Friday mainly consisted of driving up to Camp des Cimes. It was raining, so we couldn't really see much on the way. At one point, I asked Wayne if what I saw on the left would be considered a small mountain. Every person in the car immediately said "Nooooo". As it turns out, what I thought was a small mountain was a large hill. I'm from the midwest, what do I know? After a very draining week, I spent the majority of the ride drifting in and out of consciousness with splashes of trying to explain "Three Cups of Tea" to Anne-Laure (another girl going to the camp) in French. This was not nearly as difficult as when I tried to explain the book to the surprised Turkish man in my class (who is a Muslim) in French and trying to correctly pronounce the Islamic words. Nevertheless, it was a tad difficult. When we finally got to camp, we ate a late (more or less, it was only around 9) dinner and I got to enjoy all kinds of ridiculous jokes from Mr. Wayne Hadley. That family is too fantastic. I also got to meet Daniel (finally)! Daniel is one of Ben's close friends whose family goes to my church here. He has lukemia, and has to go back to England for more chemotherapy in a couple weeks. It was amazing for him to be there. He even had the strength to play drums during worship! It was an incredible blessing to see that.
Through talking with Randy and Sandy on Saturday morning, I realized that I have hit the wall created by exhaustion and becoming bilingual. What happens is, you are incapable of thinking, speaking, or comprehending in either language. You can imagine my frustration, particularly during the first chapel when the speaker (who I am sure was American, based on his accent) was giving an incredible message through the use of pottery. He was standing up there, with a potter's wheel and lumps of clay basically, as I understand it, saying that God creates beautiful, unique things that can be used for specific purposes. But then, inevitably, it breaks and can no longer perform its original function. However, Gos does not give up on that broken piece of pottery. Instead, he takes other broken pieces of pottery and creates something new. Tom, the speaker, illustrated his message by making a jar, a lid, a vase, and a bowl. He broke each of these (and it tore at the art appreciator in me) and then attached them together to make a teapot that looked alarmingly like Mrs. Potts. He attached a handle which represented Christ, through which we as a church can pour out into others. It was beautiful, and I wish I could have actually understood what he was saying.
After a, naturally, glorious lunch, we packed up into 6 cars and headed up to hike in the Alps. Words do not even describe. Unfortunately, it was rather foggy, so the view was obstructed for the most part. At some moments, though, oh my word. The clouds parted and my breath caught in my chest. Never have I seen anything that beautiful. I could really get used to living somewhere like that. If not living, definitely visiting fairly often. While walking through the fog, I found myself singing "Once in the Highlands" from Brigadoon. And then, while climbing a large rock to get a better view, I began singing "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" from The Sound of Music. I'm a nerd, and I love it.
As the day progressed, I began to understand more of what people were saying and I was even able to carry on a conversation at dinner. That is particularly difficult at the end of a day, so I was quite pleased with myself. That night, I was in charge of getting the tea, coffee, and such ready after evening chapel. One thing that I love about this church is that it reminds me so much of my home church. Even if you're new, you just jump right in and there are all kinds of people to help you figure things out. It made me so happy to set things up and get things ready for people to enjoy, and then I got to watch them enjoy it. It just filled my heart.
Today, after a very interrupted night of sleep, was just as wonderful. As for the interrupted sleep, I was sleeping on the top bunk of a bed. Now, I do not like top bunks in the least, but this one was truly terrifying. Every time I moved, or Anne-Laure moved on the bed beneath me, the ENTIRE bunk bed shook. The slightest movement, such as pausing the iPod in my hand, caused the illusion of a small earthquake. Okay, so I may be embellishing ever so slightly. This morning, after a delightful breakfast of coffee (in a bowl), and bread and jam, butter, and nutella, I got to enjoy the beauty of a (nearly) cloudless view of the Alps. I was in such bliss. During lunch, Ben and Charlotte taught me how to properly eat flan. The technical term is "Gobbing". If you want to see the video, check out the ol' facebook. If you don't, it basically means sucking the entire thing of flan up in one go. It was entertaining.
And now, some pictures.
I'm a big fan of the different settings I've found on my camera.
Yes, Ben wore shorts, trainers, and a jumper to hike around in the Alps.
I was in heaven.
Nearly cloudless view from the dining hall.
The first attempt at globbing flan.
Some beautiful flowers.
Daniel and Ben checking out Daniel's present.
Charlotte and me.
One of the lakes on our hike.
She's an explorer.