New kitties: Toulouse and Mika

Thursday, July 31
Some pictures of the kitties, because that is all I have for you. :)


Won't you take me to...Funky Town?

Sunday, July 27
So one week has passed with the Moneta day camp. I have written short notes all week, on random pieces of paper, to remind me of what I wanted to journal about. But now I am sitting here, all lounging in my chair of pain because one I havbe swimmer’s ear and two I have bitten my lip three times in the same spot, and oh the woe. It is all sore and tender and just majorly red.
But I must push forward: This camp is very different from the last camp. I feel almost to tired [mentally] to write about it, simply because I have been thinking and talking about it all week. The kids are more privileged, which is one factor that we must consider when planning each week, because the last camp was designed for underprivileged kids, and here we have privileged kids. I think the reason why we have the kids we have for this camp is because the lack of cooperation from the county when it comes to transportation. The county is not allowing us to use the school’s transportation, so we are paying for our own. Still, we are unable to transport the kids who are out in the boonies, and they aren’t able to provide transportation for themselves, so unfortunately, they are being left out of our camp. Because the kids are more privileged, they are more socialized and they are much further ahead in their reading and writing development. It sort of feels a lot like babysitting—these kids don’t feel like being at camp is special and most of them don’t really need us as interns to support them. Everyday, we hear several complaints from the kids saying “Oh come on! This is so boring!” or “Can we go play Freeze Tag now?” They are just very different from our other kids who during art, each one would be excited to participate in what we were doing, and if they weren’t, they would sit peacefully if handed a piece of paper and some crayons. There is definitely an advantage to having these kids for our second camp, though. First of all, it’s a lot less emotionally draining. The only time I have cried in the past week was when we were talking about out kids from Brunt Chimney and boy do I miss them. Especially Dekota. Also, these kids have a much longer attention span—therefore, they can actually do the activities we plan for them. Oh! And they really want to journal. Many of our kids in the last camp could barely read and could not write at all, so journaling was always something we didn’t enjoy because the kids never enjoyed. Now, we have girls writing chapter books! All in all, I think that I am just cruising through this camp. I feel calm and relaxed, but definitely far less attached to the kids.
Also, with Russ and Sarah being gone, the management of this camp has been lacking. The adults haven’t been treating us [the interns] like adults, but instead like kids. We have spent the week being criticized and micromanaged by the teacher’s aides and by other adults involved with the camp. I guess they don’t really realize that we have gone through a month of this, so guess what: we actually know what we’re doing!
: : : Our wee birdies living above the entrance to the Moneta Public Library : : :
It’s also hard for retired teachers to come into our camp and remember that this is not school, it is a summer camp. That means that there will be time (INTENTIONALLY SCHEDULED) for the kids to have unstructured time to themselves.
However, when I briefly mentioned this to one of the adults, it seemed that Friday went a lot smoother. We got to really run the camp. It was very nice. We got to interact with the kids more, instead of worrying about interacting with the teacher’s aides. We’ve also had many issues in the cabin, which is to be expected when six people are living together, driving everywhere together, and in general, with each other ALL the time. I think that we forget to be considerate sometimes and often are only thinking of our selves.
Okay, not non-camp wise, I shall fill you in. Yesterday Annie took us to the Emerson Creek pottery outlet, the Old Virginia Candle Co. outlet, the JCREW outlet store, and to a restaurant called Schmokies. The restaurant was very cool because we all ordered their classic pulled chicken or pulled pork dish (which came with two sides) and they brought out 6 different kids of barbecue sauce, each having a different flavor: bold, smoky, tangy, sweet, tart, or hot. I ate the bold and smoky flavor on my two open faced sandwiched. IT WAS SO GOOD. I really liked that place. When we were finished shopping, we went to the Saturday service at Resurrection Catholic Church, where Annie goes to church. It was a really weird service. The sermon—which I know is called something different in the catholic religion—was like 7 minutes long and quite simple [but important nonetheless]. It was that the only way to be truly happy is to pursue that which you need, not that which you want. Because wants are endless, and pursuing what you want will only leave you unsatisfied and unhappy, whereas you only need one thing, and that is the Big G [i.e. God]. And God is ready and waiting for you, so what you need is very close at hand, and will always love you back. But anyway, as important as that is, the actually close scripture reading was not even present in the service, meanwhile I didn’t feel as close to God going through the service where every response is planned, many thing are repetitive and almost robotic. It was just a strange experience, but I am glad that I went, of course. : : : Take me to your leader, na-noo, na-noo : : :
Then we went to Annie’s house and I snuggled with her HUMUNGOUS New Finland dogs, Lucy and Seamus, and we made grilled pizzas and ate them with salads as a side. It was all delicious, but I was happy, happy and thrice happy to return to our cabin. I called Bryan, talked to him for a very long time, and then went to bed, woke up this morning, and found Kara trying to made toast of the French variety with this truly terrible pan that is all we have in the cabin. No matter what, everything sticks to the bottom. It is so annoying.
We are leaving in three hours to go see Russ and Sarah at their house. We made a huge flower arrangement for Sarah, from flowers we cut from Annie’s yard and the middle of the street.
P.S. Yesterday, when we were in the bathroom changing for church, a woman poked her head in and asked “Excuse me, is there a little stool in here?”


From Several Weeks Ago. Boop.

Tuesday, July 08
Woowee! Long time, no write.
A storm is a-brewing, and we all just finished eating dinner (casserole, claro) with Linda and Charles. Linda made all these delicious vegetables such as squash and potatoes, creamy spinach, green beans, and a yummy salad with feta cheese.
Before dinner, we all got into the pond with Charles and Linda. Linda, actually, just sunbathed. Michelle and Bre lounged on Big Bertha, and I had a wee raft to float upon. It was so beautiful and sunny and breezy and warm. Perfect.
Now, Michelle and I are having a small date with GPS Melvin, trying to figure out our game plan for Friday (FRIDAY!!!!!!!!) We think we are going to leave right from camp, carpool back to Chester, and then her mama will come pick her up and I will meet her dog and then I will go to dinner with Bry and his family.
Today at camp, a really really nice guy named Jim got all the kids ice cream! It was incredible. The Homestead Creamery truck came and we let the kids go in groups to pick from Birthday cake, Butter Pecan, Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, Strawberry, Mint Chocolate Chip, Banana, Black Raspberry…I can’t believe I was able to remember all of those! I am good. And it rained today, so the kids didn’t get to go outside, so the ice cream was a nice distraction from the fact that they were all pent up in the energy department.
This green tea is very comforting and very good. We went to the Y and I went for a short run outside and LET ME TELL YOU OMG it was so hot and I almost passed out. I was just running and running and finally I returned and did some arm weights and pushups and now my muscles are all wobbly. We are all quite sad at le fact that we will have to leave the kids. We are excited for our break, and to start a new camp, but it is going to be sad. I love the kids, and we all have one or two that we want to take with us or at the very least smuggle and illegally adopt as our own.
Do you know what is funny and also very absurd? Lately we have all six taken to checking out bridal and cooking magazines from the library. So we sit around and talk about food and getting married and whether we like this color or we like that hairstyle.
Last week, we had some really cool stories:

Uhhh, okay Jonathan, thanks for sharing.

Miss Wendy was standing right near the door, and a woman came up and asked “Is this the summer camp for the Y?”
And Miss Wendy said, “No, this is the SML Good Neighbors Camp.”
“Oh! You guys work with underpriviledged kids who can’t read very well, right?” (or something to that effect).
And before Miss Wendy could respond, Devon (a 2nd grade boy) says, “We’re learning how to be good neighbors…”
ISN’T THAT SO WONDERFUL? Talk about a Hallmark moment.

Savannah’s last day was on Friday, and her mom came in and just thanked us so much for what we are doing. She said that last summer, Savannah (WHO IS SO CUTE AND SO WELL BEHAVED AND REALLY JUST ADORABLE) had been in the Y camp and had come home hating it. Her mom said it was hard for her, because as a mom she had to work but she didn’t like sending Savannah somewhere she hated everyday. She said that this summer, Savannah has come home everyday singing the songs we teach them, telling her mom about all the different counselors, and bringing home her art projects. Savannah’s mom said she was always excited to go to camp, everyday.
JIGGLY MUSCLES, let me tell you.
So that’s all. I’m excited to see my family and my boyfriend and my dog.
Here you go, a little treatski:
Over and out!



Erm. Mostly pictures, because I haven't been in a jolly state of mind as of late. So I won't bore you with complaints:

::: We found two baby raccoons. In the middle of the road. On our way home. It was funny. :::
::: Jeremy. I will take him home with me. :::
::: Norah, otra vez, and I adore her. :::
::: On a boat, at dinner :::

:::Daniel and Ellyisia :::

::: About to play "train wreck," which doesn't work when all the little kids stand in the middle and said "It's my turn! I'm in the middle!"
::: JD and his reading buddy. :::

::: You know that I love Beau. :::

::: This is Will, Charles' grandson. He came for a few days, and we like him a lot.:::
::: Everything is illuminated! :::