Monday, June 15, 2009

Well then.

So, obviously it's been awhile since I did anything with this blog. My apologies. I did make it back from Guatemala, and I did go to El Salvador too... and now I'm home on summer break! Here's a brief sketch of what's happened since then:

- We spent 5 weeks at GBS, doing Cultural Anthropology and Preparation for Intercultural Ministry classes during the week and helping with a church on the weekend. My team went to that church that I showed you pictures of, starting up a Sunday School program with the kids there.

- At the end of our time at GBS, we went to Panajachel, on the shores of Lake Atitlan. There, we had one day off, a weekend of Spiritual Retreat, which included different sessions given by our directors, worship, solo time, and silent evenings. At the end we had another day off, during which we went to a pool at the hotel next door and swam, then spent time preparing for practicum which started the next day.

- For Practicum, we went to El Salvador. My team went to the community Loma De la Cruz, just outside of the town of Jucuapa. During our time there, we built a wall out of rock, taught ESL, played soccer with the kids, had a kids' club, taught crafts to the older girls, and showed an evangelistic movie. It was a great time with the team, building relationships with the people in the community and learning a new type of Spanish accent. El Salvadorans are hard to understand! (Think of a non-native English speaker talking to someone from Arkansas)

- After practicum, which lasted for 10 days, with one day on each end for prep and debrief, we returned to GBS for the rest of the week to debrief our entire time in Central America. The seminary students threw us a goodbye party, and many tears were shed. I also worked on getting the last details in place for our travel back to Canada (as one of the two travel apprentices, I was responsible for the group's travel from Guatemala to El Salvador and back to Guatemala, then to Canada... quite the adventure!).

Then, Sunday, the 5th of April, we flew back to Canada. Everything went smoothly, except for the intern who didn't make it through customs quickly enough to make the connection in Houston. The poor girl had to stay at a 5-Star hotel overnight and fly to Calgary the next day.

We had one day off, then class started up. This was Theology class, and I loved it! We learned the history of theology, and the progression of the church's theology, as well as different theologians in history and went through the basic beliefs of the church. We had a little over 2 weeks of Theology, then it was graduation time.

My family came for graduation, surprising me by bringing one of my cousins and one of my aunts! It was a great time together, even though some of my time was taken up with Discover closing activities and graduation rehearsal. We had Thursday evening, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning together before they started the drive home.

Now, I'm sure you're thinking, "why didn't you go home with them?" Well, because I had to stay! Yeah, yeah... that explains a lot. =) Remember when I told you that I got an internship with Discover? Well, part of the internship was staying 2 weeks after graduation for a class.

The class was part training and part class-oriented. We learned about how to build a team, develop a team culture, work better cross-culturally, and be a servant leader. Towards the middle of the class, we went on an overnight orienteering trip, spending all day with a topographical map and compass, looking for different caches of food/supplies for the night. After it was all done, we made dinner and relaxed together, singing with Kyle's guitar, before turning in to bed. Next morning we had breakfast, then left for solo time, then returned to debrief with our director, David.

After 2 weeks on a VERY quiet campus, we departed for home. And that's where I am now! I've been working on a distance ed course (also part of the internship), painting a house, and taking short trips. Last weekend my older brother and I went backpacking with a couple of our cousins.

What's next? Well, I return to Prairie the 25th of July to go on a canoe trip with the other interns, then we have 2 weeks on campus to prepare for the new students coming in. Then it's off to do a repeat of last year's activities, but as a leader... or rather, a servant-leader.

I may put up some pictures sometime of the last part of Guatemala/El Salvador... but no promises. On the other hand, I may post some random theological wanderings here, because that's what I am-- a purposeful wanderer. I know what I'm doing, I know where I'm going eventually, but until then, I'm wandering this earth, and enjoying it fully. =)

Abby/Abner/Abigail/Abby Sue