bit up just working with the vacuum cleaner and hot water. You try to shut the door quickly but it's never fast enough. Muddy boots to be left on the doorstep, cleaning supplies to be hauled in, etc. While working, I realized how dirty the windows were so when we were finished, I asked Fr. Banga if he wanted me to wash the insides of them. He said yes, and that one of us should wash the outsides. I told him I didn't think so. That's the first and probably last, time I/we have told him no. The mosquitoes were simply too plenteous. We would have gotten carried away, died in the woods or simply gone insane. Lol! Wednesday was a red letter day for more reasons than one: we met Tylene! :-) She and Fr. Banga are like best friends. They've known each other for years. Ever since Tylene was very small (I won't tell you how old she is now... except that she laughed when we told her how old Fr. Banga had told us she was. :-))... she is very gifted musically and has this amazing voice. She teaches school in the Middle East... the past two years has been in Qatar and she is going to Syria this year. Because of this, she won't be able to attend very much of camp. It makes us very sad indeed. And as she was going over the music with us, it made us realize how much is involved with this job. We will be able to do it but we are not as prepared as we had thought. I think she saw that we were feeling a little overwhelmed because she asked. Lol. Bless her. :-) Anyways. That was a fun day. I am so glad we had a chance to meet her because she is a wonderful person. I know that she is a wonderful teacher.
Thursday – Tried to get the sound system working. Basically, it was a no-go. It sounded awful. And the mosquitoes love the outdoor chapel, too. It's like torture trying to play or stand still doing anything in there. We spent the evening doing very little until it came time to watch the White Bear fireworks.
Friday – People arrived. Adrian and two workers were first. Adrian is unique. We like him. That's about all I can say to describe him to you; you'll have to meet him yourself. Unfortunately, he is attending university this year and won't be able to attend much of camp. Another sob story. But he has left the camp in capable hands so it shouldn't be too bad. :-) Almost everyone went to the Powwow that evening and I took a lot of pictures. I couldn't get over all the costumes and colors and traditions... there were natives from all over the place. Many had come up from the States to participate. There were three individuals that caught my attention:
1: An old Grandmother who stood impassively watching. Her attire was very authentic and her stance so ancient that I could envision her 200 years ago watching over a similar celebration.
2: There was this little kid dressed in buckskins and furs and whenever there was music, he would leap up and dance. I think he danced for hours... he never seemed to tire out. So cute.
3: This one was a man. I don't know how old he was... probably not past 40. Everything about him... the very aura about him was ancient and full of traditions that have been practiced for many years. Even his facial expressions. It was like he possessed wisdom beyond his years.
Saturday – (Today!) Everyone is preparing for tomorrow afternoon. It was nice that Fr. Banga had us girls do a lot before even the counselors arrived because now there isn't such a rush to get things done. :-) We got the sound system sort of working this morning (yay!!) and the music room is basically ready. After dinner, Hannah and I cleaned the bunkhouses the rest of the way. The beds needed a bleach wipe down. Do you know that it's impossible for me to gracefully clamber up on the top bunk? Hannah is just tall enough to reach the beds from standing on the bottom bunk but me... ::sighs:: ;-) I didn't kill myself. That's what counts, eh?
Meeting with more and more people. Everyone seems nice. And there is actually someone here who is shorter than I am. She's 4'11. :-)