Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer Camp

So it's about time I confront the keyboard and my rapidly deteriorating ability to type and write a blog post. I figure summer camp is as good a thing to write about as any. Except for the fact that it will be heavily censored, as this took place at a church camp, and further censored as this is a family blog and swearing is not included, and censored even further because the participants will probably end up reading it. Maybe.

Friday, Aug 17: Fly to UAE, bid parents adieu, fly to JFK, reach Saturday somewhere over the ocean.

Saturday, Aug 18: Keep flying, fly to Pittsburg, wait around to be picked up by someone, we do not know who.
We assume Danny, a counselor, or maybe Father Daniel, or we don't know, and walk around asking random strangers for their phones until Claudiu, the (I think the word is deacon but I could be wrong) of our church and who was mostly in charge of the sports and games at camp. Honestly, I do not know the titles of anybody at camp. There were campers, priests, and then everybody else whose jobs were indeterminable.

Anyway, we drove from the airport to camp, an hour and a half which passed by way too fast, because all of a sudden we were there. Then we had to carry our big heavy backpacks up the gigantic hill to the girls' cabins, along with the sheets, pillows, sleeping bags, and towels Father Daniel had lent us (as we did not have any, except the sleeping bags, which are too thin to warm an icecube), and we got there and we said hi to everybody, and made our beds, and I ran up and down the hill a couple times for stupid reasons I can't remember, and at some point I got grass stains on my knee, and everything was a blur.

Sunday, Aug 19: Because it was Sunday, we had mass, so we had to wake up early and not eat and spend about an hour and half at the church, maybe two, I don't know because I don't wear watches, and then we had brunch, which was bliss. I spent the entire week borrowing clothes from everyone, and I spent that day wearing Dacia's sweatpants (THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL AND WARM AND COMFORTABLE AND I WISH I NEVER HAD TO GIVE THEM UP I LOVE THEM SO MUCH), and then when it was warm Andreea's shorts. I wore my shirts. Oh, and Eric's cap. That was mine for the duration of the week. Then that night, because I felt a bit sick, I got to stay at my cabin instead of going to church. The plan was to listen to Jason Mraz to keep myself awake and then go down to the Pavillion with everybody else to watch movies—a skit about St Pantelimon and then a video about the life of St Filofteia, who we named our camp after, and then Maria's and my video we made about going around the world. The plan did not work. I fell asleep, rushed down to the Pavillion to find them finishing the life of St Filo and then remembered I'd left my coat at the cabin. Bliss.

Oh, and they laughed at all the wrong parts. I blame exhaustion.

Monday, Aug 20: I had to skip church again, still out of illness, but it was okay, because I had a lovely time drinking tea with Doamna Mihaela, my counselor and an avid reader of this blog (HI THERE). But then we had to go back to church. Sigh. And then I felt worse again. Double sigh. We played some volleyball and me and some other girls took great pains to avoiding physical activity. In the end we brought the athletes some water, which was the extent of our exercise for the day.

Tuesday, Aug 21: I honestly can't remember Tuesday, except feeling ridiculously happy the whole time. Or at least most of it. During freetime, me and some of the other girls were playing card games like Mr President, then Anca and Gabriel showed up and we played chemps (pronounced "kemps"). At some point during the day we played some basketball. I played barefoot, which, in combination with hot pavement, will naturally result in gigantic ugly blisters.

Wednesday, Aug 22: I remember Wednesday even less than Tuesday, but it was the day we started the Olympics, which, for once, actually showed some sign of organization. We were divided into four teams, which we could name ourselves, so long as it was after a saint. The results were St Alexandra, St Spiridon, St Ghiorghie (which I think translates to George), and I can't remember the last one. It's Maria's team, while mine is Alexandra. Danny and Andreea were on Ghiorghie and Anca was on Spiridon with Ingrid. We played tennis, badminton, and basketball that day, and the winners were Maria's team for tennis and badminton and Ghiorghie for basketball. Klara, the future godmother of my daughter, and I prefered to invest our energy into writing a song about camp to the tune of Cotton-Eyed Joe. Then it was Father Gabriel's birthday and we had some absolutely delicious cake which everyone wanted seconds from.

Thursday, Aug 23: We continued the Olympics with soccer, volleyball, and swimming. Ghiorghie won the swimming, while Alexandra won the others, to my complete shock, as I have never won at the Olympics. Then, before we got into the pool, after volleyball, Ingrid and I started a whipcream fight, which has been taped by at least three different cameras: mine, Dmna Mihaela's, and Domnul Flechtenmacher's, who films all the scheduled events at summer camp so that he can make an official video at the end. Yes, this is his actual legit job there. Unfortunately for you, we have not yet uploaded anything off my camera to the computer, so until then, you must imagine it.

Then, during the afternoon, the Archbishop came, and we had a very long service that had something to do with St Parascheva, and we did not have an evening service.

Friday, Aug 24: We had another huge, early-morning mass, in which most of camp took communion, having done confession at some point earlier in the week. Again, we did not eat until brunch, which was again bliss, and then later we did a show for the Archbishop, where we sang, danced, and did two skits, more information on those later. And then later we went down to the river and went in canoes, which was nice.

Saturday, Aug 25: We left camp :( It was kind of funny, watching everybody run around to say goodbye to everybody else, pretending to push the cars to get them started... Eric spent our entire goodbye making me promise to give Anca a kiss and to tell her he loved her, because she wasn't there when he was leaving. So in the end, the awesomeness that is Roxy and I filmed me doing so.

I also left in a rush, as my ride was taking me to a little nowhere-town near Watkins, where I'd be spending the weekend with my friend. It was just under five hours, and they had a baptism to attend, which would take them another hour to get to, so the rush was understandable. As we were driving away, though, I saw Anca's brother Andrei drive past to pick her up. Naturally, I just had to say hi, so we stopped the car, I hopped out, and ran over. We hugged, said hi, said bye, and I left.

On the subject of skits, dancing, and music: I am not sure what began on which day, so I've included all the artsy things at the end. We painted icons, and when I say "we", I mean the adults, because we would start them, break for lunch, and then admire the finished product. At the end of the week, it was revealed that this arrangement was not liked by the campers, and it will probably be different next year.

Father Gabriel, whose birthday we celebrated, was the head of the drama department. We did two skits: a pantomime and a short play. The play was about St Pantelimon (which explians why we they watched the movie about him on Sunday), and I played a doctor that did not appreciate the fact that the saint healed his patients for free, setting an example for the other doctors to follow, and if you've ever seen a medical bill, it is obvious that they did not. This is because I (or at least, my character) appealed to Emperor Maximian, played by Eric, to kill the poor saint, which he did. In the pantomime, we did The Good Samaritan, in which Gabriel was the samaritan and Anca was the beaten-up traveller and I was the person with the house that the samaritan took the traveller to.*

*If you don't know the story, it goes something like this:
A man was travelling when he was set upon by two robbers (played by Roxy and Dacia). They took his coat and beat him to the point of death. A priest walked by, but did not help. A levic (a helper of the priest) walked by, but did not help either. Finally, a samaritan walked by, and seeing the traveller, checked to see if he was still alive, and seeing that he was, put him on his donkey (but as we had no donkey available, Anca was carried) and brought him to a house, where he gave the host two dinars and explained what happened. Then the samaritan said to use the dinars for the healing of the traveller, and if more was necessary, then he would pay the man back. If that last sentence made sense.

On Thursday, the dance teacher came, which we were very excited for, and we had a lot of fun learning lots of traditional Romanian dances from then until Saturday, when we left.

During the week, we did music class with Leo, and we learned a cantacle for St Filofteia and then one for maslu, which I don't know how to translate, but basically it's one of the Seven Holy Things of the Church and it's when two to seven priests gather and have a special mass, and anyone who goes is healed.

So yeah, that was a rather long and pretty bad summary of summer camp, and it sounds rather boring, but that's because all the interesting things that happened had to be censored. Sorry.

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