RADICAL OHANA CAMPING KICKOFF. From February 8 - 11 our LTP class embarked on our first adventure trip. The trip was honestly everything! More exhausting, exciting and educational that I could have ever imagined. But let’s start at the beginning.
One day before we were supposed to leave, I developed a fever out of nowhere. I was really upset about it, because I didn’t know how it would evolve. I rested the whole afternoon and luckily felt a bit better the morning of the trip. I didn’t have a fever anymore but my body felt weak and I was still coughing (I had this cough for a long time already. Apparently what could have made it worse again is the volcanic smog from the volcano on the big island.) Thanks to my two leaders that encouraged me to go on the trip and be part of this bonding experience.
Thursday 10 am, us eight students and two of our leaders left STN property. Sara, a staff member, drove us to the Dillingham airfield. After arriving there, the leaders told us to count how many steps it takes us to walk 100 meters. This helped us later on, to find geopaks on our hike. The first stage was 300 meters long and we were all tied together with a rope. For me, 100 meters were 140 steps, so I had to count to 420 steps. Our LTP class found the first geopak which consisted of our breakfast: Yummy Oatmeal! On our way up the mountain, we were supposed to find four geopaks, but only found two. After arriving at our camping spot for the night, we were divided into two teams. Our team was in charge of setting up the tents (Well, it was rather a tarp than anything else). The other one was collecting wood to start the fire. When we were done with setting everything up, our leaders told us what we get for dinner.
A little story beforehand: When we were packing for our trip, the leaders distributed the equipment to us eight students. Some of us had ropes, the tarps, a griddle, a water-pod. In a team of two each, we were given one bag of food which consisted of two apples, two potatoes, one can of chicken, some trail-mix (love it) and that was pretty much it. Also, the whole group only got one roll of toilet paper. The last thing that the leaders gave us were two chickens. Chickens that were alive! (More to that later on). In general, we had little to no information about anything. We didn't know if we are going to leave the island, we didn't know if we will be at the beach, in the woods. Basically we didn't know how these next four days will look like at all. The organized person in me had already to learn a lot here :-)
So, the first night, we were allowed to eat half a potato each person. I have to say that the potatoes are pretty big here ;) After a day of little food, we all were really happy about that potato. And the best part about it was, that we had seasoning- garlic salt and pepper *YUM*. The rest of the evening looked like this: Having a bonfire, a lot of laughter, two of the leaders sharing their testimony, stargazing and just awesome fellowship.
The next morning came around. A magical view awaited us, hills covered by green fluff, birds singing a beautiful melody. These are the things to be thankful for. I have to pinch myself often to realize that this is my life right now. We got to have quiet-time in God's wonderful creation. Breaking down camp, hiking till noon and finding another amazing view was how the next few hours looked like. At the lunch spot, I tried canned chicken for the first time in my life. To my surprise: It was very tasty! Being in awe of the view and lost in my daydream, the leaders informed us that we are already leaving for the next stage. We hiked for some more hours until we were given a new challenge: They told us a hypothetical story that Isak was paralyzed because of falling down a hill as I ran after him and broke my leg. Now, we had to come up with a solution on how we wanted to keep on going. Kevin carried Isak, Andria helped me walking and everyone else was carrying two big backpacks. We all were really exhausted and it was hard to stay motivated. I had to give up control over the situation and let Andria help me. We switched between her piggybacking me and me jumping on only one leg. It was extremely tiring. We were also given the instruction to stay together as a team the whole time. This exercise was really challenging and that we didn’t know how far we needed to go made it even harder. Long moments later we reached the goal. A campsite in the middle of the forest.
Real life kicked in in a split of a second: Our guest staff (Daniel), that was supposed to be at the campsite already, got stuck with his truck. This wasn’t a hypothetical story, but serious trouble. He took a wrong turn at some point and ended up on a really dangerous road. All the guys and Lucy found a guy with a car, drove to Daniels location and were able to find him with only a screenshot of his direction. To everyone's shock, two wheels were completely hanging off a cliff! The only thing that prevented the car from falling down the cliff was a tree! After some brainstorming they tied a slack-line and a rope to the car and slowly tried to drive the car back on the road. God’s protective hand was totally over this situation. “Adventure starts where everything goes wrong’, this was a quote that I remembered from one of our teachings. We saw this with our own eyes in this moment.
While all of this happened, we girls were setting up camp, started a bonfire and a special challenge was waiting for us. We still had two living chicken… Now you might know what is coming. And we knew that sooner or later we will need to do it. Sorry to all the animal-lovers, but it was part of our trip. So we went for it and killed the chicken named Henrietta and Bob (I leave the details out, if you want to know them I can share them with you :P), pulled the feathers out and took all the insides out. Then we cleaned, seasoned and cooked it. I am happy that I will never have to do this again (hopefully). Right when we were done with all of these tasks, the other half of our group including Daniel made it back safely. It was a crazy second day full of adventure (maybe a little too much? :D), challenges and bonding moments. We debriefed the day by having everyone share their happy and crappy moment of the day. This was always a highlight of my days: Sitting around the bonfire and talking stories. At this point, I didn’t know yet how hard the next day will be..
… To be continued. Part two will follow as soon as possible :-)