Thursday, 4 August 2011

"Oh hello, America, long time no see!"

I'm Hoooooooome!
Got home last night/this morning at 1am. I got to the Bahamas airport on time, went to Wendy's with Tex, and got to my gate just in time to board. The first flight to Dallas took 2 hours and 45 minutes. So much longer than the 45 min one to Miami. Texas was definitely out of the way. Oh well. Got to Dallas all right and the next flight left about an hour after that. Got on that one just fine. I sat next to this lady who was in the foreign language education. She taught English in Russia for 2 years and is going back soon. The family in front of me had three kids that were a riot. So funny. And the guy next to them was from Shanghai and was starting this program that taught foreign languages to children by using songs. He showed the videos he had and they were really good! So cool. He was going to a conference in Chicago for them. There were a lot of really cool people on that plane, I gotta say. I also saw a boy wearing a Gryffindor hat which made my day. Anyway, got to O'hare at about 11pm. Papa and Pat picked me up (I asked why they didn't stand there with a snazzy sign with my name on it) Long drive home with traffic and crazy Papa's driving landed us in Pontiac, IL at 1am. Just in time to sleeeeep!
I woke up this morning at 8am with Katy Billington, chocolate milk, and donuts! :D Dad had just left to go visit mom, and grandpa would be coming over soon. 45 minutes later I went and woke up EmmaLi. The morning was spent playing with her. My goodness I missed that child (:
Momma came home after lunch today :D She looks pretty good. Of course, and I hope you read this mom! she does more than she ought to (; First of the pre-made meals by ladies of the church was a full out chicken meal with stuffing, beans, potatoes, eggs, and cake by Diana. Soooo good. I'm so thankful for awesome church family. I can't wait to see them!

Overall, it's been an awesome summer. I'll never forget it. I made so many memories and so many friends. I've grown in myself and with God. Whether I go back to the Bahamas or just go on in life, I know that that place and it's beautiful people have made a lasting impact on me. Thank you guys sooo much for all the prayers and support! I'm so blessed! <3 On to the next adventure: Another year at Judson University! (:

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

"Katie, are you okay? I heard you went driving with Tex."

Yesterday was my last adventure in the Bahamas.
The morning started out sooo slow. I started cleaning the house for a couple hours and time just moved so slow! Actually it did all day.
At noon Tex and I left to the beach. It took us an hour and a half to find. When we got there it was full of tourists and the water was full of jelly fish, so snorkeling was out of the question. We went to PI because it was right there and got some Jamba Juice. Then we went to Goodman's Bay, which was completely filled with Bahamians at some sort of giant picnic celebration (It was a holiday for them; Emancipation Day) We stayed and snorkeled there for a little bit, but there was nothing to see really, just seaweed. Lame. We left, got some Jamaican Beef Patties, and I introduced Tex to the miracle of the drink Switcha (Basically it's pure lime-ade. Lime juice, cane sugar, and water. DELICIOUS) I went home, showered, and then called madre (: It made my daddy's night, and the same to my mom. Yay! I also took out my little raccoon buddy again. He's so cute. We took a nap together on the chairs in the Media Room. haha.
Today is spent cleaning. Maybe a bit more relaxing in the hammock, but mostly packing and cleaning. Yayyy. :/

Sunday, 31 July 2011

"I really don't feel like getting lost today...."

Yesterday morning and afternoon were spent snorkeling with Tex, Eric, and Sam. (we were supposed to go cliff diving, which is what I was talking about doing in the last post, but we didn't have time). The evening was spent in the hammock in the breezy Bahamian weather. Eric left around 4. Watched a movie with Tex later that night. Today was spent in the hammock, basically all day. (:

Friday, 29 July 2011

"This was the best year at camp I've had for 4 years!"

Well... camp's over! :(
I can't believe I'm almost leaving! 6 weeks have gone by so fast! Mark and Eric both asked me today which kid I'll miss the most, but I don't think I could pick just one! I'm going to miss them all so much! They're so super sweet and annoying and awesome all at the same time!

To cap things off...
Last night we had a farewell/end of summer party. All the summer staff came to the ALC and we played Just Dance. I also made a new best friend. I want to keep him so bad! Someone donated this little baby raccoon to us and so we've had to get him used to humans. I held him for about 3-4 hours straight last night. He sat on my shoulder while I ate and while I danced, and he fell asleep in my arms. I wish I could get him passed airport security! Anyway, The night was really fun. Lots of pizza and dancing and laughing.

Today started out with Laticia playing Rebecca Black's "Friday" song. No one but Tex and I fully understood. We stared in horror at the screen while everyeone else just listened to the song. haha. We went on a field trip to Port Charlotte today. Really interesting. From the 18th and 19th century. So many cool things I learned. Then we went back to camp, watched a movie "What If?" (well party of it. I want to finish it!) Then we had our awards as usual for Fridays, and then went out for some cake and punch!
It was a good last day. A couple of the kids were super upset that it was over. Alexandria even told me that it was the best year of camp she's had so far and begged me to come back next year. A couple did. Zoe kept telling me over and over that she wishes I was her sister. Mathai, the little rascal, asked if I'd come back for him next summer. It's so hard to leave them!
Tonight I went out with Eric and Tex for some good ol' fashioned fast food, Wendy's, and then watched a movie. I came back and ended up sitting in the hammock for a good half our staring at the night sky. It's so pretty here. God's SO creative and awesome!

Tomorrow Eric leaves. I'm going with him and possibly Tex in the morning to Bonefish Pond and Clifton Heights to do something. BUT, I won't tell you till later. It's a secret (;

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

"Katie, I really wish you were my sister!!!"

It's about that time again. Updates!

Sunday: Church and dinner at Sam's again. I tried Ox tail for the first time. It had a really good taste, but was too fatty and mushy texture-wise in my opinion. We played Mario kart and Just Dance (I was beat by Sam's younger brother! haha) We went out for ice cream that night too.
Monday: Good first day of the last week. About 75% of the kids are new this week. My group of Zebras grew to 10 kids!
Today: Few more new kids. One girl in my group, Alisha, needs a bit more attention. Mark thinks she is mentally challenged in some way. I still haven't decided. She's a bit unusual, but that doesn't mean anything. I'm not going to try to diagnose her, but it would be helpful to know where she's coming from in order to help her more. Another little boy is new this week at 4 years old. He's the cutest thing.
I'm making baked pasta tonight. I really hope it turns out well. :D
And I got my worker's permit! It only took us 40 minutes this time! I'm officially legal for one week. haha. A bunch of the kids today asked if I'd come back next summer. I guess we'll see...
That's about all for now!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

"Wait till I tell everyone I met a college cheerleader in the Bahamas."

Updaaaate time!
Thursday night the boys came over and we made peanut butter cookies and had a bible study (: It was a really good time. I've came to the conclusion that I absolutely love Eric. He's so awesome. haha. He's like that perfect mentor/big brother/friend guy. Anyway, we talked of parts of the book of James during our devotional time. It was really good. I was reminded to do every little thing to 110%, to volunteer to do the nice things and the things no one wants to do, and to go to God with ALL things.
-Oh my goodness. Tom just gave me a large bag of leftover M&Ms. They taste so good! Oh, the little things! (:
So Friday went pretty well. The kids were better behaved for the most part. In comparison to last week at least. I picked Squeezy, the Bahamian Fowl Snake, out of his cage and held him for the kids to see! Now, I'm not afraid of snakes, I just hate the way they feel. Their scales creep me out. So I was hesitant to pick him up, but not frightened. I just had to tell Dad about it(;
Last night I talked to Katy Jones for awhile and got to Skype Ryan Davies! Man, I love that kid. It was crazy, because at one point the conversation came to the point where God prodded me to tell Ryan why I was here. Tell him about how I want to be a missionary and show God's constant love to people. He told me that he thinks that's totally awesome. AND that he's always known God has always been there but hasn't really understood it. He said somehow I made that click in his head! I don't know what I did, but apparently I helped him accept God's love a little more!! And I've noticed a couple of his statuses saying something about praying and stuff. I certainly hope he continues in this forward direction! :D He's so awesome. God has plans for him, I can tell. He just has to get close enough.
This morning has already been interesting! I was reading in the hammock outside when two of the Mission Discovery boys came up to me. They introduced themselves (I forget their names). One was 15, the other 17. They were being typical boys and were like competing for my attention. It was so funny. They were really excited that I, a college student, was talking to them. I mean I didn't encourage them or anything, but it was hilarious. They just left, going back to Texas. Nate said that this is the last Mission Discovery group. So next week will be pretty quiet. Possibly good since it's my last week!
I can't believe I leave so soon! It feels like I just got here!
-Btw, no pictures to post at the moment. I took some Friday, but I left the camera at the center in Chamille's office. I could get it, but her door is basically impossible to unlock with our keys. So they'll just have to wait until Monday.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

"Some day I'm going to write a book: A Day in the Life at All Saints."

Wow. What another day at the AIDS camp. I swear, no matter how many times you go there, it's never going to stop shocking you...
So many things changed, and yet everything is still the same. Some buildings were torn down and others were being built. A Solar panel was sitting in the entrance, but apparently it's all for show, and it will never be used. Corruption at it's best. Just like America.
I spent some time with a couple of the residents that I didn't get to before. I changed a few diapers, fed Natasha, caught a lizard and tadpole with the little boys, almost stepped on a rat, and was close to tears multiple times.
Andrew, whom Adam Moore from JU gave his cross necklace to the last time we were here, is still wearing it. He apparently accepted Christ sometime in March! :D However, he currently has an intestinal infection and is not doing well at all. No one will take him in to the doctor. Paulette is doing better. She was up and walking around and talking more today. She told me that she remembers me and that she loves me. We took a new picture together, and she asked if I'd be able to get it back to her so she can hang it in her room (The residents tend to keep pictures of missionaries with them) I think I'll send it to Stacie and have her print it and bring it down when she comes in the next couple weeks.
I saw the girls again today. The first time I saw Antonique this morning was a typical movie scene, it broke my heart. She was walking through camp with this solemn looks on her face, dragging a stick behind her. Either she doesn't remember me or she didn't care enough to show it. Coco and Sasha and AJ did though. Sasha had a moment of recognition and then jumped up to me. AJ just stared at me and smiled as I walked up to him. Courtney just chatted right away when I got there. Antonique stayed aside and didn't really talk to me. She pushed the other kids around a lot I noticed. I witnessed/heard a couple of the girls getting screamed at and beaten today. Once again, broke my heart. Antonique's dad is back at the camp now. I'm not sure if that's a good thing though.. Apparently her mother is now prostituting herself and her dad is smoking and possibilities of doing things to Antonique. He and her mom (no idea where she is) said that anyone who wants to adopt her can go right ahead; they don't care. Man, if only I could. I guess all I can do is pray she'll end up somewhere else...
There are more kids at the camp than I'd realized. Quite a few younger boys, a couple older boys, and another little girl. Plus at least two babies. I met Mario (He looks about 3 or 4) Darrell (maybe 7?) and a couple other little boys. I saw Daniel again too. He, Mario, and Darell and I messed around a lot. They'd try to tickle me and I'd just trap them. They were a lot of fun.

Basically nothing has changed at the camp. Miss Moxey still says "Thank God for life!" all the time and has more joy than I could ever imagine. Arthur still sings his heart out, and Lily still loves her comic books. Life moves on, even when it's in such conditions as this.

God bless all these 'Saints'. <3

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

"Are you going to marry Eric? ... Why not???"

Whew. Patience was tested today! But not with the kids...
Alright so the day went pretty fast. The kids weren't too misbehaved. After lunch I was to go with Eddie and Nicoles to the Immigration office to get our work permits. We get there, and after waiting for 2 hours, Eddie and Nicoles get theirs. However, apparently mine isn't done yet. So we have to come back on Monday. Sheesh!
On the bright side, I'm going to All Saints all day tomorrow with Kara (a friend of Felicia's who is here at the camp for the week). Hopefully all goes well there! I'm excited!

Monday, 18 July 2011

"Maybe if we talk to my mom, you can take me to the mall sometime!"

So this week I am a counselor! Instead of teaching gardening or crafts or whatever, I have my own group. I am in charge of the 8 yr olds, better known as the ZEBRAS. It's really cool. My group only has 5 kids (for now) so I actually get to spend time with them and form relationships instead of just corralling a bunch of kids together (Like how there is about 12 giraffes!) I hope to really connect with some of them this week. Mark gave us the challenge to align ourselves with God and pick a camper to really focus on this week in prayer. Whatever they need it for, whether they're a trouble maker or a really good kid who God could really do some awesome things with.
So last week I thought I had devotions in the morning, but in reality, it was this week. Eldora did them last week. So my first one was today (1Corinthians 1). It went alright. Micheala told me that I did well. She said she really got something out of it, although I guess it was obvious that I was afraid. Anyway, so when I was reading the next chapter for tomorrow's, I was thinking 'wow, what am I going to talk about?' I googled commentaries to help, and boy did they ever! How did I ever read "We have the mind of Christ" and not think I have anything to talk about? Silly, Kaitlyn. I now have a page full of notes and a brain going on full stream. I mean think about it. Human wisdom tells us that Christ is Christ, and we are not, so obviously we cannot have His mind. But Spiritual wisdom, as is what is important, tells us that the mind of Christ is a gift. Just like salvation, it's impossible to imagine, but as true as ever. We just have to allign ourselves with Christ's mind and look to God and His Word and we'll have the same mind! Which is just crazy awesome!
On another level, I'm talking to Felicia tomorrow when she comes to the ALC and I'll hopefully find out when I can spend the day there. I realized how blind I was for a short period of time. One of the reasons I came here this summer was to figure out if long term missionary work is something of God's will or just mine. Well, I got my answer! I felt the need to stay here, of course. But what I didn't notice is that was just the answer to my question! I have felt the longing to go somewhere (wherever it may be) and make a lasting impact. Antonique may have shown me this, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's all about her. Perhaps the Bahamas isn't even where I'm meant to go. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I'm leaving that up to God. He'll show me when I'm ready. But for now, I'm content to know that mission work is definitely somewhere in my future. (:

Saturday, 16 July 2011

"Why are you pink in some places and white in the other?" -It's this thing called sunburn...

I cannot remember having sunburned my legs before. At least not to this extent.
Today we were supposed to go to the beach. However, Eric decided last minute that we probably shouldn't because of the rain forecast. I went back to camp, and decided the sun was too beautiful to stay inside. So I read in the hammock for awhile. I put suntan lotion on my arms, neck, and back. However, Apparently I need my legs too. Oh, and you can't see it in this picture, but I also have two dots on my upper chest, where the rings of my bathing suit are. Yikes!

Friday, 15 July 2011

"Can you do me a favor and get me some flour?"

Alright, so today was probably classified as a good day. The kids were still rowdy, but nearly as bad as yesterday. Plus, throughout the day, I randomly felt peace. God's presence was constantly with me. I would randomly be reminded of the blessings and awesomeness He brings me. So that was pretty cool.
I got to hold a 4 month old baby today. He was so freaking adorable. Rumell told me that it was a crazy sight to see. He said that just by looking at me he can tell I'm going to be an excellent mother. Ahh, I love babies (:
-But don't worry. I plan on waiting for a long time. No worries.
Tonight Eric and I went to the store. Upon a random craving, we got ingredients for cookies. We came back and baked homemade chocolate chip cookies (: I also bought apple cinnamon muffin mix while at the store, so I'm pretty stoked for that.
I talked to Chamille about going to All Saints next week. Mark had told me that I can go while the kids are at the beach one day next week. Chamille said that instead of me being an activity instructor next week she has me down for a counselor. And since there is more than one per group, she told me that I can take a whole day off if I'd like. So now I just have to figure things out with Felicia and I'll be all set! I can't wait to go back!!! :D

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

"Katie, pray for me." -Of course, why? "Because I really want to hit that boy!"

Well, the past couple days really have been good days. I don't really remember many specifics at this point though. Solely because I'm a bit upset right now.
I'm sure all of you reading this remember when I came back from my first round in the Bahamas, and I kept talking of how I don't want to just be another face here. I don't want to just come, love, and leave. I want to make a lasting impact in these people's lives.
Right now, that's really getting to me. Like before, Antonique and the girls are tearing apart my heart. I hate knowing that when I leave, they probably won't even remember me. None of the children here will. Except maybe "that one counselor from camp when I was 7" or whatever.
I talked to Felicia (missionary at All Saints) and asked if they go to the camp on Saturdays. She said no. I'm still trying to figure out when I can get over there. I'm debating asking Mark for a day off at summer camp to go over there. I canNOT go back to the states without going to the All Saints. I just can't.
It's so hard for me tonight for some reason. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing right now, so all I ask for is prayers. At the very least for the strength to move forward in life and not dwell on what I can't do.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

I cried watching this.

Monday, 11 July 2011

"I wish the kids' arcade games gave you money instead of tickets... Wait, that's basically gambling."

Alright, so this weekend was pretty great.
Saturday night we went bowling like I said. I didn't do too well, but when do I ever? It was fun!
Yesterday we went to church and then went to Sam's house for Independence dinner. Her mom made barbeque chicken, rice and peas, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, veggies, plantains, and a pineapple cake. Talk about delicious! Then last night we all came back and watched Transformers. For all the bad things I heard about that movie it was actually pretty good! Rumell tripped the alarm last night and I had to turn it off, then ran to camp to find Tom, who wasn't there. We figured it all out though.
Today was Independence Day so the camp was closed. We went to the beach with Sam, Jackhiel, and Nina for Sam's church picnic. Burgers on the grill! (: The beach was beautiful (I forgot my camera though!) The sand was amazing. Not rocky at all and completely soft. After the picnic we went to get Daiquiris, (non-alcoholic, don't worry) and they're delicious as usual. By the time we got back to the center it was 7. I came back at 8 for a movie, like planned. Instead, we took Tex out and Eric showed him how to drive stick. Then we came back and watched Source Code.
Tomorrow camp starts back up. I'm in charge of Devos this week on 1 Corinthians 1-4. I have to look that over again tonight. I'm in charge of gardening again this week at camp. Not exactly stoked about that, but what can ya do?
Alright, I'm off to get ready for tomorrow and get some sleep. Night, all!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Oh yeah, here's some pictures of the week.

-Sasha and me. I told her to smile... (:
-Antinique sleeping in my lap on the way home from the beach. I need to take her with me. NEED TO.

-Danielle and Mathai, crazy kids.
-My wonderful roommates and I at the airport :(

"Houston, we have a problem: Erica peed herself and Paul broke the broom..."

Wow! What a week! I haven't had wifi for longer than 10 minutes at a time all weeek, and it's been crazy busy. I'll just put up a bunch of randomness about the last couple days.
The week at camp went really well. It was nice not having to stay for after care or do chores or be in charge of the kids as much this week.
It's been SUCH a blessing having the group from N. Carolina here. I'm going to miss them a lot. As afraid as I was of having 13 girls living with me, it's been amazing. Last night I went to Atlantis with them and today I went downtown with them and dropped them off at the airport. I got a thank you card they all signed, and a total of $175 from two couples and the group as a whole. I'm going to have to keep in touch with them, for sure.
Last night we had the battle of the century for bugs. We killed 8 palmettos during the hour and a half before bed. And one of the girls found a tarantula on the path to the bathhouse. Paul broke the broom trying to kill it (he succeeded though). During the night, one of the roaches fell from the ceiling onto Jordan's chest, so that was a huge freakout session too. This morning we woke up to 5 more dead palmettos that must have gotten in the spray Paul put out.
We had a 'concert of prayer' Thursday night. That was really cool. A lot of worship and prayers. The other group, Mission Discovery joined us for that. God was totally there throughout the whole thing. And that morning Chris (the youth pastor and leader of the NC group) called me out in devotions to share my testimony. He's an ex-Marine and just kind of like that. I misjudged him and disliked him in the beginning, but he's completely awesome.
Tuesday night we threw a birthday party for Tex. The power was out for awhile but it was still good. Jannicka made lasagna and Laticia made a cake and brought ice cream. It was an awesome night.
Uhmm... Tonight Eric,Tex,Sam,Rumell,Kevin,and I are going bowling. That should be fun.
Sorry this is such a short and random post. I've ran out of juice as far as writing goes.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Okay so I haven't had internet for like the past couple days. Maybe for like 10 minutes yesterday before it went out. During that time I wrote this, but it wouldn't post. So this is yesterday:
"Well the girls are pretty cool. We haven't 'hung out' or anything, but them seem pretty great. Camp went pretty well today. We just get to sit back as the other crew takes over. Their pastor is this ex-marine. He's kind of crazy. hah. I got to see Courtney and Sasha from the All Saints today. THey're coming to camp this week. Antinique (my buddy from there) didn't come today but I told the girls to bring her tomorrow. I'd die if I get to see her again. For some reason she just tugged on my heartstrings like crazy. But anyway, I think Tex, Eric (maybe Rumell and Kevin too) and I are going to Paradise Island tonight for Independence Day. Since no one cares about it here. :P But PI is like THE tourist spot so they're probably going to be celebrating at least a little bit."

Alright. Today's:
So last night we went to PI, as I said. We walked around for a bit, and then went to the Digg (under water aquarium). it was pretty fun. We were a few minutes late to the fireworks because we were still underground and didn't notice. They were good though. We went out to the Twin Brothers, this famous fish fry place and got Conch Fritters. But I didn't get any. Because I still haven't been hungry lately. I've taken to only eating lunch. It's weird. I'm still hydrated and stuff though, so no worries. I think it's just the heat and such.
Anyway, Antinique was here today! I was soo excited to see her. She even remembered me, which was super surprising. She did however have a lot of issues. Talking to Felicia, we think the structure was too much for her, and of course she just wants love and attention. One of the women in the group was like her best friend today so she helped her a lot. Admittedly, I was some-what jealous, but I knew it was to be expected, and I was just glad she was going well. I spent more time with Courtney and Sasha today too. Me and Laticia helped them because the three girls and AJ (he's 5) have a group to themselves since they're so much younger than the others.
Today the slide for the water sports ripped. So instead, we created a slip and slide (: It was probably the best idea we've had. The kids loved it. A few knocked their heads on the ground when they slid, but they were fine. We then instigated sliding on their stomachs, which worked a lot better.
Tomorrow is Tex's birthday. I believe we're doing something, but I'm not sure what yet. At the very least we're getting cake and Jannicka is making lasagna. I know that Nina and Jackheil are coming back so that'll be nice too!
Update again because that never got to post. I joined the group outside after dinner today. Corn hole and hammock time (: Then devos. That was awesome. All of us singing and praying and everything. So cool. I also talked to Jessica a lot. About why I'm here, about the All Saints camp, etc. She's so sweet. I love her (:
Okay, bed time!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

"Who you is?"

So first off, let's recap yesterday. The day itself was boring. Eric came over at like 5 asking if I'd ever cut hair before. I said no, so he asked Tom for clippers and helped himself. Then he came back and said that at 6:30 some of the summer staff was going to the centre to get together. Plus Sam. Sam was in Patmos with Tex and worked here for 5 years. She's really cool. The power went out at like 6, so that was unfortunate. So at the Centre we played Apples to Apples (which only me and Jannicka had played before!) And then we ordered pizza and played Wii Just Dance when the power came back on. I was undefeated. haha. It was so much fun. All of us just dancing and having a great time. Tom came round to bring the bus back after picking up the group. I asked what the living situation is. He said he convinced the pastor? to let the girls stay in the house instead of the boys so that I'd get roommates and not have to move. Well.... there's a total of THIRTEEN of them. The house holds twelve people. So there's two mattresses on the floor and every bed is filled. They're from somewhere South, because their accent is super thick. They were all sleeping when I got back last night. This morning I talked to them a little bit. It was chaotic having 13 girls with one bathroom. Man! But I slept through (well tried, at least) most of that. I only showered and stuff as they were leaving for church because our service that I go to with Eric and Tex is later. At church the new series is "Who You Is?" and is about Bahamian Identity. It's pretty interesting, but I've never felt more white. And it was weird to be learning all this and being amidst all the Bahamian pride when the Fourth of July is tomorrow. But oh well. I have to go feed the animals now. Ta ta!

"Sorry for invading your space..."

I don't have time to write now, gotta go to church. But just as a forewarning, be careful what you wish for... I've learned my lesson.
Be back soon with details! (;

Friday, 1 July 2011

"Why do you get a watermelon? Is it because you're white? ...oops"

So tonight was definitely better than today.
The kids were super obnoxious today and they didn't listen very often. It was a long morning on our field trip to an agriculture center and after lunch dragged on as the kids didn't do as they were told. From the dehydration/heat of this morning and the crazy children I had a headache by noon. Then I had after camper care with Rumell today. After all the kids left I ended up getting in a deep conversation (well, it was basically just him talking) with Rumell. I'm still not sure what to think about it. It started out as he asked what was wrong and I said I had a headache. He seemed concerned so I told him I get them all the time; no biggie. That launched the whole discussion. I was insulted, humbled, and annoyed all at once. It's like he told me that I have headaches because my faith isn't strong enough. That if I believed it could happen, I could get rid of them. I dunno. He had a couple good points though too, like how "To obey God is to love Him and to love Him is to obey him." A problem with this whole thing though is his mother was waiting for him outside for like an hour! Rumell in general confuses me sometimes. I still don't know what to make of him.
Anyway, after he left, Eric came up as I was closing the Media Center. He ended up showing me all the pictures on his Iphone of Haiti and his home in Cali. Then he and Kevin came back to my apt here at camp to see if the internet worked because the one at the center didn't. We chilled for a little bit while Eric told me more about home and the 'friends' he had that are now pro surfers. We went to the grocery store, Eric bought brownies, and we came back and I made them. Eric went and woke up Tex from his nap and brought him back here and we ate my delicious masterpieces of brownie cookie sandwiches with frosting in the middle! The boys left and I skyped Gina :)
Tomorrow I have to move out. :( Next week's Mission Discovery team is bigger and the boys have to stay in the house so I have to move into the apt by Tom's for a week. This should be interesting...Worse comes to worse and I'll just stay with the boys most of the time and just come back to sleep. haha. Next week the team is going to take over the ALC camp so we just get to sit back and relax. We'll still be going there, but we won't be in charge at all. We'll see how that goes.

Pictures of the day:
I want a baby piglet. So stinkin' cute. I learned a new game called Bluebird. And my baking skills. (:

Thursday, 30 June 2011

"You Americans have really soft hair!"

Today was one for the books. No doubt about it.
To start, our Paper Mache failed. We came in this morning to see all but 4 completely deflated. The balloons didn't pop, but imploded, deflated, shrunk into nothingness, etc. So then Nina and I had to come up with a new craft idea for the day since we couldn't paint the globes. We looked for a good hour in the supply closet. We had a lot of ideas, but they all failed for some reason or another. Usually it was because we didn't have enough of something. We did however find a giant bag of glue bottles. So at least all the glue we wasted yesterday was replaced! We ended up finding these necklaces in a bag, something bought by the gross. We decided to untie the knot on the strings and add beads of our own to make necklaces. The kids were pretty excited about it, and we counselors made some as well (:
After lunch was supposed to be our afternoon activities. Today we were going to go on the train, petting farm tour, and watch a movie in the AC. Now for a bit of background, we always tease the kids about the gorilla that lives out beyond the trails. Because there's been a few times in the past when someone dresses up in the gorilla costume to scare the kids. So while on the train ride we talked about it again. I was on the first train ride with the 6-9 year olds. As we were coming back from the wetlands tour, Kevin (one of our new volunteers) comes jumping out of the bush with the gorilla mask on. (I'll admit, I screamed). The kids freaked out at first and then laughed.
So then we went inside for the movie while the older kids went on the train ride and met up with us. As we were getting the kids settled inside, Shaval runs in with this horrified look on his face and says "They beat up the monkey!" Jackhiel and I just looked at each other and laughed. But upon seeing how serious Shaval was, we stopped. He said that Kevin went to scare the older kids and they legitimately beat him up. Later, we found out that a few of the older boys knew someone was coming to scare them. Without going into details, some used sticks and some just kicked and punched but Kevin ended with a blow to the head and dragging one of the children inside to tell us what happened. Kevin was okay, but we've never seen the kids act like that. They even got it recorded. That video looks like something you'd find on the internet or the news about a hazing experience or something. Super scary. Chamille was going to talk to the parents when the picked up the kids. Just wow.
Don't get me wrong though. It was a good day. A few events out of the ordinary, but it wasn't actually a horrible day. Things were taken care of and God kept us enduring (:

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

"So if I'm hungry I just bite myself!"

I'd count today as a success, all things considered.
Craft was chaotic though... Paper Mache. I don't need to say anything more. haha. I think a total of a dozen balloons popped, my hands were completely glued, and I don't want to see another newspaper strip for a very long time... But the kids mostly had fun. And while we were helping them, all us counselors had a huge debate about which Disney classics were the best and which old Nickelodeon shows were better than others. Mom- No one could believe I wasn't allowed to watch Ahh! Real Monsters or Angry Beavers! haha. It was a lot of fun though. Dara started singing the Just Keep Swimming song from Finding Nemo, and I found out Shaval loves Finding Nemo just as much as me! haha. Jannicka and I sang the theme song of Fresh Prince, and I was super impressed when one of the younger girls knew it.
Right before lunch it started to rain. It stopped for a little bit, and started back up as soon as we got to the beach. I didn't go swimming today because my neck has hurt the past couple days (I slept on it wrong the other night) so I figured that a million kids on my back and neck would not be a good idea. Instead I helped build sand castles in the sand. Until I got water dumped on me a few times and was as wet as everyone else. Luckily I knew that would happen so I wore my swimsuit anyway.
As a recap of last night: Tex, Eric, and I watched Harry Potter7. The bad news? I had to explain just about everything to them. The good news? I got to show off my geekiness. :P

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

"Aracadabra Alakazam! Open your eyes and turn into a clam!"

Week 2 Day 2!
Nothing major happened today. Crafts went well, ending with my hands completely rainbow colored, but hey, it's all good (:
I went along with the kids to sports today. Shaval was in charge this week. We went out to where Patmos does all their challenges. The kids had to knock each other off logs with either a ball or noodles, depending on which log they were on. It was fun to watch and cheer them on.
Lunch was awesome spaghetti again. Not the normal stuff. haha. (homemade sauce with corn, 2-3 diff kinds of beans, carrots, and something else thrown into the sauce. Talk about delicious.)
Today was Water Sports day so I got soaked yet again in the yards of the ALC.
Supposedly Tex, Eric, and Rumell and I are watching another movie tonight. Last night Tex came over to do laundry and we chilled waiting for it. I finally added most of my new friends here on facebook. (:

Monday, 27 June 2011

"Are you Bahamian?" -"Do I look Bahamian?"

First day of Week 2! We had about 35 kids today. I'd say about half of them are new. Turns out Alyssa didn't come back. I have to admit, I'm kind of sad. But it wasn't even an hour before I had new shadows. I have to get pictures of this girl, Dara. She's the cutest thing I've ever seen. She's 8, but she's the size of a 6 year old, with this hilarious smile. Kamryn is another girl, 9? who is my new best friend. She was extremely upset when I didn't get to sit with her on the bus to the beach. Zion, who was there last week has now hitched himself to me. He's so freaking cute. He's missing his front teeth and he has a gash on his forehead and I can't help but smile every time he comes my way. Today while riding my back at the beach he told me I was his best friend (:
So to recap this weekend: Friday night we had the party. Saturday was a birthday party here at the ALC. Eric, Tex, and I helped them set up, give horse rides, train ride, and the petting farm tour. It was boring. Although I found out that puppet shows are definitely NOT my forte. I'll leave that area to Jacob. Yikes. Anyway, yesterday we went to church (and were late because Eric had to feed the animals). We went back to Bahamas Harvest. Apparently next week is staring their new series about Bahamian identity. This should be interesting. And possible awkward. haha. After church Eric, Tex, and I hung out at my house and we made grilled cheese while Tex played some worship songs. Then we went to the canals for a bit. Tex and Eric jumped off the cliffs and trees until Tex got caught in the current and couldn't swim anymore because he was so tired. Then last night Tex and I watched Thor. It was kind of disappointing actually.
Anyway, that's what's been happening. (:

Friday, 24 June 2011

"Do Americans have an accent or do they just use proper English?"

I have new roommates!! :D
So we all went to Mark's for the get-together tonight. It was so much fun. I walked in and Diamond (one of the staff's daughters) said, "Whaaat?" and came up and attacked me. So funny. We got fruit (most amazing strawberries ever!) veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, steak/salmon, baked potatoes, salad, three different kinds of cake and ice cream! Wow! :D The center pieces of the tables were long tubes that had goldfish in them! It was soo awesome. We got to take some home with us if we wanted! So I took two and went to the dining hall/kitchen at camp as soon as I got back. Nate, Ken, and another guy I don't know the name of, from Mission Discovery helped me to find a suitable "fish bowl" (a used pretzel container) and clean it out. Anyway, at the party the Bahamians were trying to teach Eric, Tex, and I how to talk like them. It was so funny. They couldn't stop laughing at how American we were. haha. All in all, awesome night (:

"You look like you just got out of a paintball war!"

The above quote is in reference to my EXTREMELY mosquito-bitten legs. It's quite ridiculous, actually. I itch non-stop; hydro-cortisone cream doesn't even work! :(

Anyway, today ended our first week of camp! It was a complete blast! I'm not so sure how well the garden will end up, but I tried my best this week. Speaking of which, I made a pesticide with the kids today. First experience with goat peppers, and I've learned my lesson. Those things are horrid! We were supposed to cut them up and then bled them with water. Miss Ada (our awesome cook) told me to make sure I wash my hands before I do anything else. I didn't really think about it, but I listened anyway. About 15 minutes later, my face BURNED. Apparently I didn't wash my hands enough and rubbed my chin/upper lip. It stung so bad! And it was like that for a good two hours. And that was just from cutting them! Later when I blended them up with the kids, the smell alone was enough to knock me out. Wow. Next week I am in charge of crafts. I think I'll go online and find some fun jungle themed crafts. (:
Anyway, I had playground duty this morning, so I hang out with the kids at 8am as they arrive at the centre. I was playing soccer with some of the boys when I slid in a mud puddle and crashed to my knees. I was covered in nasty gray mud. So I went to the barn to wash it off only to find that I was bleeding. So now my legs are covered with bites AND scratches. Yayyy. :/
We got oranges at lunch today. I don't know the last time I had an orange that good. Wow. Oh yeah, and I have to talk to Eric about taking me grocery shopping this weekend. Tomorrow there's a birthday party at the ALC (The place can be rented our for parties and such). I'm not sure what we're supposed to do for it, but I know we have to help. So we'll see how that goes. Tonight Mark is having a get-together at his house for all of the summer staff. I think all of us aer going to, so it should be fun and crowded and a good time (:

Thursday, 23 June 2011

"Hannah Montana is bad. She just wants to give her body to all the boys!"

So nothing spectacular has happened since last post. We went to the beach again yesterday, and about 50% of the children (basically all the boys and a couple girls) call be Katy Perry. One boy, Dwight, keeps asking me to sing Firework for him. I told him I charge $100. Yesterday, when I walked up to the playground, Alyssa and Courtney come running to the fence yelling "Katie! Katie!" Today, they were standing by the gate talking to Alyssa's mom (Courtney is her cousin). When I walked up, it was the usual chorus of "Katie! Katie!" And then Alyssa's mom laughs and says "So this is Katie? It's nice to meet you. I've heard your name a lot in the past couple days!" It felt good to not only be loved, but talked about a lot (;
Today after lunch during our fun time, we had water sports. We blew up this giant inflatable slide and got out the hoses, water balloons, water guns/squirters, and sprinklers. It was a LOT of fun. I can't even tell you how many times I had a bucket of water dumped over my head. One of the older girls told me that everyone loves me and that you can tell by how often someone said "hurry and fill my bucket! I have to go get Katie wet!" It's so funny.
Anyway, I got really sunburned today. Like, I have legitimate lines from my cami and my swimsuit. It's really bad. It doesn't hurt (yet) but it looks ridiculous. Tomorrow is the end of the first week! Unfortunately, it's also Alyssa's last day. And probably a lot of the other kids' too. That will be depressing, because I was getting attached. The camp is 6 weeks, but you can stay for as long as you want, one week or 6. Alyssa was supposed to stay the whole summer but now she I guess has to go back to Florida. We'll see how many of the others stick around...

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

"You're Katy Perry! *laughs* Hey, wait! I want to count all your freckles!"

Day Two!
Wow, what a blast. Today seemed to go a lot quicker and smoother than yesterday. Not that yesterday was slow, definitely not. Everything flowed better today though. I got the chance to take more pictures today, that was fun. And it was our first beach day! We go 2-3 days each week. It was so much fun. I'm definitely burnt, though...But hey, that's alright. While on the bus, the kids sang all the songs again. It was awesome. I could just feel the presence of God, once again!
I was in charge of the after care program today (the kids can stay up to an hour and a half after camp if their parents can't get them yet). They watched this weird movie about sharing. They were boys, so they weren't exactly excited. Then we put in Veggie Tales. So since there was only 3 of them, we forgot about the movie and just played around. Somehow it turned into this zombie attack game where one person was it and had to infect the rest of us. So funny.

Anyway, tonight the summer staff is all getting together to watch a movie in the Centre. I did this last night with Tex, Eric, and Rumell. (Each time I spell their names different only because I'm finally learning how it's correct. haha) Oh, and I also joined Mission Discovery (the other youth group from Philly) in their worship and devotions. It was kind of awkward, but I got a lot of good conversation with the adults. haha.

Here's some of my favorite pics of the day. Check facebook for the rest! (:

Monday, 20 June 2011

"You sound like you're from one of those American movies!!!"

Wow. I love Jesus. And I love children (:

Today was the first day of camp! It went super well. We only had about 25 kids or so, but it was still amazing! The gardening went over better with the 7-9 year olds than with the 10-12 kids, but that's just because they were more excited. I made a lot of friends today(: Even the boys wanted to talk and play with me, which, unless they're under 6 years old, they tend to chose the male staff over me. I never cared, but today it was awesome to have all the little boys excited to walk with me to. And the staff is starting to mesh really well too! Danaj, Shaval, and Pareece are starting to willingly talk to me and everyone else instead of just sticking to their family. We had a giant soccer game, counselors vs. children. In the 90 degree heat. It was super fun though. Being outside for 7 hours and sweating bullets the whole time? I'm going to come back a million shades darker and a few pounds lighter for sure! :P

Saturday, 18 June 2011

"Ask a reef shark and you'll get answers, but ask a shark and you'll just get denial."

Once upon a time, I was sitting here pretty bored on my first weekend. I peeled vegetables, read outside (but couldn't stay too long because of the crazy heat), and watched HP7 on my laptop. But then Tex came over and asked if I wanted to join them to go diving and spear fishing. I figured why not?! So I went with them, and I'm super glad I did. We took the long way there along the coast to the west side of the island. Jamming and rocking out to Gospel music on the radio (:
Tex showed us the place he had to jump off a cliff for Patmos. He told me for initiation that I had to, but he didn't actually mean it. I'm okay with the idea of jumping off a small cliff into the water, but defnitely not where he showed us. That was SUPER high. Anyway, we went to Clifton Heights National Park or something like that. There's these stairs there from like the 1700s that the pirates made in order to get to shore away from all the Nassau officials! Super cool. So then we went to the reef/cliff area we'd be going to. Eric and Tex went in snorkeling. Eric, who's done this a million times, took the spear gun with him and tried to catch a few fish (unsuccessfully). Tex was only in for maybe fifteen minutes. Then he came back up and we talked for a little bit while Eric was still down in the water.
Then Eric came back up and it was my turn! (: So I went snorkeling for the first time! It was awesome. I didn't see many fish at first, but then after awhile I did. I even saw a reef shark! It was crazy!! As I was climbing up the barnacles though, I cut my leg. Well no, more like a scratch. I bled for like 2 seconds. No biggie. We all packed up and went home then. I took a shower, I'm about to make some chicken nuggets, and then I'm going over to the centre to play cards with them. I think we're finally bonding. haha. Yay! (:

Friday, 17 June 2011

"Jesus can put a finger back on a hand, but I can't!"

One week down, 6 to go! Woo!
Alright so yesterday we did a lot of cleaning. Including bathrooms, pig pens, the nature centre, and the kitchen (again). Why the kitchen you ask? Oh, because we found another one of THESE GUYS.
Yup. That's a Palmetto. Most Hideous thing I've ever seen. They're about 3 inches long and super fast. Apparently harmless, but ugly to boot. Stacie and I found out where they're coming in from so we cleaned that spot behind the microwave super well and asked Tom to board up the hole. We'll see if it stops I guess...

In other news, Stacie took me out to Paradise Island last night. We went to dinner on the Poop Deck. Awesome, delicious, expensive. I had Conch Fritters, Grouper fish (amazing!), peas and rice, and coleslaw. That place was simply delicious. Not to mention it was on the water with a beautiful view. After dinner we just walked around Marina Village. Just a time to chill and such. It was nice to be in normal clothes and not feel disgusting! We saw a beautiful sunset on the way as well. Not the best picture because you can't see that the sun was hot pink! but I'm sure I'll see plenty more.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

"Okay... You're officially weird."

This is the ghetto house Im staying in. Don't get me wrong, it's actually pretty nice, considering. There's a/c in my bedroom, but that's the only one. Not a big deal. We deep cleaned the kitchen yesterday. It's going to be awfully lonely once Stacie leaves.

Today it rained. :( But only for an hour or so. It downpoured during this time, but it's fine. We decorated the room and learned the camp songs today. They're still stuck in my head >.<

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

"No hiccuping on campus!"

Hey guys! So I made here alive! The Bahamas is just as beautiful as I remembered, if not a little hotter. 93 degrees at 5 in the evening.
We got here yesterday at around 4, but I haven't had the chance to get online. Flights went well and everything ran smoothly. Had dinner at Mark's house (the director of the ALC) and met the Calvary missionaries, Eric and Tex. Unpacked and settled in last night in my own little house (With Stacie for a week at least).
Today started with devotions. Then we had a meeting for the summer program staff: Jakeel, Tina, Janeeka, Latisha, Ramel, Raven, and like two others I can't remember, plus Eric and Tex. After that joined in on the last school day program. So I basically did the same as over Spring Break today. Then helped paint a porch, clean bathrooms, and clean the hamster/gerbil cages. It's funny how I don't really care what I'm doing here. Willing to clean bathrooms? What is this? Don't get any funny ideas, mom! (;
Anyway, Stacie and I are about to head out. I'll update (with pictures?) later in the week. The next few days we're just getting ready for the camp to start on Monday.