Saturday, July 16, 2016

July 8, 2016 - Farewell to Friends

**This is a late entry to catch everyone up on our trip**

Friday morning...

It is the end of the week, which means an end to the camp.  This is always a difficult day because it involves saying goodbye to many of our friends.

Matt and Sarah headed out early (6AM) while most everyone else was still sleeping.  They had to go out to Mayamopan with Alice to pick up 150 tamales for breakfast.  Then it was quickly back to camp so the tamales would still be warm when they were served.  Following breakfast, the youth packed up their belongings and prepared for their departures.  It is during this time that reality begins to set in for everyone.  The youth and counselors alike know that some of the kids will return to abusive homes, homes where they may not receive three hot meals each day, where they may have to literally fight for food, homes where there is no running water and other circumstances that most of us take for granted back in the states.  These are real struggles for many of the youth that came to our camp.  If you are reading this, take a few moments to pray for the youth that we were able to serve and also for all the youth in Belize.  

When it came time for the kids to load up, they were provided a sack lunch to take home along with a bag of healthcare related items.  They then loaded up and a van took the youth that lived out towards Mayamopan.  The rest of the kids boarded the EQC bus for their ride home.  Most of our counselors went with them for a few last minutes of conversation and well wishing.  When all of the kids had been dropped off, the bus was bringing our counselors back to camp when it broke down on the Western Highway.  Two of the counselors started walking back to camp since the bus was less than two miles away.  A passerby ended up picking them up and brought them to camp.  Just a minute or two after their arrival, the bus pulled up with everybody else.  I really don't think you can spend a week in Belize without some sort of vehicle issue.

We had a brief period of down time and then it was off for a little team fun to help lighten the mood.  We headed to the river for a little cave tubing.  This is a great way to wrap up a week since it requires very little effort once we sit down in our tubes for our float trip down the river.  The cool water is very refreshing and certainly helps with aching muscles as well.

We did have one team member that skipped out on the tubing adventure.  Mike headed off to EQC so that he could install some new lights inside and outside of the church.  We did not get a picture of Mike this year, but I am recycling one from last year when he did some other work at EQC.  Mike is always willing to serve in any way that he can.  Thank you!

As our hours remaining in Belize were numbering fewer than 16, we headed out for one last dinner at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel with the Barrs family and the interns from Camalote Camp.  A special thank you to the people that made this dinner happen (you know who you are)!  We had a great time recapping the events of the week, fellowshipping and sharing a great meal.  Then it was back to camp where we did laundry, packed and prepared for our departure tomorrow morning.

...And home.

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