Hello, happy waiting people! I'm sorry to keep you waiting on the knowledge of Olive Grove haps. We are well into week one of our "holiday adventure" and things are going marvelously. I have a small group of eleventh grade girls and have grown to love them loads and loads (one of my girls has a propper British accent that is to die for). Our theme for these two weeks is "Storie That Guide". We are studying stories from the Bible that provide practical and important lessons, especially for TCKs. In addition to stories up my wazoo, I'm teaching the "girl time" elective. We (Meg and I) are teaching Jr. High and High School girls about holistic health. Today that looked like giving out personality quizes to the girls which point out strengths that would guide their psychological health. Those are some official highlights of our time thus far.
Now for the juicy stuff...actually, just some fun observations. I've noticed a few things have changed since the last time I was at Olive Grove. For one, the pensiyon paved parts of its grass area so that the children don't have to walk in the mud. Also, there are a few more bungaloes that have been added to the girls' side of the property and there seems to be more flowers around the grounds this year than last. These may seem like trivial things...and they probably are. But I like that I can notice the change. Coming back to a place so...remote, so unique, so "I would never ever know this was part of our planet had someone not dropped me here"...it does something neat to the soul. I have very vivid memories of last year's OG experience, so the subtle changes in scenery have possibly helped me to make new memories with my new kids and new (wonderful) co-counselors. But one thing remains the same: the sea. The Mediterranean is stunningly beautiful at any point in the day and I praise God when I look around me and see where I am. Gorgeous.
Yesterday, the upperclass men and women got to go to a high ropes course during the day. It was a genuinely fun experience and a lot of good team building went down. In particular, I noticed that some of the girls (myself most definitely included) could not complete every course by themselves, so they would have to take help from the boys on certain challenges. Namely, course in which you had to pull your body weight (as in: with my ARMS) at an uphill slant! You learn a lot about people when you're depending on them and in this case, I learned that the high schoolers here are a stellar bunch of young people. Skipping off to do the fun ropes course did not come without consequenses, however. Many of us were very sore today from the strange movements. In addition, I'm participating in a work out every day during "girl time" and working on a TOP SECRET group dance for the talent show next Friday. To say the least, I'll get a healthy dose of exercise while here and I can't complain about that! Another thing to not complain about would be the weather. Considering how hot it was last year, I've been feeling very grateful for the early morning/late evening breezes and cool-downs. Even still, I bet each person here talks about the heat at least 10 times a day... maybe I'll try to make my portion all positives tomorrow.
So besides these abstract observations and concrete updates, an important thing for everyone to know is that I've changed my name. Only temporarily though, don't worry! Since we have a Christine, a Krista, a Krystal, and a Christen here at OG, I thought it might be easier on everyone (and on my personal attention needs) to remember me by a completely different name. We deliberated for a while and settled on the name Skye. For the first few days of camp it was weird introducing myself as Skye without adding the seemingly necessary clause: "well that's not my real name, but I'm going by Skye right now...", but now everyone has pretty well caught on and I'm responding to my new name. Yes, we're all lucid. I've always wanted a seasonal name! You know me and my seasons...
On Thursday we will hike to the eternal flames and on Sunday we'll do our annual boat trip to Olympos! I hope to tell more very soon.