It’s a strange and hard feeling to describe the last day at Wadi. I’m not totally sure where to begin other than the start of my day. I awoke a bit earlier than usual so I could go on the rooftop and have a moment of quiet and peace to read the bible and pray but also to check on the bedouin family next to the camp. I first came to camp with my mother about 8 years ago and the bedouin’s were a source of many topics of conversation. We wondered what their life was like in the desert? What they thought of this crazy camp next to their home? Anyway-they seemed to be doing well. From what I could tell they had a new goat pen, new children…maybe a new pickup truck. Sitting on the rooftop really is peaceful in the morning as the Egyptian sun is rising and has yet to reach its full punishing potential. I have wondered how one of the greatest civilizations mankind has ever known spawned out of such a brutal environment?
Before I go any further let me say it is about 1 in the morning Egypt time at the end of an incredibly taxing week and very emotional day…so my apologies if my brain goes in tangents or it seems i lose focus…i can assure you i am losing focus. so…hopefully you have to some degree caught on to the rhythm of camp. For our football majors we met at the pool and played ultimate football to let the guys have a bit of a break and let them enjoy themselves on their last day of majors. We then went to breakfast for a feast of eggs, beans, pasta in sweet milk and some sort of “sausage”. We then moved to what’s called the man and woman of Wadi where the campers, staff and coaches compete in a pretty rough challenge of swimming and running. Kind of like a triathlon with no biking. Not everyone has to do it but our own Hayden Rich entered and did awesome! We were chanting USA and cheering him on. Hunter ran with him for a few laps for some encouragement…at the very home stretch he had- ummm some sort of projectile, but kept on like a champion! I think his upcoming 2-a-days will be all the breezier after training in Egypt! They then had a pool party with a dance competition and a DJ, snow cones and popcorn. I played a few songs as a few Egyptians held mic’s up for me and my guitar. oh-i play some guitar quasi professionally. i played at the talent show a few nights prior…which was awesome! i love these Egyptians! They are so quick to cheer, to dance, to encourage each other and us foreigners and to laugh. I’m pretty sure they were laughing with me! not necessarily at my bad Arabic singing.
I think by the second major the feeling started to sink in that our time was running out. We finally let them do some tackling by playing crush the carrier, or tackle the man with the football, or another politically incorrect rhyme. Alfonso and i had a bet as to how long it would take before someone got injured. i think i won because they were all very tough and didn’t come up lame, but it did make for an anxiety filled 30 minutes or so. After we breathed a sigh of relief that everyone survived with no mortal wounds we handed out awards for everyone including MVP, best attitude, most improved, beast mode and best defender among others. Our prizes included a lot of Texas longhorn memorabilia-so obviously i had to throw in some boomer sooner and North Texas football shirts. I had an absolute blast coaching with Alfonso and Hayden-both seem wise beyond their years. I especially loved working with our football campers! They were so eager to learn and to put forward such great effort.
The last event was the closing ceremonies. More awards handed out and a very funny skit. Another game of war ball. Very bittersweet though to be saying goodbyes to people who so quickly you’ve come to love and admire, to know these times you’ve cherished are coming to an end. I’m sure there is a better biblical reference but a quote i kept thinking about today comes from the Beatles. “…and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” I hope that is true in this situation. i think i speak for all of us coaches in saying we have poured our hearts and souls and our blood, sweat and tears and most important our love into these kids and prayerfully hope that we can change a heart that can change a life, who can change the lives of others that can change the course of a town, a city and a nation. i can also say for sure that in pouring ourselves out like we have in the last week, we are all drained! Drained emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally. It’s the best kind of exhaustion though! At the same time I know my heart is absolutely overflowing with love and joy for these kids, this camp, this country. There is something about this trip that rattles your bones and shakes you to your core. As Geoff says it makes the world smaller and makes God bigger. I agree! I can also say i am so blessed and so grateful for any and everyone who had any hand in allowing this trip to move forward. From donations to prayers to ministry to organizers to the movers and shakers that are the other coaches, staff and administrators at Wadi. I am humbled to be a small piece of this giant God sized puzzle called Egypt!