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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunshine Camp 2011, Part 1

Hey everyone!  I am still really tired from the last ten days that I was attending an international camp in Xi'an.  I need to write this post before I forget the interesting details. I hope you are all doing good. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I will break it down into two posts, possibly three. 

So I heard about this Sunshine Camp from a good friend about two or so months before it started.  He said it was so amazing and I had better volunteer to help with it. So I said I would.  I started to fill the application out and soon realized it would cost $200.  Not usually a problem, but right now I have been really low on money. I knew in my mind that it would be worth it, even though I was a little uneasy.  A little later some really amazing people told me they would pay for the camp. Because they understood what an impact it would have on me and on others. Going into it I had some expectations but nothing too huge. I was trying to hope for the best and expect the worst. 

The morning of the 13th, Andrea, a friend of mine here, and I set out for the camp with high hopes and bubbling excitement, well that was true for me at least.  It took us a little while to get a taxi, but not to the point where we were throwing luggage at the taxi's, just kidding we don't ever do that.  So before I go on you need to know that both Andrea and I don't have killer Chinese, hers is better than mine, but it is still very difficult to communicate an uncommon destination to an unassuming taxi driver.   So she tells the driver where we want to go and he nods his head like he knows.  We soon figured out that he had no clue where he was going. Long story short he stopped about five times to ask for directions and stopped at two wrong universities.  Finally we made it after about an hour of confusion. To look at the bright side it could have been worse, much worse.

When I got my name card it said Camper on it.  I had specifically applied to be a coach or counselor, not cool.  I found out later that day that if you're American you have to have graduated college to be a coach. At first I was disappointed about it, but later on I found out that being a coach had a ton of responsibility and not a ton of benefit. Being a student I got to hang out with the Chinese students way more.

So then I had two and a half days before the camp started to do nothing, because I had come early for training to be a coach.  But I got to play ping pong with the top ping pong player at the university we were at. He randomly came up to me and asked if he could play ping pong with me.  It was a lot of fun. He ended up letting me use an extra fan he had, which was such a blessing, because it was so hot in the dorms.
This is the dorm that I lived in for the whole camp. 

This is Nai Fan,  my ping pong friend. He was killer! 

This was the view of the little town from my dorm room. 

This is my friend Rambo and I! 
I will post the rest of the story in a few days time. Thanks for checking in everybody. I know I am not a good writer, but thanks for supporting me none the less. Until next time.

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