Thursday, February 2, 2012

Summer in Sydney

After a fantastic Christmas Break back home, full of getting to spend time with my family, friends, youth group, church, band, and hometown restaurants, I flew back to my other home here in Sydney. I landed pretty early in January (the 8th I think), I still had about a month of summer before school starts back and schedules/ routines return. While school is back in full swing already, and there are many more adventures to be had on days off, here’s a peak or recap into summer:

Weather: Rain… all the time. Just, all the time. BUT it’s fine, because when it rains, that means my roommate Tyler and I’s feet aren’t on fire when we wake up from the sun beaming through the windows! And there’s lazy movie days galore because of the poor weather. So not always is bad weather bad! There was a really nice, sunny week the week I first was back in Sydney, and then God blessed Summer Camp up in Newcastle with unbelievably great weather! But alas, it’s been rainy and I’ve been going barefoot (classic Australian style) and not even bothering with my hair lately because of it.

FUEL SUMMER CAMP!!!: favorite summer memory for sure! I am a year 8 Leader (8th grade), and had my RDG(stands for radical discipleship group…kinda like a miniature connect group of students) of 4 amazing girls at camp with me. I had never been camping-like in tents and stuff- in my life before, so this was DEFINITELY a new experience for me. I shared a tent with 3 other leaders, and it turns out-(thought I’d never say it)—tents aren’t so bad! I actually slept really well every night with just my sleeping bag and blanket. (I’m assuming I slept so hard because of how full the days were? ha, I dunno!) The only thing that really freaked me out a bit was that there were only 8 showers for 600 people(fuel groups from city, hills, Brisbane, southwest, and extension service churches)…. I showered on the first day… and then there was an abundance of wet wipes for the rest of the week. Yuuucckkk. So since everyone smelled so lovely, it was just ignorable by the end of the week. It was rank.  It didn’t even matter how nasty you were, because when it came to tribal wars twice a day- you were always about to get MUCH more gross.
We had tribal wars where our 4 teams would compete in physical challenges, dance competitions, cheers, chants, presentations, you name it. Not braggin’ on my team but…. Brave did win :) and it was awesome!

       Haha, anyways, so those were always right before we went into worship-which was also so moving and touching. The coolest thing to witness and be a part of was watching leaders encourage, prophecy, or pray over each other and over students…but the even more touching part was watching the students step out in faith and do the same for one another and even for us leaders. I’ll tell ya, one of the most amazing worship experiences I had during the week was this 12 year old Fuel girl praying over me and speaking the words from God that was exactly what I needed in that moment.  God is so faithful, so amazing.

     As far as recreation goes, Glenrock Scout Camp in Newcastle (obviously, where the camp was located) was the PERFECT set up. It had space for a ridiculous amount of water bomb wars (boys vs girls…of course), a giant hill that served as the perfect slope for a MASSSIIVVEEE slip n’ slide (I never found the guts to do it and shred my knees/back into oblivion, but it looked fun!) The best part was that the camp had both a lake AND a beach!!! What a great location! We actually had some girls that would just swim the lake to get back to the tents instead of walking to them! Crazy kids.  Lake Franklin and the beach were set between stunning cliffs and the gorgeous blue sky overhead. While the beach was nice looking, it wasn’t so kind. The waves were more massive than anything I’ve ever personally seen or been in, was a bit too much for me to swim in! As soon as I got out of the water, they had to rescue 2 kids who had been caught in rip tides! That was scary! So of course, they then closed the beach for the afternoon. The second day went about the same way as far as the dangerousness of the water went. And the Third day the beach wasn’t even open because of the fact that there were 2 fatal shark attacks just 20 minutes away from where we were- water CLOSED for sure.  BUT! The second afternoon of camp, there was a LEGIT food fight! It was so gross, and so much fun! Syrup, sugar, flour, honey, condiments, whipped cream EVERYWHERE! Then everyone washed off in the lake. Then the lake definitely smelled like ketchup. Yummmmm.  *blech. One afternoon we had a mall excursion which was fun. Nice mall, cute little town.  There were 2 dance parties and a movie night during the week after the night service! I always grabbed the glowsticks from the dance parties and brought them to my tent to use as a flashlight. Ha, worked pretty well! Anyways, I’m so glad I got to go because I feel like it definitely helped me not only grow closer to God but as well as to the students in Fuel and the rest of the leadership team!

Job searching: yuck. I’ve been doing heaps of job searching. Stillllll looking. Please keep praying with me that I’ll find one SOON!( and more specifically, close to where I live would be nice!)

Opera House: I have been blessed with the most amazing boyfriend who got us tickets to go see West Side Story at the Opera House! We got to dress up all fancy, then went out to eat, grabbed Starbucks, then went inside the spectacular Opera House! It’s as gorgeous and interesting looking on the inside as it is on the outside, if not more so! The show was phenomenal! The film version of West Side Story was shot on a massive screen, and the Sydney Symphony played all of the music for the film, every sound, every note—so incredibly precise. All the instruments so remarkably in sync with one another- it was captivating to watch their movements as a group and to hear which instruments exactly made what sound effect in the movie. The sound in the concert hall was like none other. It was an experience I’ll never forget.  After the show, Andrew and I walked around the harbor a bit and got ice cream :) I am blessed.