El campamento tuvo lugar el lunes 26 de diciembre, desde muy temprano empezaron a llegar los hermanos del aeropuerto hacía el lugar de campamento, y nuestros hermanos desde Maloca de Moscou llegaban en un gran bus. Todos nos saludamos tímidamente, otros con mucha más confianza. Luego de aquello empezaron las presentaciones y las organizaciones.

El campamento estuvo provisto de muchísimas actividades deportivas y recreativas, las cuales afianzaron lazos de hermandad entre nosotros, a pesar de la barrera idiomática que tuvieron muchos. Además hubo diversas charlas y clases bíblicas destinadas a los camperos, las cuales estuvieron cargadas de instrucción y positivismo.

Llegamos el día lunes 26 de diciembre a mediodía a Boa Vista, Brasil. Luego viajamos media hora aproximadamente, hasta llegar al lugar del campamento llamado “Eco Park”, en donde tiempo después llegaron los jóvenes a instalarse en el lugar.

Las niñas dormían en una casa con varias habitaciones, mientras que los niños en hamacas, en un galpón ubicado a un par de metros.

Eco Park fue un lugar maravilloso para realizar el campamento, presentaba todas las facilidades para realizar las actividades, además de tener un hermoso paisaje. Los otros voluntarios del campamento decían que tenía la apariencia de ser una isla, por lo plano del terreno y el lago extenso que se teñía de colores salmones al atardecer.

My first flight of this amazing opportunity began in Huntsville at 6AM on Sunday December 25. I was able to observe this stunning sunrise above the clouds at roughly 6:40 inflight to Houston where I met up with Kayla Weaner, Mr. Martin and Mr. and Mrs. de Campos. From this point on we were inseparable for the next week.

While at camp we stayed at a place called “the fazenda” which is the portuguese word for farm. There they had a lot of fruit trees that are popular to Brasil like “jaca,” “caju,” “manga” and others. Since it was summer time we could see fruits all over the place, on the trees and on the ground. We would also see different kinds of animals, like birds (which we would hear singing everyday) roosters, and lambs.

Healthy relationships are all about trust. Anthropologists would argue that what urged the first men to form communities was the need to protect themselves against outside dangers and secure the collective resources they needed to survive. Trust would have been, therefore, central to those primal communities and the lack of it would have produced disintegration.

The relationships we have been building over the last days (among ourselves and with the children or Eagle’s Nest) have necessitated the cohesive bond of trust for them to edifying and healthy. To what extent have we succeeded in that is not for me to determine or to judge at this point in time.

Today with the youngest group (0-5 years old), they created robots out of styrofoam and aluminum foil. We brought a variety of items for them to experiment with and to decorate their robots. They enjoyed being able to make their robot their own through their creativity. Although each child started with the same basic outline, they were able to essentially show their personality through how they decorated their individual robot. When they completed their creations, they were so excited to show them off to everyone that they came into contact with for the remainder of our time with them. It was a very rewarding experience to see the children’s creativity and to see their excitement through what they were able to make.

Today a small group of us went for a run to a waterfall. The waterfall was small because this is the dry season in Guatemala, but the views along the way were very hermosas (beautiful).

Today was our first full day at the orphanage. We had beautiful weather with only a little rain in the evening. We started off the day with a team meaning out on the grass. Then we had a delicious breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, and fruit. Next we went to the children's home to help get the kids ready for the day and have the Bible class. Many of the toddlers need help getting ready, so we changed diapers and got them dressed. A few of us played and hung out with the kids before the Bible class. For the first Bible class, we did a get to know you activity. Everyone had a piece of paper taped on their back. We walked around and wrote what we liked about each person. At the end the kids enjoyed reading the nice comments on their paper.

When you take a group of people, bound together by faith, put them in situations where they must trust one another and work together to achieve the same goal, lasting friendship is the outcome.

From December 25th to January 1st I was given the opportunity to be a camp counselor in South Africa. The journey to South Africa was long and tiresome, while the journey in South Africa was rewarding, uplifting, and fostered growth within many. God knows what we need even before we do. If we just trust in Him and allow Him to lead, He will guide us to all that we need and even want. In order to properly trust God we must learn how to trust in general.

I feel blessed to be a camp with these children and brethren. It is a very nice resort facility with a breezy tile-floor pavilion restaurant, swimming areas with slides, a lake, small chalets (family lodging cabins), open areas with palm trees and farm fields. They have animals displayed in a way that that reminds me of a petting zoo, and many fruit trees.