Everybody woke up sad this morning, because nobody wanted to leave camp! We got up and helped all the campers pack up their tents and get ready to head back to Vilandes for church. We got on the 50 person bus with about 65 people, which was a little interesting, and headed on the three hour drive back home. We arrived at church and the Americans did our skit for the service and hopefully the Latvians in the church liked it. After church ended, we all moved back into our designated rooms in the church and said bye to all our campers for good, it was really sad.
All the Amercians gathered in the meeting room and made the decision of going to lunch, AT MCDONALDS!!! Everybody went crazy when we got there, people were actually running to the doors and pushing people to be first in line, it was a sight to see. After we ate, we all went around Old Riga and did some sight seeing and shopping. We got back to the church and got ready to go to dinner. We went to Lido, which is a very popular restaurant in Latvia, think of Luby's, but Latvian style. After dinner we hung around the town and watched some live music and had some coffee. When we got back to the church at around 11, we had a meeting in the church and talked about our amazing week at camp. We were all tired but the meeting went well, especially when Gayle told us that we actually got to sleep in and enjoy a free day in Riga in the morning!
We woke up on Sunday in our soaked tents and went to our daily meeting and breakfast, then headed to worship. After worship, we had our last morning discussion of the camp which was pretty sad. Then we ate lunch and got ready for our last extreme event of the camp, Extreme Monopoly. This game consisted of rolling a big dice and moving our mascot around a huge board and each space on the board had a mini game or task that we had to complete for points. We got to roll around in mud, climb the rock wall, and even find a santimu (coin) in the bottom of a pot full of mixed eggs and milk, gross, I know. After the game, we all showered up in the lake and went to dinner. After dinner, we went to our final worship service. Before the discussion, the Amercians got to preform the skit that we had been working on for the campers. The campers really took this seriously and a lot of them told us that they really like it. Karlis spoke and talked about the events that happened during the past week. He invited people to share the decisions they made and we all prayed over people for about an hour while we worshiped with music. We then split for our very last evening group discussion which was really sad because we had to say goodbye to some of our new friends.
We woke up to another burning hot morning in the tents, with the sun shining in our face. We had our morning meeting and prayer with the Latvian leaders, and headed to wake up the campers, then we went to the tent for Josh and David to do some of their own aerobics, with their pants pulled up above their bellybottons, which was a very interesting sight. After that craziness, we headed to a delicious breakfast of grits and jam. Then we went to worship, and after that, we split up and talked more with our groups of campers and got to know them better. After we ate our lunch, it was time for the most extreme event of the camp! We were told to find two longs that were two meters long and make our own three meter rope out of anything we could find in the forest! After we found and made our supplies, we had to carry our equipment and find Toms and Tabita at a river. They then told us to carry our supplies across the freezing water, and we also had to keep two of our group mates completely dry, meaning we had to carry them over our heads across the water!! Tabita then give us a bag of empty bottles and tape and told to go back across the river and back to the camp site to start building a raft! We had to swim our rafts across the lake, which was so crazy but so much fun! All the campers really enjoyed it.
We woke up and all of the Americans and Latvians met to have our daily meeting and prayer before the day began. We woke the campers up by bringing them all together and Gable, Chandler, and Dibrell led some funny aerobics consisting of weird dance moves. After our “work out”, we had breakfast and headed to worship. Worship was full of fun songs and dancing, an amazing speech, and some fun games/challenges. The challenges usually consisted of the Americans playing tricks on the Latvians, they were all very entertaining, or some challenge of endurance. Today the challenge was to hold a piece of paper at arms length for as long as you can. Tori won the contest by doing it for 30 minutes. Go ahead try it for yourself. Also the loser of the challenge had to go jump in the lake. After worship, we split up in our small groups and had our daily morning discussion time. Between small groups and lunch, a Latvian leader brought everybody together and made us do this weird clappy thing, They called it body music where we just made a cool beat until the lunch bell rang.
We woke up in our tents to the bright sunshine that had come up around 4 a.m. as well as the ‘bah’ of the lambs. We then met with all the Latvian leaders and were all assigned tasks that needed to be completed before the campers arrived. Finally they arrived and we helped them pitch their tents that they had brought to sleep in. We ate lunch and talked with the campers. Afterwards we found out who was in our small groups. So we got together with them and came up with our team name, made a team chant, and built a mascot out of what we could find in the forest that we would carry around with us. After presenting all of that to the rest of the teams, the games began. We played a series of different relay races to begin earning points for our teams. At worship that night the Music Performance Team/ MPT (consisting of Dib, Tori, Valters, Jay, David, and Nick) performed the YHWH dance, meaning Yahweh, which is a more religious take on YMCA. After worship we had our discussions in our small groups where we talked about what had been discussed in the sermon. Next we played the “something else” game of the night which was a counselor hunt through the woods. Many of the American leaders got to be the ones who hid in the woods or other places on the territory. Of course you have to remember that to play night games in Latvia you have to start late since it is light til about 11.
We worked on the drama that the Americans would be showing one night during worship at camp. We then packed and began loading up for camp. We got to the camp site and it was absolutely beautiful. Everything was green and just flat out beautiful. The aroma of nature and sheep filled the air. We knew we were to be sleeping in tents, but what we didn’t know was that we had to pitch our own. We paired up and began the long process of trying to set up where each of us would sleep. Pretty much everyone was skeptical at first except JT who ended up just sleeping outside the first night. Supposedly the bugs weren’t as bad as they had been, but they were everywhere. Some of us did the ropes course that they had and It included a zip line with super safety man, Josh at the helm. After dinner we all spent time togther by jumping in and out of the sauna and lake. It was awesome. Afterwards we sat by the campfire, talking and singing with some of our new Latvian friends. At the meeting that night we found out who each of us were assigned to be with as the leaders. All in all it was a really good day, we went to bed excited and nervous for the campers to arrive the next day. Hit read more to see pictures.
The girls woke up from an enthusiastic wakeup call from the boys who had woken up from an unintentionally early alarm (thanks Evan). After eating breakfast we had another meeting, but this time it was just the Americans and Toms. We were split into different teams of about three to five, then assigned different tasks. The tasks varied from finding and going to the grocery store to working on dances or songs that would be shown at camp. Sometime during the day we had lunch in there, but eventually we all completed our tasks as much as we could. We then ventured into Old Riga where we ate at Turk-E-Bob for dinner. On our way walking back to the church the group discovered we were able to fit twelve people into a single regulatory telephone booth. You can imagine the crowd we drew. Afterwards we went back to Vilandes and got another restful night of sleep preparing for a great week at camp.
We met our Latvian teammates in a meeting at Vilandes that was kind of a “get to know you” session. We were all tired, but it was still great to meet our new friends and begin that bond. We played some get to know you games and spent time in worship in prayer with the entire group. It was a great time worshipping with those we were going to serve with the coming week. THis also managed to keep us awake through our jet lag, so we slept straight through the night and were ready to go in the morning.
We have made it back to Riga from camp safely. The Eagle Wings Camp is completly out of internet coverage, which is why we have not posted anything. We were also busy about 18 hours a day. Free time was not on the schedule. In summary the camp was amazing. We will post details tomorrow with lots of pictures.
The group of 15 has arrvived. We are safe and sound after our 20 hours journey. We met up with Beverly and Gayle who had come a few days earlier to go to Marta and Raimonds wedding. Since all our first timers were excited to see the city, and we didn't to go to sleep, we doned our rain gear and took a quick walk around the Old City of Riga. Later that evening we met the complete group of our Latvian counterparts. We spent time getting to know them, worshipping wiith them, and time in prayer. Then we had a late dinner of Latvian Pancakes, which resemble crepes, topped with whatever we could find. They were all amazing, expecially the chocolate.