I know you have already heard from me this week but hey… I’m back at it again because I love this place! This is Hayden stepping in solo for this day’s rendition of the blog… Just so everyone knows, there is a running tally of how many views each post gets… so I’m fully expecting every viewer to step it up and make this blog post number one on amount of views… Now that we got that out of the way, let me reiterate my thanks for the support, love, prayers, and encouragement all of our viewers from home are sending our way. While I have said it before, it is worth saying again that we could not do this trip without you guys. I firmly believe that every Christ follower is called to “go” or be on mission, but that mission can be a myriad of things. Some people feel God’s gentle whisper to fly across the globe and serve in a different country, some feel moved to preach, others to encourage, love and do ministry right where they live, and others to fund the missions of others- so in a sense go on mission with them. So whatever you feel called to do… I want to personally voice a huge thank you. I’m sure you will get many more thanks when you get to meet your Lord and Savior.
Now for my day… I awoke from my 12 hour slumber… yeah you read that right… 12 HOURS!!! I slept from 7 pm-7am and it was glorious. P.s. thank you everyone for the prayers yesterday. I was feeling very weak and had a fever yesterday so my awesome team stepped it up and let me go to bed early. Anyway, I woke up feeling great and ready to AAAATACKKKK (a chant that will come back up later in this post) day seven! My roommate Jackson, who also is my co-coach in ultimate, and I walked down to the ultimate fields to prepare for our morning ultimate frisbee major. Today was a pretty simple day as far as drills go… we did stretching, dynamic warmup (which were both lead by campers), partner passing, Mcflugen drill (defensive drill shown to us by the One and Only Hunter Ruffin- Hunter if you’re reading this, I miss you!), and an ultimate scrimmage. Also, shout out to the former MVP of this major last year who is now helping out as a counselor- Karim Wilson!! He’s the man and probably knows more about frisbee than Jackson and I combined. The major went awesome. These kids absolutely make my day and I laugh, love, and just feel excited when I’m with them. It is such a pleasure and a blessing to come half-way across the world to create and sustain life long friendships and bonds with people from an entirely different culture. This trip has been very similar and different than last year… This year has ignited a deep desire in me to learn to speak Arabic! I have learned a couple phrases from campers and staff but they still laugh at my accent. Next year, my dream is to be able to have a conversation with campers and staff in Arabic. If anyone is interested in learning it, here are a few phrases to start you off:
- La-ah = No
- Showkron = Thank you
- Bara = out (they say this a lot when they think you got hit in dodge ball)
- Cora = ball
- mesa mesa alnes acuoisah = good evening my good people
- ayasta = slang for what’s up bro
- a ya brince = slang for dude (literally means prince)
- Enta brince = you’re a ladies man
- Walet/ ash = oh boy!/ good job!
- wahet, eitnen, teleta = one, two, three (say this right before you peg someone with a dodgeball)
- habibi = my darling/ my friend/ my homie
- Ana bahebeck = I love you
- Yala = hurry
- besurah= quickly
Those are just a few to get you started. The funniest part about saying these Arabic words is once you yell them out… the kids go crazy and cheer and think you are the coolest American ever! One event that did not happen today but is worth mentioning is an intense and hilarious dance that a couple Egyptian staff members taught John, Meagan, Cate, Grace, and I. Before i describe the dance, I have to tell you what they told us… “If you do this dance, you will be the coolest people ever!” So, naturally we wanted to learn. The words to this song are all in Arabic- “Ente Málem Wannha Meneck Netálem”. Looks tricky huh? Well, you would be right because it took us probably around an hour to get the words memorized. Now the best part is the dance moves. While chanting this song, you will dance in a circle with four different dance moves. The first move consists of waving a “hang loose” sign up and down with both hands. The second move consists of crossing your left and right arm over each other in an X. The third move is touching your index finger to your forehead and the fourth is clapping loudly with your fingers spread wide. Now, there also is a secret move that they taught us but it’s not family friendly so I’m going to keep it off the blog for now. Needless to say, we were pretty cool after we learned the dance.
Okay, so after majors we headed to breakfast for our usual eggs, sausage, and crepes. Once we had our fill, it was off to a huge camp game called Pandemic. This game, much like the app, consisted of different areas of camp that were infected with a disease and it was up to the campers to save the day and cure Wadi. The “disease” was defeated or lessened at each area by the campers beating the counsellors/staff/coaches in the specific sport zoned for each area. I was in the volleyball zone with John and a counsellor named Fady (pronounced Fetty like the rapper). We got off to a rocky start with a camper team going on a 10-0 run but then we got in a groove and played really well. After time was eventually called, we all ran to the tennis courts to compete in a giant dodgeball game where campers won tubes of medicine to cure the disease for every five counsellors or coaches they got out. Finally, the campers got enough medicine and won the day. After this crazy morning, we had cabin clean up and then pool time and then lunch. At lunch, I got chosen to sing the Wadi lunch chant on the mic. It was pretty lit to say the least and I ended with the yell “AAAATTTACKKKK!!!” which is what they call meal time because everyone is running to get food. After lunch, a couple coaches and I went to the squash courts to play Walleyball (a mix between volleyball and squash), and it was a blast. Next, we had afternoon majors… and this might have been the best major yet. We got a bunch of staff and coaches on our team and played against all the campers. Our team won of course, but it was very competitive and we all loved it. After majors, I officiated Walleyball (and might have played a couple matches myself…). For dinner tonight, we had fries sandwiches and watched the boys soccer championship in the soccer stadium. This was very official and super exciting. The teams even had crazy celebrations for when they scored a goal such as taking a selfie with the crowd and doing the Hot-line-bling dance.
Once everyone got showered and cleaned up from the craziness of the day, we all met in the brand new building for worship songs and celebration. So if you will take a look at my title, you might notice it talk about a Wadi Party… And that’s just exactly what this was!! It was a room filled with over 300 campers, counsellors, coaches, and staff going crazy for God and praising him with all we had. We were jumping, dancing, yelling, shouting, and definitely sweating a whole lot. The lead singer is an incredible man nicknamed Toads and he absolutely killed it. He got everyone excited and it was a blast to be a part of. I even was on Grady’s (who is about 6’7″) shoulders for some of it and went crazy. We sang American songs such as “God’s not Dead”, and “This is Living” and even some Arabic songs. This lasted about an hour and I was jumping for every minute of it. As we finished and began to walk back to our hotel, I could not help but think this is a little taste of what heaven would be like… Billions of Christ followers just selling out and going crazy in awe, and in worship to our awesome creator! An abundance of joy, praise, honor, worship, gladness, and some sweat all being poured out to our God. We might not know all the words to each song but heck we are going to yell and dance like we do. And the coolest thing about it is… its gonna be every race, color of skin, gender, ethnicity, and culture singing in one voice… With Jesus as our lead vocalist… But until that party, I’m gonna stick with the Wadi Party!
As I wrap this thing up, I just want to say I’m so excited to be here for my second year in a row and plan on coming for as long as God calls me. This place has truly stolen my heart and I feel like I leave a little bit of me here every year. Rachael, if you are reading this, I hope Hawaii is fun and you are coming here next year! Anyways, the people here are incredible and I feel humbled to even set foot on a land that has so much relevance in history. I will forever love this country and will always want to return. Thanks for reading and God bless.
P.S. I guess Alfonso did not edit this but he did sit on the couch next to me and keep me company (it’s 1:50 here and everyone else is asleep)