Warning: this is going to be a tad long [2004-02-22, 6:34 p.m.]
Wow. I'm tired, and I've had a long weekend. I doubt anyone is gonna read all of this, but I don't care, I'm just gonna type it all out anyway.
So, Friday afternoon we set out for New Brunswick Bible Institute, Canada. We barely fit everything into our 15-passenger van. The ride up was a lot of fun. Some of our youth leaders are pretty funny. Like, one of them (Mike) was coughing pretty much the whole time, and he'd be driving along couging, and when he finally got his breath he'd be like, "Don't worry, it's only SARS." And every time we approach the Canadian/American border, I'm like, "Ok, everyone hide their cocaine, and please keep the machine guns UNDER your seats!" Yeah, it's kinda crazy. We ended up stopping at Burger King on the way there, and we reached NBBI around 6 pm (atlantic time) to register. So sad that it's my last year :-/
There were 4 teams, as usual, and ours was called the Green Gators. We ended up finishing last, as always. Seems the team I'm on always finishes last. I don't know if I'm just a jinx, or a bad athlete (probably both). For the whole 'welcoming' thing, there was a singer there named David Gopee, who was from Trinidad, and he was really good :-) He was funny too.
After that, we all went into the gym to play organized team games. Which I hate. Probably cuz I'm no good at them, but I guess they weren't too bad this year. But those finally got over around 11 pm, so we all went to the dorms. The student we roomed with was really nice. Me, Emmalie (my sister), and Jessica were all in one room, so it was kinda crowded. And the next morning, they made us get up at SEVEN. For most of the morning we had Bible classes and chapel. It's sometimes hard to be attentative for those, but I really try, cuz they're good. I take a few notes too, that helps.
I think one thing that inspired me the most this weekend, was the talk about Jesus feeding the 5000. The speaker said that when the disciples told Jesus that the people were hungry, they had already made up their minds that they couldn't feed them. But all Jesus asked was "How many loaves do you have." In one account, the loaves weren't even theirs, they were provided. So the point he was trying to make is that God doesn't want us to concentrate on what we don't have and can't do, (Which I seem to do often, because there are quite a few things in that category), but just to give him what we do have, and He'll use it. It's not like we could give God anything he doesn't already have anyway, He just wants us to be willing.
The speakers were all very good though, as always. On Saturday afternoon, there were a bunch of voluntary games, which I, of course, never participate in. Things like basketball, ping-pong, snow soccer, etc. So usually me, and most of the others in our group just sit & watch basketball all afternoon, or just go places & hang out. So I just hung around and ate candy. Yep. Self-discipline fails me once again. I always use excuses though, like, "It's a retreat! Come on, it's not like I'm gonna do this EVERY weekend." Ho ho.
But yeah, the healthy food was really good too. For lunch on Saturday they gave us spaghetti and cheese bread. MMMMMM! Although I kinda felt like a pig, cuz I was the only one who cleaned my plate, and the other girls at my table just kinda picked at theirs. Oh well, their loss. Maybe my appetite will slow down when my metabolism does.
Anyway, after supper on Saturday, they had some more songs, skits, and stuff in the chapel. There was also a message about forgiving others, and about what bitterness can do to a person's emotional, mental, and physical health. I think it was great, because I know there's a lot of bitterness out there. It was good for me too, because I have a problem with letting go sometimes, and even though I'm really not bitter at anyone right now (at least not that I can think of with my sleep-deprived brain), someday I'm probably gonna get hurt worse than I ever have, or stabbed in the back. Not pleasant, but it's part of life, and I'm glad I got to listen to some counsel about how to deal with that.
After that, we all went back into the gym for MORE of those wonderful organized games. But this time I hid out at the top of the bleachers and didn't play. Call me a loser, but I wasn't the only one. Although it kinda backfired on me. See, they were gonna play a game that involved a HUGE inflated beach ball. It was enormous, and kinda heavy. They usually used it for volley-ball like games, in the huge gym, with like 100 kids hitting it around everywhere. Fortunately, the gym is big enough that when I play that game I can usually just run away from the ball.
It's seriously a scary thing. It's really heavy to hit it, plus whenever it comes down, there are tons of people crowding around, so getting squished is very likely. Well anyway, they were gonna play another version of that game on Saturday night, which was kinda like foosball. So you really couldn't go anywhere, you just stood in a line to hit it when it came to you. So I managed to hide and then came down later when they'd started playing. Bad decision. I was sitting with our leaders near the bottom of the bleachers, when the ball started coming toward me. Occasionally it goes out of bounds like that. Now, I could've just stuck my arms up and at least TRIED to hit the big thing, but no, I cowered in my most helpless position as it hit me. It didn't hurt or anything, but it was kinda scary. I was like, "The big giant beach ball tried to EAT me!!" Now I'm probably going to have nightmares about a big heavy beach ball falling onto my head, with me unable to put my arms up and save myself. Oh well. At least I didn't have to be on the gym floor with that thing coming at me. Maybe I have giantbeachballophobia or something.
It was funny, cuz one of the speakers mentioned phobias in his talk, and he listed a bunch of phobias he had found in an actual physchology book, and this is one of them: boogieophobia. Yep. Fear of the boogie man. I know, I couldn't believe it either. Like the speaker said, we actually pay psychologists to diagnose these things?
Yeah, so, after the games were all over and the winning team had been announced, we went to the dining hall and got banana splits (at like 11 pm at night), and shortly afterward, I went to bed cuz I was tired. We didn't even get to bed till almost 1 am. And the next day we all had to get up at SEVEN again, grr. The morning was all Bible classes again, and right before lunch, as always, our group loaded up our van and left early, to eat in Houlton, Maine.
We always go to this Chinese place called "Sing Wah", but as we drove in, one of our leaders remarked, 'Oh, Sing Wah isn't there anymore.' Of course, upon hearing this I almost freaked out. Cuz we ALWAYS go to a Chinese buffet after NBBI! It just wouldn't be the same eating anything else! But fortunately, Sing Wah had been replaced by another, larger, better, Chinese buffet place, so I got to stuff myself with Chinese after all :-) I even smuggled out an egg roll for the ride home.
We were getting kinda hyper at one point (Lack of sleep and lots of candy tend to do that to people). After we had finished eating, some of the (younger) girls were pouring sugar on each other's heads, and stuff like that. But the ride home was quieter. It was pretty bad too, cuz it was snowing when we left, and, all total, we spotted about 20 cars off the road on the 5-hour ride home. I'm really glad we got back safely. Sometimes when we'd come up to a vehicle off the road though, Mike would be like, "Oh look, it's a Chevy. Figures." Kinda mean, but he's a big Ford fan.
I remember that a lot of funny things were said on the way home, cuz I laughed a lot, but maybe I was just hyper, and even if they really were funny, I can't exactly remember any of them now.
Oh yes, one more thing. I know this kind of embarrassed someone, but it was hilarious. It happened on Saturday night (sometime before that giant beach ball attacked me). Ya see, basically, during the time our teams play games, the game directors will often ask us to bring them a particular item, say, a 1999 nickel or something like that. When they say what they want, the first person to get one, run to the other end of the gym, touch the wall, and come back & give it to them wins points for their team. Well, our group was just sitting there, and one of the guys on the floor who was running the games was like, "Has anyone lost a silver pocket knife?" And he held it up. Now, one of the girls in our group (who shall remain nameless) wasn't exactly paying attention to what he said (it was kinda hard to hear because his microphone was loud too), but after he said that, Mike (the practical joker), was like, "[her name], they just asked for a pocket knife!" So he took his out of his pocket and gave it to her. So of course, she believed him since she hadn't really heard, and she took it and started running to the gym wall. And like, ALL of the people were sitting in the bleachers facing the gym, except for the guys who were running things.
Most of the people in our group had heard what he really said though, so as soon as she takes off we all start laughing our heads off. One of the girls (being the nice person she is), tried to call her back, but she was too far off and couldn't hear. So she ended up running to the gym wall, and touched it and came back and gave the knife to the guy. And we're all sitting there just laughing so hard we cried! I really kinda feel bad for her, even though she was laughing a little too, cuz if someone did that to me, I'd be REALLY embarrassed. But I don't really know how the game director reacted, although he said something like, "Oh, we have two knives now." But she eventually came back, and wasn't very happy with Mike, although she couldn't really do anything to him. I think she should try to get him back somehow though. It was hilarious though. Maybe you just had to be there; but each year we usually have some funny story about something that someone in our group does (and yes, I've been that person before) that stands out among the others, and that was definitely this year's one.
But anyway, I shall close now, although if I think of anything else to add, I might do that in a future entry. Tata!
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009