17 August 2010

T-Minus 19 Days

Today I reorganized and sorted through my clothes, including all jewelry, and cleaned out Drawer 1 of 5. (20% of quest completed.) Also awaiting purging are The Cupboards and the dreaded Back of Closet. (No, that wasn't what I did today. The clothes are in the other side of the closet.) A cursory count of all the books in my room comes out at roughly 100; I suspect this will need to be whittled down to a select few that I will use while at university. I don't anticipate having much space to store them.

I've seen a few checklists for university dorm rooms, and been skeptical of all of them. I need a handheld vacuum cleaner? Really? I'm not going to try and anticipate too much. Calgary has stores too; I'll buy whatever I need that I don't already have once I've actually seen my living space.

Other accomplishments in the university-prep vein: Bedding!

The duvet cover and one pillowcase (left) are dark, almost charcoal grey, from IKEA. My mom and I were browsing the bedding department and I kept saying, "This one feels really nice," and she kept saying, "Well, I think they're all the same material," and then we discovered that some had higher thread counts. So I got one of those. In contrast, my sheet set from HomeSense (right), containing one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and a pillowcase, is patterned in black and white and pink and orange. We plan to find a throw blanket and throw pillows in bright pink and orange.

Also from Homesense:
Left, a bedside caddy, pictured here in use on my bed. It has Useful Pockets, many, and in addition, cost $2. (Though mommy bought it for me so I didn't even pay that.) Right, a laptop sleeve that made it through an eternity of humming and hawing by me, but ended up coming home. It is a tiny bit big, but I decided $20 for a slightly-too-large one was better than $45 or $50 for a precisely fitted Apple one. (I got so absorbed in the process of choosing one that I put down the IKEA duvet cover we'd brought for color matching and forgot it. Mom had to go back and retrieve it from HomeSense this morning.)

Stay tuned for tales of my university-prep purchases and navigations between Stuff I Need and Stuff I Don't.

[EDIT: ...Blogger's Preview page lied to me and the picture placement is a little messed up. Now I know how Robin McKinley frequently feels.]

16 August 2010

potr, bday, TOMS, and other abbreviations

This morning I told Jamie (aka potr) goodbye in the Edmonton airport. Her visit had been one of the events I counted down to this year, and even though it was a week long--the longest we've ever spent together--it went by with the deceptive speed that disguises itself as time passing normally but isn't. Our mothers think we need to relocate closer to each other; we haven't yet managed to say goodbye without tears, but the distance isn't as bad as it could be. Webcam and Skype and MSN manage to tide us over, despite our favorite comparison that going back to instant messaging after being together is like returning to instant coffee after getting a taste of espresso. We hope to be together again in the first week of January 2011.

And thus on August 13 I passed my first adult year. Bye, 18. You saw me meet an online friend for the first time, be legally allowed to drink alcohol but never try it, get a job, quit a job, and be accepted into university. You weren't very good at making me feel like an adult, but it's okay, 19 isn't much use for that either. I think I need a dragon before I'll feel REALLY grown up. And perhaps I could save the world.

TOMS Shoes, short for Shoes for Tomorrow, is a company founded by Blake Mycoskie that gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes bought from them. Blake spoke at a leadership conference I attended in the first week of August, and I admired that he runs an organization that is both charitable and self-sustaining. Also they make cute shoes. So I bought a pair from the website, and they arrived today (just as potr was leaving. It lifted my mood a little) in the mail. They look like standard canvas shoes, but there is a little more arch support than I've found in Vans or Keds and they are quite comfortable (barring that they pinch my heels, but I suspect that will cease once they're broken in). Everyone go buy a pair!

In three weeks less a day I move into residence at Ambrose University College. Happily, until then, I have three weeks less a day to kill by finally having the summer holiday I envied of everyone else. I have no plans. That's the idea.

Coming soon: Mexico Day 7. I WILL have these all posted by the end of the summer.

07 August 2010

Interlude: All done at MLW

I've never left a job before; when I moved from Student Page to Adult Page I stayed at the same place with the same people, only my duties changed. My last day had an air of what-are-they-going-to-do-fire-me? to it, which meant that I totally skipped out of work to eat cake in the middle of my shift and hung around talking to people and had a way better time at work than I was used to having. I was even a little bit emotional when I made the rounds for hugs.

I vividly remember the mid-July (2009) morning I showed up for work and my assistant manager said, "Good morning, Amy! Are you ready for your interview?" and I blinked like I was shell-shocked and tried to find something intelligent to say and came out with, "...what interview?"

Turned out she'd forgotten to tell me I was being interviewed for a Circulation Assistant position I'd applied for, since my tenure as a Student Page was ending. I still think this is the optimal way to do job interviews. No stress, just a moment of slight panic. Far preferable.

Speaking of slight panic, just a month or so after I started as a Student, I was shelving graphic novels and heard behind me, a little ways away at the computers, "You're under arrest for trespassing."

And there was a cop standing there with about four teenage guys, and one of them said, "What happens if we run?"

At that point I turned around and kept shelving and was really glad when I looked again and they weren't there any more.

Mill Woods is a very tiny, very busy branch--we serve the same number of people as the nearly-biggest branch, Whitemud Crossing. I laughed when people asked if it was nice and quiet working in the library. Are you kidding me? If the kids' section is remotely loud the ENTIRE library is loud. Once my manager said it was, "literally bursting at the seams." REALLY? LITERALLY? Can I SEE?

I was always the slightly weird kid, too. A little while after I started I squeed to a fellow Student that I was so excited to be working in the library and she was utterly bemused by this. (It did wear off. Still cool, though.) I also loved the jobs other people hated, like shelf-reading and weeding from a list and boxing books and pulling holds. And emptying the sorting machine, which was always my favorite thing to do.

I discovered things about myself, working, and one of them is that I'm highly intimidated by authority. I couldn't relax around my managers even when I was sitting in the staff room on lunch break with them, and for a long time my MO at lunch was to sit on the couch with my iPod in and be antisocial. That changed this summer, and today I went and sat on the Starbucks patio with some of my coworkers. It seems a little ironic that I'm leaving just as I had started to feel like a valuable member of my workplace.

This was always an in-between job. It's never been something I wanted to do for the long run, and it was never very intellectually stimulating or challenging, but every so often I'd be shelving books and kind of stop and realize, "Dude, I work in a library. For the rest of my life, people are going to ask what my first job is and I'm going to say, 'I worked in a library'." And it's going to be cool.

I didn't cry when I left, but I think I might miss it. A little.

27 July 2010

Mexico, Day 6

July 8, 4:35 pm
I haven't had time to even sit down with my journal today.

This morning I showered but didn't wash my hair, because dirty hair discourages lice and we have adult evangelism tonight. I am still very not-tanned.

After breakfast (French toast - Destiny was excited) Ms. Hildebrand braided my hair, so it's been in French braids all day. When I was wearing an apron and hairnet to work in the kitchen Nathan said I looked like a Hutterite. [Thanks Nathan. Same to you :D]

Yesterday morning Bob wrote down my name for working in the kitchen today, so that was where I went after Sala. (I sat with little Nancy from the nursery and she was very good and quiet, for the most part.) I was with two of the girls from Washington, Amber and Megan, and the first thing we did was wash the kitchen floor with Manuel and the four guys assigned to help him.

It was a lot of fun. We moved everything that was moveable and sloshed buckets of soapy water all over the floor. I'd changed into my runners and left my sandals, which was a good plan. It was wet. We swept all the water all over with brooms and then squeegeed it toward the drains. I have some pictures, taken by Everett, of me with a squeegee. Some people mopped and I Hung Around Awkwardly (we did a lot of that) until it was time to move stuff back.

After that the boys and Manuel left, and Amber and Megan and I made attempts at communication with the kitchen ladies (all Mexican) until they gave us hairnets, aprons and jobs.

We chopped very many juicy, huge tomatoes. My knife was mediocre and one of the ladies noticed and gave me a big white cleaver-ish one with somewhat of a knowing smile.

We chopped tomatoes and lettuce until they had enough for lunch, then washed our dishes (and some others) and wiped down some of the huge white bins where they keep ingredients in bulk. (Skim milk powder, flour, sugar, etc.) Amber and Megan washed the lids. All this washing was with bleach, which meant our hands felt icky and dry after.

On break at 11, they sold donuts and I downed two in about three minutes and made my last visit to the gift shop. Last, I promise. I have bought 5 different kinds of nuts, a ring and a bracelet. I don't really need any more necklaces or earrings, and I didn't love any of the ones they had.

Destiny, Jordan, Carissa ad I were on lunch prep and cleanup, so we took the chairs off the tables and served all the food. Once we were done there was also some fun chatting with Manuel and Uriel. Apparently Manual is now 'Mickey Mouse Manuel', according to Uriel. I missed the first part of that conversation but was still rather amused.

Lunch was salad (hence the lettuce and tomatoes), spaghetti with sauce, and garlic toast. Very North American. (Supper was a letdown. Buns with refried beans and cheese. Oh boy.) I swept and mopped the floor after and contemplated FFHM and the ministry they have here. It's such a little Mexican oasis. I think I would like to come back. Life is so SIMPLE here. So much less worrying, about anything, and when I do it turns out fine. I don't even really miss anyone that much, though I might if I stayed here longer.

After lunch I meant to journal but Nathan was walking by and asked if I wanted to visit the babies in the nursery and I experienced a split second of indecision but went with the babies, figuring journaling could wait. One of them wasn't into being piggybacked around and chased, but Carelli quite enjoyed it. That felt idyllic too.

We met at the firepit at 2:10 for child evangelism and I slathered on sunscreen (though I might have burned a bit more today anyway) and edged closer to Bryan when Uriel wanted to send one person from our group with a different one. No thanks. He sent Everett instead. So Bryan and Loree and Carissa and I left with Adrienna, who leads one of the child evangelisms. She gave Bryan some haphazard directions, and I think listened to her ipod most of the ride.

We got to the neighborhood and drove around while Adrienna announced the kids' Bible class from a loudspeaker out the window of the van. We parked eventually, and went into a little fenced yard with a locked shed and one tree. Initially only 6 or 7 kids showed up but the group kept gradually growing while we sang songs and stuff, and probably topped out at about 30.

Adrienna led the songs and we pretended to know them, and greeted arriving kids. At one point in a song, out of the blue for us since she was speaking all in Spanish, everyone pointed to each helper (us) and shouted, "Como te llamas!" in turn. ("What's your name") I was first and forgot my name for a second because I was that surprised.

After a Bible story (I poked a few boys and told them to be quiet, but Adrienna completely ignored them so I don't know if she cared) we gave out milk and peanut butter. Carissa and I had the peanut butter and Loree had the milk, and that part was fun. There was enough left over to give out seconds and thirds, and after that they all trickled out pretty fast. [One kid just kept on lining up for peanut butter despite having three or four uneaten spoonfuls already. We were amused.] Adrienna gave the remains of the peanut butter jar to an older boy.

Bryan had discovered when we stopped that milk had spilled in the back of the van, so he said he was thinking of that the whole time, worrying that we wouldn't have enough for all the kids, and that we wouldn't be able to clean it up before it started to stink up the van.

So we headed back and did that right away. We used towels from the visitors' lounge, and facecloths from the same cupboard, and soapy water. The milk had pooled in the patterned holes on the floor matting, which was tricky, but we soaked it up and Bryan took out the back bench to clean the seat where the milk had spilled. We also cleaned up all the snack wrappers, which will be nice on the way back.

I attempted to journal before dinner, but mostly chatted.

Dinner, as I mentioned, was buns with refried beans and cheese, and the general sentiment was, "...is this all?" I had 3. Some people had none. The non-fans of refried beans.

I also tried journaling after dinner, sitting on the low wall across from the visitors' centre. [Note: clearly it is not 4:35 pm any more. I think I switched at some point and just didn't note it.] Bryan walked past and offered in jest the 'nice, damp' seat from the back of the van. Ha ha. Then he sat on it to read his book :P

Anyway, Ms. Hildebrand walked past and mentioned we were meeting in 10 minutes and to get ready, so that was that.

We discussed low points and high points, I received advice on fixing the bandana I borrowed from Loree (yay more Hutterite. I wanted my hair to be mostly covered), and we discussed who's speaking in Sala tomorrow, when the visitors have a chance to share. Loree and Everett. I am not - I don't feel that I can adequately express my thoughts yet.

We prayed and talked some with the larger group before leaving for Adult Evangelism, and Bob warned us about things like the kids being 'wild' and that this particular camp was 'under disciplinary measures' and spooked us a little. Me, anyway.

I must record the outfit I wore. Running shoes, ankle socks, jeans, black skirt over jeans, t-shirt, other t-shirt over the first one, Canada hoody, bandana (with french braids pinned up and hairsprayed to death). It was not attractive. But, as Debra says, "We know who's NOT getting raped tonight."

On the drive I journaled and nearly caught up. Nathan talked some about going to these places, these migrant camps, until the protection of the Spirit, and being unafraid. I appreciated it after Bob's talk. I prayed when we got closer. (Nathan also shared more university dorm pranks.)

We pulled into a flat dirt field with a bunch of guys playing soccer. There were no girls in sight. We backed into a parking spot and got out, and kinda huddled in a group until the kids began to appear.

Loree wanted to play soccer, but according to Bob, Mexican guys don't appreciate girls playing with them. Bryan stood guard over our vans for the entire time, to prevent anyone letting the air out of our tires (an actual previous occurrence, according to Bob) or breaking the windows or something. Laurent and Nathan and Joel (who attracts little boys magnetically) rolled around with the kids. I gave a lot of piggybacks and spun around a lot of kids. More older kids this time.

One girl, 8, in a grey Adidas hoody (Nati, I think she said her name was) seemed to just want to hang around me. I'm unsure why. I'm not sure it was because she liked me more than anyone else, but I piggybacked her around for a decent stretch of time. She was a gorgeous little girl. I was reminded of Selena Gomez, actually. Only a lot younger :P

Another pair of them wandered around with me for a while while I pointed out things - the sky, the ground, a shoe - and said, "English, sky. Espanol - ?" and they told me the words. They seemed to think that was fun. There were more kids this time that tittered at my "No entiendo" and "No hablo espanol."

The picture-taking team (whom most of our group consider not especially useful) were there, but they didn't attempt to herd all the kids into lines this time.

When the movie started I stood back with Carissa and prayed for some of the people, but it kind of turned into a prayer for me. I just want to hear God. I'll go, anywhere he says, but I want to KNOW. I want him to TELL me.

18 July 2010

Mexico, Day 5

July 7, 7:35 am
Sitting in the courtyard with Carissa and Michelle.

Lots of the girls were sore this morning after all the carrying and piggybacking we did last night, but I'm not. I tried to wash my blue hoody in the sink but it's still wet and sodden so I don't know if it's going to be dry even by Friday. I'm planning on buying one today when the gift shop is open. [I didn't.]

Anyway. Adult Evangelism was shockingly eye-opening. I sort of wonder if the reason they take us out there is so we can actually see the poverty for ourselves. They have little houses, and playgrounds and a basketball court, but they LOOK poor, and the kids are all tiny and wild. [This, we learned later, was a fairly high-end work camp, as work camps go.] One girl, as tall as me but younger, was only wearing a tank-top-like shirt and asked for my hoody by tugging at it. I said no but I wished I could, that I didn't need it, and that it wasn't unfair to give it to just one when we didn't have hoodies for all of them. I also had a granola bar in the pouch of my hoody, which a couple kids noticed, and then when we got in the van I realized it was gone.

I forgot about praying for the kids for the most part, they were in and out so fast, but I did for a few right at the end.

In the van on the way back I asked Nathan about Ambrose meal plans and he proved quite helpful. He said most girls don't actually use up all of their meal plan. He also told funny stories of dorm pranks. :P

We laughed a lot about random things, most of which I barely remember, and my caesar salad from Sunday, which I forgot in the van, got spilled on the floor. Eww. I may go back to make sure I got all the bits that spilled when I cleaned it up, cause it was dark.

It was weird, I wasn't happy with the ridiculous skirt getup, but once we got there it stopped mattering. The kids don't care. It was nice to change out of it, though. All our hair looked hilarious after we pulled it out of ponytails and whatnot, because of the hairspray we put in to discourage lice.

I journaled as far as I could last night and fell asleep probably seconds after the light went out.

This morning I woke up and dozed off again until 6:30, when I stumbled over to the bathroom for a cold, wimpy-water-pressured shower. My hair is still damp and I need to hunt up some bobby pins before we go out to work assignments.

We got toast and peanut butter and oatmeal for breakfast, and I tried the milk, which Carissa says tastes like melted ice cream. It doesn't, quite, but almost. Also had more awesome coffee, though 15 minutes is not long enough to properly enjoy a cup of coffee.

Destiny just about started breaking in through the wrong window, when we went back to our room and no one had a key. I believe she wanted a calling card to call her mom. She was really homesick initially, but I think she's feeling better. [Yay for Destiny! I hope you were feeling better.]

[A bit later]
Carissa and I sat in the courtyard for a while with our journals, before the nursery was open for us to take babies.

At breakfast Bob came up and picked Loree and Dionne to watch the kids in the nursery during Sala. I wanted to be picked to go in the nursery, no fair :P He didn't even ask for volunteers. Whatever. I'll get over it. Maybe he just noticed they've been playing with the kids a lot. I TRY, but I just feel...awkward. Shy? I feel like I don't know how to be a fun person with kids, or something. Which is stupid, of course I do. I dunno.

I got a little girl out of the nursery, Leah, for Sala, but she started squirming as soon as I sat down and I took her back (thankfully today I sat close to the door). I wish she'd gone to sleep on my shoulder, she looked like she might for a bit and it's so sweet when kids do that.

We're sitting in Sala now and one of the house parents is sharing about the medical problems his 'son' (one of the orphans) Oscar is having, and how Oscar has to leave and live in Tijuana. [Poor Oscar. He has AIDS and they live too far away from Tijuana for him to get blood tests and stuff as often as he needs. He shared, too, and just about started to cry before he even started talking.]

1:35 pm
We're sitting in the sun outside the visitors' centre, enjoying it. Destiny showed us she can fake being pregnant. Now she's lying in the sun. Laurent and Loree are over playing with some of the disabled kids from the day home.

According to Ms. Hildebrand, there's a little autistic girl who lives here with two caretakers. She came right to me to tell me. I'd like to meet her, I think - I feel a little apprehensive at the idea. It's not like I really know much about autism. I do work with Jaden, but autism is so DIFFERENT with every individual. [I never did get to meet her. I kind of wish I had.]

4:15 pm
To carry on from where I stopped just then, I ran over to take pictures of Laurent and Loree and Nathan with the disabled kids and ended up semi-playing with them until 2 when we received afternoon work assignments. Incidentally, the grassy sward where we played is SO lovely and soft and green in the sun. [I like the phrase 'grassy sward' and since it sounded about right for this particular area I just kept on using it. It makes me feel wordy. It means 'an expanse of short grass'. From Old English.]

Anyway, we congregated right outside the visitors' centre and Bob started out by listing the places that needed help in the afternoon - weeding, raking, lawnmowing, help in the day home. I expected the day home to get snatched up right away because it involves playing with kids, which everyone loves, but it didn't. Two people volunteered for sweeping first.

So I put up my hand and said I'd do the day home, and then sort of discovered/remembered that that means the disabled kids, not the daycare kids. The mission takes on the disabled kids during the day. Also, they only needed ONE helper.

I was okay with being with the disabled kids. Not AS okay as with the daycare kids, but whatever. Even though I work with Jaden, that still intimidates me, and I'm guessing that's why other people didn't volunteer right off the bat. ALONE, though?

Anyway, couldn't back down, so I headed over. (Also, Bob gave vague directions, and though I did actually find the right door, they weren't inside.) Anyway, I found them eventually, having a birthday party picnic. By the grassy sward, incidentally.

The really pretty British girl, Katie, was there briefly. I felt out of place initially, but the kids were really friendly. One of the boys with Down Syndrome wanted a picture with me. We played a game with a parachute and I helped a boy with either spina bifida or muscular dystrophy (don't remember) sit up so he could play.

I couldn't understand them at all, of course, except one girl (12 or 13) who spoke English. It didn't really matter, though.

After the birthday party and the game we went back to their room behind the clinic. I pushed a boy in a wheelchair to get there.

Inside, two of the boys were playing with toy cars, so I sat down at the same table. One of the ladies commented that it would be great if I would play with them, which gave me a bit more confidence.

I pulled out my camera at that point (always a crowd-pleaser) and one of the boys, Martin, wanted to play with it, which consisted of him pointing it nowhere and pressing the button. That was fairly entertaining for a bit, until the boy across the table wanted to use it. And he did, for a long time, taking pictures almost exclusively of the bottoms of his toy cars. Later on he took some dubious shots of kids playing in the toy kitchen. I have ten million pictures of the bottoms of toy cars. I was iffy on entrusting my camera to a motor-skills-challenged kid, but he did really well. Another boy in a wheelchair, who spoke English, used it briefly as well, and very politely gave it back when my two were being restless.

Right at the end I played with two of the last kids to leave, trying to take pictures of them while they hid. They thought this was hilarious.

The lady in charge thanked me at the end and offered that if I wanted to go on the bus that took them all home, I could, but I would have missed dinner, so I said no. It might have been fun, though.

About 3:30, they were all gone. So I was going to head over to where some others were working and see if they needed help, but Bob accosted me on the way with a trolley full of shoeboxes.

Perhaps Bob is a bit dyslexic? Anyway, he doesn't come across real clearly, so initially I thought he wanted me to visit all the Casas (houses) with this trolley of shoeboxes, to see if any of the orphans wanted one for their personal belongings. I was a bit intimidated by this. (See: Not speaking a word of Spanish.) But then he just started following along in his bike. He told me 'free boxes' was 'cahas gratis', so I said that a few times to various kids. We got rid of all the boxes, though mostly to one of the ladies who organizes clothes. Then he told me I could stop for the afternoon!

So I did.

9:55 pm
After I stopped journaling I was feeling wonderful because it was sunny and warm and I was off work early and I was in MEXICO. So I grabbed my journal and was sitting outside and writing , on the low walltop by the road. It felt pretty cool. There was a time when I would have felt self-conscious, sitting on a random wall journaling while people walked by, but not now.

Nathan and Loree and Everett dropped by after a bit. I commented that I might actually be getting a tan. Nathan put on his sunglasses because it was 'a bit bright over there'. Ha ha. Loree told us the woes of the tiny lawnmower. Everett gave me a tiny orange that ended up being super sour, and a practical joke that they were handing out to the girls in general. [I did not eat it after the first taste, despite their earnest assertions that "you're supposed to eat it whole".] I believe the boys went to the orchard in the afternoon.

Then I sat and half-journaled and half-chatted until dinner. I don't remember what we ate for dinner (oh yeah, it was rice and beans) but someone commented that a lot of the food LOOKS disgusting but after you've been working you really don't care.

Wednesday nights are church at the mission, so we walked there, and Loree and I read the copper plates in the sidewalk. They're names of events in the Bible, chronologically as you get closer to the church, in Spanish. Pretty cool.

I wasn't expecting such a big church or such a wealthy one. They gave us headsets, for English speakers, for translation. We ended up not using them.

There were also a lot of white people. Near the end numbers from the nursery flashed on the screen a few times. Kids getting fussy and their parents being paged.

The worship team was GREAT. They had a really energetic sound and sang a few songs in Spanish that I know in English, so I sang the English. That felt cool.

Dionne sang and Joel drummed in a really neat song that they put together with some people from the other groups. Awesome harmony, and they built to a great crescendo. Impressive, for the very little practice they seemed to do.

At one point I looked up at the one uncovered window on the west side of the church and there was BLINDING sunlight streaming through. How's THAT for an image of God? Sunlight in a huge white airy church. THAT was cool.

The service, despite being long and ponderous due to translation, was strangely refreshing. I just enjoyed the feeling of being in CHURCH, and the peaceful walk back. I chatted with Bryan and Loree.

I did a quick sweep of the van to make sure the lettuce spilled from the unfortunate caesar salad was all cleaned up and not bug-infested, and pilfered a granola bar, and went up to the visitors' lounge for a team meeting.

We got really off-track, but it was a good off-track, funny stories and commiseration about shared issues. A lot of people don't like Bob :P

What touched me the most was when Bryan shared his high point of the day. He said that someone at church asked who was the Southgate leader, anyway, and it made him think of what a good team we all are and how proud he is of us. Bryan very seldom says stuff like that so it means a lot when he does.

After a bit more sharing, some from the Washington group came in for a 'peanut butter run', we prayed to end the meeting, and then things got a little crazy, fun at first. We ate peanut butter toast and straight peanut butter off spoons and Michelle and I made tea (Earl Grey!).

Then the Americans introduced us to a slightly violent game [I hadn't heard of it. "I sit. In the grass. With my friend..." and it's somewhat full-contact. Maybe you have], so Bryan and the adults on our team decided that wasn't really their thing (I think) and went off to bed. I didn't really feel inclined to hang around except that someone still needed to clean up, and Joel was kind enough to help me. He's been great on this trip. Mature, great with kids, GREAT attitude about everything.

I grabbed my hoody, which is just about dry (W00T!) off the clothesline, where I hung it this morning. Carissa borrowed my new bracelet from San Diego, so I put that and my new ring from the gift shop in the jewelry bag I brought. It's getting full. [This is a cool little leather bag that they shipped my sterling silver replica of the One Ring in.]

I also bought nuts today. Mac Roca and Vanilla Brittle and some normal roasted. I may go back for more.

I don't think I wrote about orchard-weeding this morning. Carissa and Debra played Guess the Movie Line, and we got a lot done. The guy in charge spoke no English, but we actually communicated really well through gestures and Debra's 'un poquito' Spanish.

It was a better experience weeding in the morning. Cooler.

Also, I am sunburnt. And not happy. I thought I might tan while sitting outside journaling, but not BURN. My face and neck and arms. It is not terribly attractive. Loree did give me some face cream, which I think helped. Meh.

The girls want to turn off the lights, so really fast, I went out to see the stars with Carissa and they weren't as impressive as I thought they might be. We came back in and discussed middle names and I got some echinacea from Debra because...echinacea is always good.

Tomorrow, I think I will buy more nuts, perhaps a pair of earrings, and whatever snack is at break. Was burritos again today!

Okay really now. Good night.

[Okay, I know, a bit PG-13. In reference to Destiny's skirt getup.]
"Well, we know who's NOT getting raped tonight." - Debra