27 Jun 2008

img_0009.JPG  So it’s the final blog entry that will be posted during our trip to Little Lights. Everything is just fine. Most of the reports from the debriefing today were singing praises to the kids with a few minor exceptions. So overall a nice and easy day.  Waking up in the morning is always a sad time. It’s the end of our lovely rest and time to open our eyes and move around. But we manage to do it everyday. ^_^b Breakfast was normal. Just finishing off the cereal and wondering whether Ken would make eat the leftover lasagna for dinner or breakfast on Friday (neither of which actually came or would come true). Sandwiches…we actually had to ration because our bread was actually being finished quickly. We actually finished breakfast and lunch packing quite quickly so we had an extended quite time for our passage in Matthew. So we had a more unconventional training session with Ms. Mijin in the morning. We had an activity where we walked around the area around Mt. Joy and the other parks (as a group) and recorded our own observations of what we heard, saw, and smelled. The activity was designed to highlight the differences between the places we lived, the places the LL kids lived, and the neighborhood around Mt. Joy. First off, let me explain the buddy system that is in place at Little Lights. Sometimes, a child in the group doesn’t function well with the other kids or is disruptive during small group time. Teen or visiting counselors are then buddied with the kids to remove them from the small group setting and have some one on one time during the time the other kids are in small group. The counselor buddy also has to stick to their buddy throughout the day to watch over them. In my case, I actually had to shadow my buddy, Latrell, because he was often picked on by the other kids and would often become very confrontational and try to pick fights with the other kids that were provoking him. So because of that, the only kid in the group that I really got to know was Latrell. Today, Latrell had to go home early because he wasn’t feeling too good. Because of his absence, I finally got to interact with the rest of the group during free-time in a mostly carefree environment just to have fun. It was actually mildly refreshing since Latrell sometimes could not be reasoned with and instructions would just have to be repeated over and over again until he responded. Even though that was still the situation with some of the other kids in the group, it was still refreshing to be able to work with the group as a whole. Today was also the last debriefing we would have with the rest of the counselors and the staff. Every one of the visiting counselors (us) were praised for the help we were able to provide. Dinner was again, at the Sizzlin Express. I sense a tradition being set here. 😀 One topic that came up during our team debrief back at the Hope House was whether or not we would be sending another Little Lights  team next year and in the future. This year we sent an undersized 6 person team (not including Ken). In essence, if we cannot get enough people to commit to being on the team early we will not be sending another team. Many of us felt bad that many of the counselors for the older groups did not have the help of a visiting counselor helping them because we sent a team that was quite short of the 10 person minimum for sending a group. Ken expressed disapproval that the team was so hastily put together with very few meetings and few people committing. This is getting to be quite a long post so I’ll wrap it up by saying that we all felt that we gained something from this trip and all of us expressed interest in returning again next year.  Hopefully, we will get a good team put together early and spare all of us the sadness from not sending a team.  

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