well, faithful readers, i know no one else checks their friends' blogs daily like i do, but if any of you have been paying attention, i have been offline for a few days. i have been revelling in the glories of...church camp!!
we in north america might consider loading our congretation into a bus (more likely several buses) and taking the lot of them to a church camp rather than having everyone find their own way there...here in thailand, where few people own a method of transportation, they think nothing of tossing two congregations into one bus, of cramming three and four people into every set of two seats, and of having at least ten people sitting or walking in the aisles at any one time. have i mentioned that the ride was a good five hours long? i count myself among the lucky ones, i shared my seat with bun, sweet bun who insisted i have the window seat even as he fell asleep with nowhere to rest his head, and this guy...
who, as you can imagine, was no trouble at all. the air con barely worked, the music was blaring and in thai, and the crepe window shade did little to keep out the blazing sun. five hours later, sticky and cramped, we arrived at church camp. i have never, EVER been useless at a kid's camp, but i was useless here. while the adults (including p'ganniga's non-christian husband, and her non-christian son-in-law) sat in workshops and whatnot, louise, carmen and karen (not team 2000's carmen and karen, but two OTHER girls from abbotsford named carmen and karen), myself, and two thai women took the kids on a rousing adventure. well, louise and the two thai women did. carmen, karen and i mostly hung around, trying to pick up on visual clues (oh, it seems the children are getting into a circle...let's help them get into a circle) but pretty much twiddling our thumbs. karen and i talked about some of the kids that she had taught (she teaches high school) who i had worked with at red robin...small world and all...and we participated in the games if they didn't involve a lot of talking. louise had set up a little orienteering thingie where the kids were given a map of the camp and had to go look for little flags and string together the letters on the flags to make a word...i went along with the first team, but while i was busy killing a snake (i killed a snake. he was just a little guy about the size of my own nebuchadnezzar, rest his sneaky snakey soul, and i didn't think he was poisonous, but what do i know about snakes? he was on a bush right next to one of the bungalows that the families were staying in, and with bun there wringing his hands, pointing at the bungalow and saying 'my friend...sleep...' and then hissing viciously at the snake, i knew that i had to kill it, or he would try. so i hit it with a stick...karen has a picture of my prize, so i'll post it one of these days)...while i was busy killing a snake, the world's biggest twelve-year-old and his friend were off cheating like fiends. the orienteering was a flop.
it was very humbling to be in a place where i would normally be in my element, and not be able to do a single thing. i wonder if there isn't some sort of lesson in this.
sure am glad i'm not buddhist, though. i can kill snakes with impunity.