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.