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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

Our First Off-site Excursion

We were greeted to nice pancakes, eggs, and bacon this morning: things were already looking up. Everybody seemed to be adjusting really well to our new environment here which created a really fun and friendly dynamic. It seemed like everybody was just happy to be here. We got a chance to beautify our campsite shortly after breakfast. We set up water stations, hung up tarps for shade and rain, and we even set up decorations. It’s starting to feel like a home here.

After breakfast and beautification, we were pleasantly surprised with a trip to the lake. It was awesome. The water was absolutely freezing but it was more than worth it. It felt really good to rinse off and see everybody jump in and go crazy. It was nice to know everybody was having a good time. Coleman caught a fish too! Good for him :).

Shortly before swimming, we went to a peak right above the lake and got to have a cool talk about the concept of ‘home’ and what it means to us. It was really awesome to see some of the other students open up and talk about these things. It was also super cool to finally get the first chance to connect with the land here and learn more about it. The scenery was beautiful. It looked like something straight out of a post card. It was almost too much to take in. We were exceptionally late back to camp, but we were treated to pizza and popsicles. The meals today were simply unmatched.

After about an hour and a half of self care time we got to get back together with our groups and do our check-ins. I was fortunate enough to lead my groups check-in today and it was really fun to take the lead on things and be able to talk to everyone and see how were doing. I could tell everybody was having a really good time and already feeling so much better than they were yesterday now that we felt rested and adapted to our new home.

After check-ins, we got to do a scavenger hunt. One of the tasks was to ask Renee from the kitchen staff for a task to do in order to finish. My group got to put plastic wrap neatly on top of the serving tables. The scavenger hunt was a great way to keep us busy and get us to help out with the kitchen staff as well. Speaking of kitchen, we had burritos for supper tonight! Renee and her crew really outdid themselves today. They all deserve cookies!

After dinner, we had a nice reflection time with our groups and now we’re here. Most of the students are back at their campsites either sleeping or just hanging out for now. As for me, I get to sit here and write about all the cool things we did today. We still have about 12 more days of this and to say I’m excited would be a massive understatement. Everyone here is so nice and welcoming and I can’t wait to meet the new people arriving tomorrow. The time here is currently 9:34pm and we’ve got about 90 minutes until lights out. Although we might end up going to bed early again just because we’re so exhausted form all the fun we’re having.

I hope you all reading this are thinking about us and we can’t wait to see you when we get back!