Wednesday, 14 May 2008

(The softball team at our team dinner and a bit of a relay at our Wyldlife cookout.)

Travel stateside commences in less than a month. I will be flying to Arkansas on 10 June where I will stay long enough to get my internal clock adjusted back to American time, unpack, and re-pack. My next flight takes me on 14 June to Colorado for a week to visit YL family camp, Trail West. The week in CO will be a great one undoubtedly, as I rest from this year that has been...less than restful, and get the opportunity to see family camp done YL-style, which I know will be with utter excellence. I feel TW could hold a bit of potential for me in the future perhaps with summer assignments and such. We shall see. : )
Next, I will journey to Seattle to meet my assigned team and work crew kids who I will spend the next month with at another of our YL camps, Club Malibu in British Columbia. I will be a work crew boss overseeing high schoolers who are volunteering a month of their summer to serve their peers who come as campers. I have had only one assignment as a WC boss prior to the upcoming one, and it was one of the best months I have experienced. Needless to say, I am beyond excited. After a month at Malibu, I will return to Arkansas to spend much anticipated time with friends and family for a couple of weeks before heading back to England to kick off the fall with Wyldlife camp in Wales.

Sounds like quite a lot, yeah? Yes, but a good lot! Camp is one of my absolute favourite places to be. Time working at YL property does take a vast amount of energy, but it invigorates my spirit with joy, community, attention to detail, and a tangible view of a job well done, in a way that I am so looking forward.

As I pray for energy and focus for these last few weeks in England, I strive to rest in between each task as to claim His power and hand in all I do. I long to claim that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. As I rest in his promises, He is able to strengthen. I
This year has been an amazingly blessed one as relationships have deepened with kids and parents alike. The Lord has met me in such mighty and finite ways that my mind and heart reels. In the midst of His work and blessing, this human is tired. Having moved here and there for the majority of the year and not having a haven in which to nest is beginning to take its tole on my being. Maintaining work with my high schoolers (FWEL and softball),beginning new ministry with my middle schoolers (Wyldlife events), furthering recruitment of adults who share vision for the ASL community (committee forming), looking for more donors to fill in the gaps in my budget, and continuing to learn how life in England differs from the states brings me to the end of the school year looking forward to some time away.
Ok, enough depth for a bit. I know you are looking from some uniquely British interactions and Kym story-telling... I aim to please. : )

So, the spring in England brings sun and sport. As I am living currently in Surrey with Kerry (fellow staff friend) and commuting into the city daily (about an hour by train and tube), I find myself being even more acquainted with public transport. On any given Saturday, I find the train filled to the brim with rugby fans on their way to Twickenham to see England scrum and try. Twickenham is on my route into the city. Packed trains standing shoulder-to-shoulder with loads of people is not generally the scenario I am looking to spend a tremendous amount of time within, but I must say in some ways these weekend days are quite pleasurable and smile-inducing. Everyone is unbelievably friendly and chatty, smiley even. For those of you who have spent time in England, you will know firsthand that most people avoid eye contact completely and typically only break a smile at dogs or babies.
My journey began on the train standing in between two blokes proudly sporting their red rugby shirts toasting each other with Magners (cider beer). All spectators on their way to the match clutched their Tesco (grocery store) bags filled with Carlsburg, Fosters, etc.-beer) and chatted with every new passenger that boarded about the fact that heat was on on the train when the temperature outside was at least 20 degrees C. "Just like England", one guy said, "heat on the trains when it is hot outside and air conditioning on in the winter". All around him affirmed his statement, including myself. (It really is true.)
Fast forward to the second bit of my commute on my journey into the bit of London called Soho where I was meeting three friends at one of my new fave places, Hummos Bros. As I sit on the tube, a group of Birmingham football fans join my carriage. They are all singing boisterously what I can only assume one of their many team songs. (I heard at least 4 between the time they boarded and left.) I had my ipod on, so I did not anticipate any chatting with these obviously friendly guys. I was flanked from both sides from the group, but I was not bothered. One across from me spoke loudly as to drown out my music, "Don't worry! We really are quite nice blokes.", smiling. This cued the gent sitting to my left to ask me what I was listening to. ipod now placed in my bag, as clearly we are becoming friends, whether I would like to or not. : ) Dave, the inquisitive one on my left, continues to ask me questions about where I am from and asks me if I have ever been to Birmingham, Alabama (which is how I realized he and his mates were from B'ham locally). The combination of his mates singing and his rather thick accent made our conversation quite challenging, but the next stop turned out to be theirs. As they left the tube, Dave shook my hand, leaned forward and kissed my cheek goodbye as he said with a thumbs-up, "PROPER!" (For those of you, he was not dreamy. He was probably 50 and just a nice man.) I smiled all afternoon. I love England. Where else would that happen?