Day 44: The Full Experience

Woke up this morning to a rooster crowing somewhere on the island…shortly after 4am. The one thing about roosters functioning as alarm clocks is that you can’t hit the snooze on them…especially when they are not within reach and don’t belong to you. So I had no choice but to just lie there in my hammock for awhile. I didn’t even need William’s alarm to wake me up, but I still waited until it sounded before I got up.

Sunrise on IslandI grabbed my camera and hiked over to the large rock formation where William had led us the previous evening, and I sat down at the top, waiting for the sun to rise. It was shortly after 5:30, and the sun was still well-hidden. While I waited, I looked around at the surrounding island and took some low-light pictures and spent some time in prayer.

Finally around 6:00 the sun started to show itself, and within fifteen minutes it had risen above the small layer of clouds that feebly attempted to veil it. It was not the most impressive sunrise I have ever seen, but the golden glow that it cast over the rocky island was a beautiful sight. I snapped a few more pictures and then headed back to our cabin where the guys were waking and preparing for the day.

Jumping off a RockWilliam had told us that breakfast was at 7:00, so at 6:45 I already had my guys to the dining hall, ready to eat. Yeah, the whole cultural thing about being late didn’t seem to be a factor. Like good Americans, we were 15 minutes early…well, make that 45 minutes early. We looked at the schedule and it told us that breakfast was actually at 6:45.

Eita! I wasn’t gonna wait around for 45+ minutes to eat! So I told my guys and Grayson that we we’re going to go explore the beach and take some pictures. So for the next 45 minutes we walked along the beach, took pictures, and jumped off rocks. Grayson took us to a large rock that has a deep sand drift at its base, and we took pictures of each other jumping off of it and into the soft sand.

Shortly after 7:30 we ate our breakfast: ham sandwiches, cuscuz with eggs, a banana, and mamo. It was colorful, tasty, and filling. After breakfast we went to the chapel for our morning session. Aunt Michelle talked about the entrance of sin into the world and how it affects us. I heard John 3:16 in Portuguese for the first time!

TirolezaOur next activity for the day was games, so we all headed over to the court. The guys played futebol while the girls played tug-a-war and parachute games, and after awhile we switched. I had not played any soccer since my first week here, back when I played with the seminary students in Crato. But it was lots of fun and a good reminder to me of how far I needed to go before I was back in shape for my senior season of soccer back at school.

We were all hot and sweaty, so we went swimming again before lunch. This time it was for an extended period of time, and the morning waves were still crashing into the shore. They also opened up the “tiroleza” (also known as a zipline in American lingo) for us to ride down into the water. The first time I went down I screamed really loud, much to the delight of the campers. Several of the campers and I also made a human train and walked around in the water, laughing all the way.

For lunch we had rice, beans, noodles, chicken, vegetable salad, and Coke. After lunch we had a short break, and then we had our afternoon activities. We spend time doing archery, shooting, and riding a donkey cart. I played two-on-two soccer with some of the boys in the sand, and Francivaldo was on my team. Unfortunately, with the game tied 1-1, I scraped my right big toe on a rock in the sand, and it started to bleed a lot. So, I washed it up and William bandaged it, but it was harder to get around the island after that.

Kayaks on the LakeThe last few activities of the afternoon were kayaks and paddleboats, the tiroleza, and swimming again. I went out on a kayak, but I tried to protect my toe by not doing the other activities. As I watched the others having fun, I sat there and tried to keep from getting sunburned, bummed that I couldn’t join in until my toe healed a little. My toe is such a little member, but when it hurts, my whole body feels the effects! 1 Corinthians 12 became a little more real to me as I limped around.

Supper consisted of pasta with meat sauce and mamo. We also had rice and beans, but I skipped those this time.

We went to chapel for our evening session, and we watched the Jesus movie in Portuguese. I was able to understand some of the phrases, so it was a good opportunity to listen to the movie and try to figure out as much as I could. At the end I played a couple songs on the saw, and the kids loved it.

Climbing WallWe rounded out the day with the climbing wall, hot chocolate, and some games at the athletic court. I kinda wanted to try out the climbing wall, but I didn’t get an opportunity too. Oh well…next time I come, I’ll hopefully be able to! I’m interested to see how it compares to the walls at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp which I have climbed muito, muito times. This is the first summer since IRBC opened the climbing tower that I have not climbed up it.

Wow, what a great day! My only full day on Ilha de Tesouro was SO much fun, and it was also filled with many learning opportunities. It is so exciting to be part of this ministry and to have a small part in these campers’ lives, even though I’m an Americano who can’t speak their language fluently! Looking forward to one last day, but not looking forward to leaving the island.

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