Well, the kids finally arrived around 11 this morning! It was exciting to watch them come into the camp that we are pretty used to now. We decided to wear our yellow shirts on the first day of camp so if it wasn’t already obvious enough that we were Americans, we blinded them with yellow. I tried to go talk to some kids in Russian by saying “my name is…” and “hello” but the kids would respond with hello and then they laughed and shyed away. I felt weird and wished I spoke Russian. From that point on, I heard more Russian than I’ve heard my entire life.
Luckily, during lunch, Sveta (co-camp director) translated for Laura and I. At the camp, they have a hilarious way of picking teams. First, each leader is given a list of kids names to memorize but when the kids come they have a judging session. The kids are called up name by name and evaluated. They are “trouble-makers” or “short and strong” and the leaders say “I guess I will take them if I haaavveeee to”. Unfortunately, we had no translator so all the laughing didn’t make any sense. Sarah and I were assigned to the leader, Camila, to help her in anyway possible but she doesn’t speak english. Two of the girls in the group speak english so they tried to translate when we were making a banner. We had to make the banner by painting our toes and writing with only our toes. It was hilarious.
Then, we got to play soccer with the kids. I am terrible at soccer. I can’t even kick the ball. I got asked to play on the Moldovan team because I was one of the only ones who didn’t play on the American team. I helped score once… but after half-time I was replaced. It was still fun though.
After dinner, the Americans performed a skit. We did the story of Shadrach, Mesach, and Abendigo. Stevie was one of the guards who threw them into the fire and when he was supposed to die from the heat of the fire…He fell off the stage on accident! The kids were frightened but many (like our team) were laughing really hard.
The best part of my day was the small group discussion. Alina (our translator) helped out Sarah and my’s group. The girls talked about how they believe in a God but don’t really go to church or believe in the Christian God. They believe in tolerance and that everybody is right. Sarah, Alina and I went to pray for our group and we ask that you pray for all of the kids in the camp too. We can’t wait to get to know the kids better and influence them for God.