Before we (me, C and another team member N; our other team member T stayed in and got much needed sleep) left our first week's location, we went down to the boardwalk (which had no boards and was more like a promenade). All the lights along the river cast a beautiful rainbow along the water's surface.
I tried a new hairstyle later in the week. I french braided all my hair, then gathered the length of the braid into a bun. I twisted back a small piece of hair I had left out and pinned it with this pretty pin C got for me when he went to Vienna last March.
As the weeks go on, I am thankful that I said yes to this opportunity. The days are long and draining mentally and physically, but it truly is worth it to be able to teach about the Catholic faith. I feel like I am learning right along with the kids. After all the hard work, fun time is definitely a necessity. Here I am with C by the river. With everything that changes each week—the town, the parish, the people, the schedule—it is so nice to have him as a constant.
This week, two groups of four became one group of eight for a larger parish assignment. While this move was practically important because of the larger size of this parish, it was also important in keeping me sane. I stayed with two other girls (the aforementioned N and a new girl Y) at our new host family's home. One night we painted our nails the same color. If anyone noticed, they probably thought we were silly, but it was a nice, small bonding experience. This week without them, I feel much more alone. Still, I'm thankful we had our week together with much needed girl talk.
Every Friday for Totus Tuus, there is a water balloon fight (assuming the kids get a score of 10 for Mass behavior and participation). This week, the kids were very near to missing out. We told them they'd received a 9.5 and, after silence fell over the room, C announced that, since they had sung very well, we'd actually decided to give them a 10. The cheers were quite loud enough for this quiet person, so I retreated to our supplies room where I had some work to do. Not long after, these three hooligans (T, H and C) came in, readying themselves with war paint and water guns. Really, these guys are no different from the young boys when it comes to the water fight...
On a trip to get Mr. C here a water gun. This picture is a fair snapshot of our typical expressions: me happy, he serious. I guess water guns are more serious than I thought...
One afternoon, the large group of us returned to the girls' host family's house. Within twenty minutes of eating dinner, three boys were passed out all around the living room. Totus Tuus is honestly one of the most tiring things I've ever done. While we do have breaks in the afternoon, those are usually filled with cleaning up after the day session, eating dinner and planning for the next day. We start at 7AM (or later, for when we've woken up late) and don't really settle down until 10PM. When we can get in the sneaky nap or two, we take advantage of it. B doesn't look very comfortable here, though, does he?
Now we've all moved on in two groups of four to our next towns. I am with C, H and T, which means I am the only girl. This also means I am housed by myself, separate from the boys and separate from the other girls who are now about two hours away from me. It is weird to be alone, but this family is nice and I know I won't be alone for long, because we have far too much work to do together.
I am going to Mass in a couple of hours (Extraordinary Form!!) and then a few hours after that, our first teenager session begins. I am sure that when this week ends, I will be looking forward to our week off very much. :)