Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Break in Glorious Glorieta

If ya'll didn't already know, I went to Glorieta, New Mexico for spring break this past week with a bunch of people I considered friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, and I came home with a family. Lots of people have been using that phrase, and it's pretty cliche, but it's true. Laughter and tears bring you together so powerfully, but much more so with the Holy Spirit in the midst. We studied the Bible a LOT, ate meals together, confessed our past demons and current struggles, prayed for each other, and shared bathrooms! Which is A Big Deal, because it's something I'm not accustomed to doing. And maybe I even came home with a crush or two.

For recollection's sake, here's the skinny on my week with God: My group studied the first half of Mark 1 to learn all about Jesus calling the disciples, and their sometimes wavering, sometimes faithful responses to him. We applied many things to our lives, and learned how intentional Jesus was with every little thing that happened. Connections were made between minute details you never would've noticed, and we were constantly playing detective to search them out and solve the puzzle. I also learned a lot about Jewish culture, because without the background of the story, the meanings can be distorted or even lost, something that people nowadays also don't think about too often.

Worship was pretty great. I fell in love with two or three songs that were new to me, and had fun experiencing the African language in song, and the energetic gospel style as well. You couldn't deny the happiness in the room when everyone was dancing and clapping and praising the Lord.

In our free time, we did lots of cool things. Zip-lining was one of the big ones, set on the actual campus we were staying on. It was a hop, skip, and a jump away from our dorm rooms, but instead of walking the 25 minutes it probably would've taken to get there, we crammed/piled 15 people in/on one person's suburban ("the tank") for a shorter ride down. That means 4 people in the back seat, 5 people in the middle, the 2 in front, and 2 on each side hanging onto the top. It was great fun! Other memorable things happening during the week were ultimate frisbee (I took a nap instead), a volleyball tournament, campfire with s'mores, and a day trip to Santa Fe, the capitol. There we did the tourist thing and visited the Cross of the Martyrs, the Loretto Chapel with the famous Miraculous Staircase, and the street vendors selling jewelry, ponchos, clothes, etc. Dinner and more shopping rounded out the day. I wish I had more time to talk about those places I just mentioned, but I can't - I encourage you to look them up! Or ask me about them later.

The most talked about part of the trip, though, probably had to be the road trip to and fro, during which Murphy's Law totally reigned and every problem that could happen, happened. On the way there, so many complications arose that my car arrived an entire 4 hours late! A list of the dilemmas we suffered from:
Wrong turns, 45-minutes long bathroom stops, hour-long breakfast hold ups at McDonald's, failed transmission (twice, the second one resulting in a double-back to pick up the people in the car who could no longer use their automobile), an hour's waste of time in a city just getting lost and trying to find everyone in our group, a flat-tire (resulting in driving slower for the rest of the way due to the donut tire), and then getting lost again in another city while trying to simply find a gas station and a starbucks, navigating the stupid one-way roads that made us circle around multiple times till we got it right.

On the way back, the car I was in (and that I drove for half the way) beat everyone else back home in perfect time. We were champs, but I heard that other cars got pulled over for speeding, peeing on the side of the road, and apparently the van drove about 100 miles in the wrong direction and had to turn back and start all over again. This meant that when we got to our meeting place at 12:30 at night, we had to wait till 3:15 for these guys to get there with our luggage in the trailer. I could be a lot more bitter than I am, but I just mention it because it's funny and tells a good story.

We had good fun during the drive, though, rocking out to the best dance music and playing games like 20 questions, crossword puzzles, and the one I call "The Packing Game." I always force my family to play it when we drive to our boating destinations, but this time we carried on the absolute longest game I've ever played. The way it works is one person starts off saying, "I'm going on a trip to ________ and in my suitcase I'm packing _______." If you said something like "a wine cooler," then the next person repeats that sentence and has to add another thing to the list that starts with R, because R is the last letter of the previous item. Everyone keeps taking a turn and the list of things to remember gets longer and longer. Usually I just play to see how far the chain can go, but Fiji is so competitive we had to make sure someone won, so the rule was you got out if you forgot one of the links. With that, we eliminated two of the four people, yet Fiji and I kept going without fail. Here's what the whole list ended up being:

"I went on a trip to Glorieta and in my suitcase I packed: a water bottle; earrings; shampoo; oral cleansing products; snake food; a diaper; rat poison; neosporin; a noodle; an egg; a gigapet; a trampoline; extra kleenex; a xylophone; EmergenC; a cow; willy wonka candy; your mom; mini eggs, cadbury; Yoohoo; octopi; an ipad; deoderant; travel-size lotion; a Nalgene; the energizer bunny; a yellow t-shirt; toilet paper; a rickshaw; a watermelon lollipop; a pillbox; xanthum gum; a monk; a kangaroo's eyelash; a hill; a ladder; a rhinoceros; a soap opera; an Argentine alpaca; apple pudding; ginseng; grey nail polish; a haircomb; a Bonobo Chimpanzee; an entourage; Ella Enchanted; Damon, Matt; and Taylor Lautner.

At that point, Fiji thought for a minute and said, "I think we have everything for our trip now. You can have Taylor Lautner, I'll have Matt Damon, and we'll be good." So we called it a tie. Because it had gone on way too long and neither of us was about to lose anytime soon. It's amazing what you can do with your memory using simple tricks. As you can see, you can get pretty creative with this game, and some of the things we said brought up hilarious conversations on the side. The buddy car behind me texted Fiji to ask if I was ok driving, because I was swerving a little, but it's only because they made me laugh so hard!

I'd like to also point out that not only were we winners for getting home first, and Fiji and I for never giving up on the "Packing Game," but I was also awarded the "Best Car Dancer" accolade by the one and only YB (Yellow Boomerang). AKA my best friend. I have to thank her for the immense amount of support and love I received during the week when I was having a hard time with some emotional things. I really don't know what I'd do without her.

Now my wrap-up paragraph! It is safe to say I had a blast on this trip. Although I was very frustrated internally a lot of the time, the more I think back on this week the more I love every minute of it, even the hard ones. I hope we get to return to the same place for camp next year, and I can't wait to do so. Right now I'm just excited to spend more time with my new "family" and get to know and love them even more. Here's to the power and wonders of God, and the love and support of people that know what really matters in life. Love you guys!

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