Day 3 – Campers Arrive

The girls arrived Thursday morning by pick-up truck. While we waited for everyone to arrive, we had fun playing tic-tac-toe and soccer and doing puzzles and jump ropes with the girls. Although we could not communicate well, this was a fun time to bond with the girls.

They were quiet at first, even around the translators, but began to open up as we played games with them and got to know them. After lunch, we sang some Spanish songs with the girls, and then we all went swimming. The girls loved playing with everyone in the water. This was a special time for getting to know the girls just by laughing and swimming. The girls do not have bathing suits, so this meant they swam in the clothes they came in, regardless if it was a dress, skirt or jeans! After swimming, the girls changed and then proceeded to hand wash the clothes they had swam in.  Libby Stainsen and Grace Leahan decided to try to wash a few things of their own, but the girls laughed at them, and one said, “Help them; they don’t know what they are doing!” Everyone was amazed at these 10 -to 12-year-old girls who took such good care of their things and knew how to hand wash their own clothes! 

The girls then participated in four different activities: English, Science, Crafts, and Sports. One translator was stationed at each activity so that the girls could understand what was going on. Rachael Lanese, Lexi Bock, and Libby Stiansen were the English teachers and taught the girls some simple English phrases as well as colors and numbers. Hannah Priller, Kathryn Eberhart, and Rebecca McFeely were the leaders of the science activity, where they demonstrated a few fun science experiments for the girls. Despite the language barrier, the girls were still entertained by the experiments, such as using the sun and a magnifying glass to make a flame. Molly Schmit, Lexi Bock, and Corinne Schmidt led the sports activities. The girls had a lot of fun playing pato, pato, gonzo (duck, duck, goose), and sharks and minnows, along with several other games.

They also loved playing with the basketballs, soccer balls, and jump ropes. The arts and crafts activity was led by Miriam Haines, Devin Sevret, and Alayna Stiansen. The girls painted pictures on canvases and coconuts. Some of them were very creative with their paintings. They also loved making bracelets and necklaces with the strings and beads that we brought. Before dinner, the CILTs led a Bible study for the girls. Molly Stiansen, Lizzy Revell, Ashlyn Todd, and Hannah Taber each presented the gospel to a small group of girls. They all did a great job of presenting the gospel clearly and concisely while engaging the girls and helping them read the scriptures. The rest of the night was packed with excitement and fun for the girls. We watched a movie while doing the girls’ nails and hair, eating ice cream, and passing out balloon animals. Lizzy Revell and Hannah Priller were balloon animal professionals, making enough for every girl during the movie. The night concluded with fireworks provided by Adam, Ben, and Yassir. The fireworks going over the water were so pretty, and many girls said they were their favorite part. After the eventful day, it was still a challenge getting the girls to go to sleep. They were so excited from the day and had plenty of energy left. It was fun to listen to their excited chatter, and even though we did not know what they were saying, we could tell they were happy.

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