Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day Four


In the beginning, there was showers. Then the Lord said, “let there be breakfast!” And so there was. And it was good.

Today, June 18, was our last Friday at Ghost Ranch. The high school and middle school graders were sent to the waterfront or the wetlands, and in the middle of the day, we would alternate. I was with the high school group, so we got to go to the waterfront in the morning. It turned out to be a better experience than expected because the air was warm and the air was still. It was amazing to learn something new and experience God’s creation in an exciting and intimate way. The colors of the land were beautifully contrasted between the dusty, red mountains and the pure, deep blue of the sky. After that, we spent some time down at the wetlands learning about water treatment here at the ranch. Even though the weather was unfortunate, it was interesting to learn about conservation and practical use of water from a man who was obviously passionate about his work. There is a lot we can do to protect and practically use the water we take for granted in this country.

Free time was fun today too. Reading, napping and wasting away on Otterpops with good friends I met at this camp. Dinner was surprisingly different today. We got to enjoy our food in a new way that made us appreciate the origin of our food. It was a sensual experience. After worship we had a campfire down in the woods. We sang songs, told jokes, and roasted marshmallows. I loved to get a chance to converse with people today. We talked about our interests, our pasts, our relationship with God, and dominatrixes – but that’s a completely different story.

In the words of Keanau Reeves, “today was most excellent!”

- Matti

Day Three


To start off, today’s breakfast was fantastic! I ate like three pieces of French toast and a bowl of oatmeal. T’was a good start to a good day.

It was a beautiful drive to the farm we worked at. The landscape of New Mexico is simply breathtaking. I was excited to work at the farm because, well, I like farms. It was exciting until I realized there were billions of spiders. To say the least, I was not excited about that. But Adam, one of the kids from the Muslim mosque tried to calm me down by making jokes about it. It worked. I’m surprised by how easy it has been for me to make friends on this trip. I usually keep to myself, but with all the excitement and energy of everyone, that is nearly impossible.

There have been a few bumps in the road this week, but for me, the good overwhelms the bad. I’m so thankful that I have gotten to know Karla, Matti, Allia, Jenn and Nate better. They are wonderful people. This evening was a bit shaky, but the coffee house definitely made it better. I saw a side of Nate that was… unexpected. Ha ha, he can dance!

All in all, this week has been fantastic. It’s nice to get away and bond with new people. I love the fresh air, the scenery, and the milkshakes. They make the experience even better.

I can’t wait for tomorrow!!!

- Kenzie

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Photo Update from the Ranch

The Ranch is spectacular. We have enjoyed the wonderful views and taking advantage of opportunities to hike in the Red Rocks.

There are over 40 youth attending this year. We have enjoyed getting to know them, having conversations together, and gathering in the large group. Yesterday everyone had a chance to make a wax candle, which we then lit while we were talking about our commitments to love ourselves, love one another, and love the world.

Another activity this week involved drawing silhouttes of ourselves and decorating them with words and images that represent who we are. By knowing oursevles better, accepting ourselves for who we truly are, and daring to share our authentic selves with the world, we become free to live and love as children of God. We hung up our artwork to remind us of this.

Day Two


We awoke to a banging sound on a door, and with no idea of the time we nervously woke up. Kenzie & I were all alone and trying to find our rooms. It took me a painful half-hour to wake up. Being late to the group in the morning messed up the start of the day for me. That got me stressed. I can’t get over my feet hurting. I’m a bit dizzy too. I dislike being the oldest in my group. It makes it extremely boring for me and I felt out of place. But I don’t want to make it a big deal, it wouldn’t be worth it. I’m confused as to why boys and girls were separated into different groups. I wish we had more free time, but it was okay.

I’m not too religious but I’m starting to get more relaxed about the praying time. I slept through breakfast so I was excited for lunch. I thought the low ropes were fun. But I found the rest of the activities before lunch boring and hard to relate to the people. I hope to learn a lot of new things about the Muslim religion tomorrow. I want to meet new people and hear people and grow bonds with them. I hope tomorrow’s a cooler day. My favorite part of today was hiking up the mountain thing. I was happy it made me feel like I was exercising so I didn’t feel like such a lazy bum. Meeting and listening to other people’s stories, issues and just listening to them in general really interested me and some stories even inspired me. When we got to the top of the mesa I laid next the edge and enjoyed the beautiful view below. I liked having the freedom of roaming around and being combined with the older kids. I’m anxious to figure out and learn more about Karla, Kenzie, Mattie, Nate and Jenn. I’m curious to learn more about their personal lives and their points of view on specific subjects. DINNER WAS YUMMY!

- Allia

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day One


I’m surprised I know the date, I’ve only been here a day and already it has consumed me. My body, my spirit, they breathe this experience. Today I awoke with a chill down my spine and stiffness in my bones. I came here unaware of what I should expect, I knew that religion would be part of it, but I also thought that farming and giving myself/yourself and my/your work for other people would be too. It’s what I wanted to do - give my time to other people to learn their stories, their struggles and lives.

I am kind of pushing back on some of the ideas they’re introducing and was really impressed with the way that they talk to us about gender issues. It’s interesting to see how these people are exposing these ideas. I really enjoy it. I’m kind of confused as to why we’re gonna be split up by genders after we talked about the construction/restriction that the two dichotomies bring up. I feel really comfortable with who I am as a person and what I want to be. But sharing that with people is a bit of a struggle, I did it though. I told them about my two cards, we had to choose two cards that described who we believe we are. I chose “Extrovert” and “Spiritual” because I really love getting to know people and listening to their stories as well as sharing mine. I chose spiritual not because I’m religious, but because I believe our spirits go beyond our bodies and we are part of the Earth, the wind, fire and water – all that is around us. Our spirits flow within them.

I enjoy the company of the people that I have met, everyone seems genuine and kind-hearted. Especially Jenn and Nate, I feel that I can sense their kind, positive energy. I just wish we had more time to explore during the night or early when it’s not so hot. I’m excited to see how these other people develop and what they have to say.

-- Karla