Week 8: July 19-25
Work staff week was a much-needed break for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the children, but even too much of a good thing can be bad sometimes. I was put on work staff with two other girls, and it was great. I cleaned innumerable amounts of clothes, dishes, bathrooms… But I had fun and felt productive. Maybe busy work isn’t always that bad. We actually spent about two hours the first day sitting on the couch in the boys’ dorm (instead of cleaning it) snacking on dried mango slices and talking to one of the guys about his ideal wife. It was glorious.
My mom flew out to visit me last Wednesday (July 22nd), which was definitely a high point of the summer for me. I had said that she would be happy to help on work staff, so she was put on the schedule to prepare the dining hall for lunch with me. We basically put her to work as soon as she got here (helping me fold laundry, serving food to the kids, putting away dishes), but she seemed happy to do it. It was kind of fun to give her a taste of what real camp life is like, at least from behind the scenes.
I really believe her being here was a God thing. I have been needing a spiritual and emotional boost for awhile now. And now that the summer is just about over, I have started worrying about the future again: whether I will graduate in one semester or two, what I will do after college, etc. God brought her out here to encourage me to keep going strong and to assure me that He has everything under control. My favorite part of her visit was praying together over what I'll be doing during this last semester of college and beyond. Later that night, she left a sticky note on my laptop with Jeremiah 29:11 written on it:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I still haven't taken it off.
She said that being here for a few days also gave her some time to recharge spiritually, which was exciting to hear. It was wonderful for me to take a short break from the day-to-day camp life, hear stories and updates of life at home, and just spend time with someone who knows and loves me. We got to sleep in the nurses' apartment and go sightseeing in downtown Juneau for a day. We had a blast walking around, shopping, doing the whole tourist thing. The weather hadn’t been great Wednesday through Friday, but it was gorgeous on Saturday. I gave her a tour of camp, which included a couple of rides down the sky trolley and a trail ride. She left Saturday night.
Saturday also included a ladies’ night hosted by the full-time staff women. We all got to dress up and have a real live tea party, including little baked treats, games, and fancy teapots. Naturally, it was my dream come true. I think I drank about four cups of tea and ate my weight in baked goods and fruit. The guys, in the meantime, took the opportunity to prank our dorm room. They pulled a canoe in through the window, filled it with water, and put a live fish inside it. When a few of the girls returned, they bombarded them with water balloons. Thankfully, I missed that part. We named the fish Mohammad before he died the next day. We have yet to retaliate, but I’m sure something will happen before the summer is over.