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. (: