I have tried to keep Troy out of my mind during this trip, because I did not want my mind to be distracted. This is a short trip and I wanted to stay focused on what I came to do. I also tried not to think about Shelly and what she was doing with her group. This morning they were both on my mind. I emailed Troy and then (not knowing anything) Mark gave me an update on Shelly. I let myself think about these two amazing people in my life and what they have been doing this week, and then it was back to work. I have one more day of Peace Camp to focus on!
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I wanted to bring this little girl home - she would not hug me, but she would give me all the kissed I wanted. Her mom kept handing her to me and taking pictures of us with her phone. This was the only time someone from Jamaica took a picture of me with their own camera.
Listing things we learned about peace this week.
Peace Pledge letters the kids signed
Making Peace flags
It took some persuading, and I had to give a few examples, but I finally got them to give me their "funny faces" for a picture.
Saying goodbye at the end of camp.
Me and Sister Allen.
Sister Allen participating in the "funny faces" pictures
I mentioned that she was our cook for the week. Her son Erlander came every day to help prepare our lunch, and together they worked in a HOT kitchen to provide a huge meal to us each afternoon. As we entered the kitchen at lunch time to be handed our prepared plate each day I was in awe that someone would work in a room that hot just so I could have something to eat. It was not necessary, but very much appreciated.
The kitchen is behind the church.
Inside the kitchen....where our hot lunch was prepared every day.
Erlander doing the dishes.
I'm a picky eater, and I knew going into this trip that I would be eating foods I did not like. I was ok with that. I can get through a week of chicken with lots of random bones in it. I can eat rice for every meal. Sure, I'll try that gooey looking orange fruit. But when Sister Allen handed me a plate with a fish head on it I didn't know what to do. My meal not only still had bones (something I really don't like), it had teeth and eyeballs, and even though I couldn't see it I knew that somewhere in there there was a brain. I might have to draw the line at food that still has teeth. I picked around the fish for as long as I could, trying to decide which pieces were safe to eat, and wondering how long it would be before everyone else finished their meal and I could attempt to hide my toothy fish under a rock somewhere. I didn't want to be rude, really I didn't, but there was an eyeball on my plate. Everyone else had sucked the bones clean and there were fish skeletons laying on their plates. I thought fish skeletons only exisisted in Garfield cartoons, and here I was surrounded by them. Eventually Sister Allen took pity on me and chopped the head off, leaving me with only a small section of fleshy fish stomach. Much better!
See those teeth? Sister Allen ate them for me!
Our closing activity with the kids, the members of the congregation, and the people of this community was a campfire we led this evening. The ground is very wet, so we could not have a real campfire. It's not the same without a fire to stare into, but we did our best. We taught them some fun new songs and sang some favorites they already knew. It's hard to believe, but I didn't cry! I think my tears may have gone dry already this week.
Elizabeth and I peeking out the window.
We went out for a late dinner tonight and enjoyed a meal that did not include rice-n-peas! I actually like rice-n-peas, but I didn't complain about a meal without it. We went to Margaritaville and sat on the beach. Not near the beach, ON the beach. I got to dig my toes into the sand while we ate!
Breakfast: pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes
Lunch: fish head!, coleslaw, rice-n-peas, mashed potatoes, salad
Dinner: Chicken and avocado sandwich with fries
Dear Lord, I came here to help facilitate Peace Camp and today that came to an end. Thank you for the peace you have provided me the past 15 years as I prayed that this experience would someday happen. I have grown so much in that time and this trip means even more to me now. I view my life through new eyes after meeting these people. Thank you for the excitement in their voices as they greeted me each day, and the plea's to have me return... it has given me hope that my time here was not in vain, that they got something from me, just as I got something from them. These children, their parents, this community, and the Egypt Garden congregation will be in my future prayers, but right now I ask that you be with the children as they go back to their day to day lives and promote peace. Give them the strength to be a voice of reason and to remind each other to stop, think, peace. Lord, please be with me the next two days as we have free time, as I am not excited. I am struggling with so much free time when I came here to do mission work, but I'm trying to find peace in what the days will bring. Thank you so much for this trip - a dream come true. Amen.
What a cutie pie!