It was a dark and stormy night… If dark means bright and stormy means sunny…
A crisp morning met us during devo’s, but the smell of hot biscuits and gravy made going through the cold all the more worth it (along with some solid ‘Hot Cheetos and Takis’ parodies helping along the way)… After bfast, and seconds for (now lukewarm) biscuits and gravy, we got to experience the joy, difficulty, rush, excitement, knowledge, pain, adrenaline, amazingness, jawdroppingness, soreness, and funness of NYO, or Native Youth Olympics. Our mission, if we chose to accept it, was to kick a wiffleball, suspended between 50 and 80 inches above the ground, in different ways. This included, but is not limited to: the Alaskan High Kick, the Two Foot High Kick, the One Foot High Kick, and the One Hand Reach. We basically ninja kicked a ball out of the air in different movements. It was the closest we (or at least I, Dan) will ever come to being The Karate Kid. We also got the opportunity to learn, from Pat, the expert, about native Alaskan groups and their respective cultures. Ashton had a rough time letting go of the sealskin otter stuffed animal, Chubs, and was only able to part ways after meeting her Barbara Manatee.
Right after the connections to Native Alaska, we were shooshed away to go swimming (bribed with candy to get into the vans) and we picked up more Alaskans on the way. When we got there, we knew the water would be cold, but we never expected an actual iceberg in the water. It honestly felt like the cold water challenge in late July. Paddle-boating, canoeing, and kayaking were good supplements to the frigid swimming temps. Solid bonding, relationships, and ice formed right before our eyes, and God was most definitely at work there at Victory Bible Camp. Departing was such a sweet sorrow, but we knew we’d see all the students again when it be morrow (Shakespeare?), so it was at least bearable. It was amazing to meet new students and turn them into new friends, and I was glad the cold water didn’t cool down our hearts.
When we got back, we got to work. But not until after inhaling some scrumptious tacos, which were much appreciated. The tacos also got to hear a riveting discussion on childhood TV shows, as multiple songs by the Wiggles were preformed for their benefit. An experimental group of tie-dyers got crackin’ as an exploratory team went looking for salmon (headed by Dan Watts, of course). Concurrently, wood burners (the artist form, not the demolitionist one) got drawing on a new wooden bench. Artistic minds churned, not unlike butter, as memories were formed and designs imprinted.
We’re gearing up for an incredible second half of the trip, and with the way God has been interwoven into our trip thus far, we have a lot to look forward to.
Ashton Reed, Eden Foster, and Dan Hershberger
Shout out to arms, for always being at our side.
Shout out to fingers, for always being there to count on.
Shout out to legs, for always supporting us.
Shout out to Ali Pollard: We still have two bags of Takis left, and a new generation of Takis eaters has been successfully created.
Shout out to Uncle Kirk for going HOG WILD on the Iceberg, Tom is extremely proud.
Shout out to mi madre: consider this my email
To the Reed Family: Hello Joyce? Joyce? Joyce? … Joyce? I’m having a great time in Alaska with my new friends. Don’t worry about me but there is one rule you have to follow while i’m gone… no fun. Goodbye Everybody!!! (Morgan: we saw a sign from doctor who!!! We saw BAD WOLF made on stones written on a hill side!!! Its a sign from the universe! PS: we need a tardis! (:)