The Team Splits UpToday was our first day of being split into smaller groups. Because the internet is not available to those who will be going to Afghanistan, Hissor or Takob, updates and photos from those teams won't be available until the team members return. The Kids Camp folks are based in Dushanbe, so that's what these updates will focus on for now.
Kelley, Shannon, Angela and Eric are the team folks on the kids camp project. Anna, a girl from England who's here for two years and just came this spring is involved and Andrew, a North Carolina dude, is here for a month, so he's helping as well. The purpose of this "camp" is to help kids of international workers here in Dushanbe. The kids here haven't had an event like this put on for them before for them, so we don't have any precedents to follow (which can be good or bad!) In this case, it's fun and it sort of adds to the challenge of the project. We met with Rachel, Dave and Justin Lovett on Monday to discuss plans for today's planned activities. Rachel (Dave and Pam Lovett's' daughter) is the main coordinator for the week. Our theme for the week is "Duct Tape the Coo-coos" Ask a team member sometime to explain that one!
More on Shannon's LuggageShannon went to CADA during the day today to work more on tracking down her lost luggage. SHE FOUND IT!! It had been on at least three separate flights - one of them to Siberia - before arriving in Dushanbe. Thank you for your thoughts regarding her!! She was very relieved to get her clothes back.
Kid's CampFor the camp we are meeting in a school that's not being used for the summer. We met the kids (about 22) there and got started for the day. The day included singing, a skit, a talk by Johannes, a time where the kids were divided out by age group, lunch, fun/play time, and a wrap-up meeting in small groups. Eric and Angela were in charge of the smallest kids, Kelley took one of the older girls' groups, Rachel took the other one, and Andrew took the older boys' group. It was all a lot of fun. Play/fun time was at the Lovett's, so the kids had a blast playing on the trampoline, in the pool (the water was VERY cold!), and doing a scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt included a few team building activities including a trust fall and the knot game - everyone putting their hands in and getting tangled up, and then working to get themselves untangled. It was neat at the end of the camp time to meet many of the parents of the kids when they came to pick them up. As you probably imagine, the folks who willingly live out here long-term are interesting and come from a variety of backgrounds and countries.
We ended the day with a wrap-up meeting and a discussion of tomorrow's activities. Our skit tomorrow will be about different ways to talk to our best friend. We were exhausted at that point (how do you teachers do this every day??), so we had about an hour and half to rest and take it easy. Kelley, Shannon, Angela, Eric, Johannes, Rachel and Justin then went to a Korean restaurant for soup and had a great time being goofy and probably making the Tajiks there really wonder about us!
Starting to Fit InIt's been really incredible to see, in a bit clearer focus, what life is like for Dave, Pam, Rachel and Justin every day. The circumstances aren't the easiest, but they still are filled with joy and love for the people around them. Dave and Pam just had 22 kids tearing about their place and were able to join in, help out, supervise, and support the efforts of Rachel and the rest of us.
The Team House, which was shared by Kelley, Angela, Misty and Kjirsten, is now just Angela and Kelley's as KJ and Misty have headed off on their projects. Our phone isn't working properly (you can hear a dial tone, but it doesn’t pick up signal as you try to dial out. And you can hear it ring but you can't answer it!), and from around 7:30 this morning to the present (10:10 PM) the electricity has been out. The house is well equipped with candles, so it seems to be a fairly frequent occurrence! We're told that that's just the way things are in Tajikistan, so we're rolling with it (but also hoping it comes on before tomorrow morning so our milk is cold!
We are grateful and blessed to be here and to be having these experiences. Thank you once again for your thoughts - we can tell that you're thinking of us and it means a lot! Until tomorrow....
|Rachel leading the kids camp|
|...and things aren't looking good|
|Kelley's group is all tied up in knots!|
|Ah! KiAnn found something!|
|Now David and Adrianne from the US and Ki Bahm from Korea are in hot pursuit of the next clue!|
|Joanna from Germany, Ki Ann from Korea, and Menke from Holland are looking for clues!|
|Now Shona from England does the trust fall!!|
|During the scavenger at the Lovett's - a trust fall!!! Joanna from Germany is giving it a shot!|
|Heading to the Lovett's, packed in the back of the Land Rover. Justin is obviously excited about the situation!|