All team members arrived safely on Saturday. A few were delayed due to flight cancellations and delays, but by the time the evening rally started, the whole team was together.
We moved into our tent site, which very much deserves its name “Jungle Hideaway”. We go down a rather long and muddy path deep into the palm forest to a nice clearing that would be really hard to find if it weren’t for the path. We can’t really see or hear any other teams around us, which is really nice.
We have eight girls and 14 boys on the team. The team leaders during Boot Camp are Mrs Stencil, Ms. Anna and Mr Eugene. Our head leaders are Mr & Mrs Maher. They are on staff at Teen Missions and have a lot of other responsibilities during Boot Camp, but they stop by whenever they can, and Mr Maher stays at the tent site with us.
Most of the kids are struggling with the heat and humidity, especially when we have classes in under the Big Top (the central tent where all gatherings are held that all teams attend at the same time). But today, on Sunday, we can already tell that they are getting a little more used to it.
Saturday evening we had a rally in the Big Top that included worship time (we even sang one song in African languages – a nice preview for our time in Malawi) and the Commissioning for the Mustard Seeds and Peanuts. Those are the younger kids (4-6 and 7-9) that were at Boot Camp before us. We sent them out with candles to bring the light of God to the world. The little ones got to ride their cow train one last time – they were adorable!
Sunday morning we attended the Graduation Ceremony for the students of the Bible School (BMW). One of them was the cousin of our team member, Jedekiah.
Afterwards, we got our very first experience on the Obstacle Course (OC). All the kids are very glad that this was the only time they had to run it in the midday heat. All other days they will run the OC before breakfast when it will be much cooler.
The OC includes obstacles such as the Slough (which is a rope swing over water), a Maze, Jacob’s Ladder (which is a huge rope net to climb up, over a bar, and back down on other side), the Red Sea (similar rope net across water) and the Walls. Everybody made it safely through the OC and we did quite well as a team. The kids were encouraging each other and giving each other helpful tips for how to conquer the obstacles. We got nine team members up the Wall at the end, which we were told was quite an accomplishment on the first day.
The afternoon was full of orientation classes to learn about life at Boot Camp, and even tips on photography.
Right now the kids are swimming in the lake for their free time, and afterwards they will wash themselves up some more.