Andrew and Grace (and Luke’s two cents) here. Since it’s been a day or two, there’s a lot to catch y’all up on. After waking up earlier than we’d normally desire yesterday morning, we loaded up the big bus and several mini-buses and started the long journey to camp. Almost immediately, the campers started sharing their vast number of icebreaking games with us; pretend everybody is ice, and break them. Don’t worry, it’s not quite as ominous as it sounds – no one gets injured in the process. Many of you that have been here before are familiar with the “Who Slapped My Hand?” game, but rest assured there are evidently many other less than imaginative ways to get the entire back of the bus (and beyond) playfully slapping each other. Meanwhile, Luke figured out how to solve a Pyraminx (a Rubik’s cube that isn’t a cube but a pyramid)! We took a rest stop at a park and consumed those famous cheese and salami sandwiches (delicious) while getting to know the campers better. As returners, it was refreshing to have the campers that we’d already created bonds with enthusiastically introduce us to their new friends and make every attempt to involve us. Many new friendships started developing and somehow we got even more excited for camp.
After a relatively slap-free second half of the bus ride (Daniel came back and made sure our new friends & us found more productive ways to connect) we “arrived” at camp and learned that the journey was not quite over… we had to lug our many baggages partway up the mountain (and we are definitely in the mountains!) since the big bus was unable to make it the entire way. The evening was a bit chaotic as we struggled to adjust to the new facilities and catch up with the camp schedule. Many of us had our first dose of “Romanian camp flexibility” as our first evening session responsibilities began right as we arrived and we had to adapt to the ever changing needs of the moment.
In the end, we got done what needed to get done and so began the last part of the evening: small groups. While every small group was different, some members of our team began to feel the full impact of the language barrier as the deeper the conversation got, the translation into English became more sparse. As Americans, one of the hardest transitions on this trip is to learn how to sit back, observe, and pray rather than just sharing our thoughts and opinions. Please pray for us and the campers as the conversations continue to develop throughout the week.
After a little less uninterrupted sleep than some of us had hoped (the guys slept four to a bunk – *double bunk – head to toe!), we awoke to some of the most beautiful fog hugging the tree filled slopes (#mistymountainscold). Our morning was filled with arts and crafts during breakout time (formerly known as English class) where we picked out pictures of things we liked and glued them to the covers of journals. While the rest of the campers headed down to the fields to play more get-to-know-you games, we (Grace and Andrew) hung back to cheer on our small groups as they attempted the obstacle course suspended in the trees. We are about to head out for more large group sports/games right now, but first, some shout-outs:
To Grandma and Grandpa Babler: We are in the mountains at camp in romania, and I bet that it is way prettier than your view! I miss you tons and cant wait to see you soon <3
To Movie Soulmate: Morning babe. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen like a ginger while you’re in San Fran. This morning we sang the Misty Mountains song and I thought about our pool reenactments and that time we went to see Desolation and thought it “wasn’t that bad.” Please inform Nickolas that the Neymar memes have been put to good use. Miss you bae.
To Jo: Hey it’s your birthday! I wish I could be at home with you to celebrate, but don’t worry, I got two bags of Joe this time.
To Ali Mongoose: This is not a shoutout, thanks for the deetz.
To Adeline: You type goodly for a baby.
To America (from David): HELLO DAVID, THIS IS AMERICA.
To Athen-a: there was a dog on the ground eating ice cubes. It was cute and it distracted everyone during team time. THEY DON’T HAVE SPICY CHICKEN.
To David K: We are still waiting for your comments…
To Culvers for having cheese-curds.
~Father Grace and Son Andrew