¡Hola! This is Taylor or Slammock here! Woah, we are in Peru. As I look around I am constantly in awe of the beauty of this country. God has created a beautiful place here in Arequipa, Peru. Our campsite is in the valley, so we are always getting to look at the mountains. It is breath taking. So far, this trip has been incredible! This is my second time here in Arequipa doing camp with this team!
Today was our first full day of camp! We all woke up to the campers running around a little after 5 a.m. Lol. They literally wake up with the sun. Obviously for us Americans, this was not as normal (haha) so most of us woke up a little sleepy. Shortly after waking up to see the campers running around, you cannot help but smile because of how cute they are. These kids bring so much joy to absolutely everything they do. It is incredible honestly.
After getting ready for the day, we all got to have an hour in the word before we got going. From there, we moved into breakfast time, where we cooked part of our own breakfase! We made chocolate bananas together! We took chocolate and stuffed it into the middle of a banana and cooked it over the fire. It is incredible how delicious such a simple meal really is. On top of that, we got to have one of my favorite foods in the world… bread haha. I have been looking forward to this bread since the day that I got on the plane in Arequipa last year to go back home. It is as simple as a plain roll with jelly and butter, but for some reason it is just so good. After breakfast, each individual cabin had a bible study. For us counselors, this can be a more challenging part of the day because we do not speak Spanish very well (if at all) making it very hard to understand what is being discussed (except for Analiese because she is incredible at Spanish). But is so cool that we all study the same Bible no matter the language!
From there, we move into everyone’s favorite time of the day, the pool! This is one of the more crazy and wild activities! The kids love the pool, which most kids do right? At camp, some favorite pool atcitivies are: climbing on our shoulders, whacking us with pool noodles, pushing us in the pool, us pushing them back in the pool, us throwing them around in the pool, them throwing balls at us. The list could go on forever. It’s a good workout!
After the pool we all lay in the sun and rest and laugh together before lunch!
Our meals are usually big portions of rice and a meat! You might think this would get old, but honestly these meals are some of the best meals I have ever eaten. The cool part is that so much of camp here is simple. The food they eat. The games they play. The cabins they sleep in. Everything is so simple. Man, we could take notes from them on this because they are so content with these things! Contentment is something we have been learning today as we have gone throughout camp. We think back to our homes and our daily lives. Man, we have so much “stuff”, and even with all that we are never content. We always want and more stuff (myself very much included). We just sat down and thought for a second…what can we learn from what we are experiencing? How would we be different? It is something that can be very humbling to step back and think about. Ultimately, I feel like this “stuff” effects our joy. We sometimes struggle to find joy in our daily routines because we expect so much. These Peruvians are thankful for all that is given to them. They chose to have joy. The Lord has blessed us immensly living in the United States, but as we are here longer, it’s helpful question whether or not we truly see these things in our lives as blessings from the Lord (like our friends here do) or do we see them as things we have earned or deserved out of our own strength.
At lunch, Zach’s cabin won spirit stick today because they cheered the most at lunch!! Zach was stoked and very proud of his campers.
After this, we took a siesta ! From there, we continued to do more activities which included octa-ball or gaga-ball, a games of capture the flag, and a paper windmill craft. It was cool to see that the campers took so much pride in coloring in their papers with cool designs and pretty colors!
We went from there to dinner and we are now beginning worship time!
Being back this second time has been incredible. I have enjoyed getting to catch up with my campers from last year! Something that I learned last year was that they love candy, specifically Air Heads! Because of that I bought a pack of 120 airheads to give to campers. Man, I tell you, they love these Air Heads. It has made a cool way to connect with any campers that I get the chance to interact with. As we continue to do camp, I am excited to see the things we continue to learn! To everyone out there reading this blog, thank you for your support of our trip. We hope this blog is a method of sharing all the incredible things God is showing us… along with the fun things we get to do!
Taylor “Slammock” Jennings