from such great heights

week two

Posted in life by chapwoman on June 23, 2008

I know, I know. I haven’t kept my blog updated as much as I had hoped to, but seriously, life has been kinda hectic here at the High Peak Camp.

Last week, I hiked over 20 miles in three days (applause welcome) in the Rocky Mountain National Park and it was the coolest thing I’ve ever done outdoors. It was my first time backpacking with 40 lbs on my back and I definitely had bruises on my shoulders and lower back to prove it. I was with 5 other students and 4 staff, so it was a pretty tight-knit group.

It’s a really interesting dynamic to be in a small group of 10 people (compared to the 35 project members total) because I really got to know the strengths and weaknesses of each member. I learned that I am a pretty agile hiker (even uphill, trudging along in the snow), while other girls who are skinnier than me, are pretty out of shape. We did a 6-mile day hike the second day of our trip and at the climax, tension between me and my friend Laura finally broke out in the open. It was a huge learning experience for me because I told her how I was pissed and disappointed about not finishing our hike on account of her physical pain.

See normally, when I’m confronted with a tense situation, I usually respond by pouting or laughing it off or not saying anything at all. Then tension usually builds and divides establish themselves. But I learned to actually say how I’m feeling and why…and I was able to empathize with Laura because she told me how she was feeling in return. I finally let my selfishness go, so thank you Lord.

We did some outreach as a project in the inner city of Denver on Saturday, and that was really cool. Spoke some Spanish, played with some kids, debriefed at the ever-popular McDonald’s. It wasn’t my most successful outreach ever, but there are good days and there are not-so-good days for evangelism. Freetime in Denver afterward consisted of hitting up REI, Sam’s Club, and Chipotle. Did you know the world’s largest REI is in Denver? 3 stories, the size of WalMart…no joke. And it had a Starbucks inside; that’s validation enough.

I’m stoked for this week though because my group will be climbing some rocks! The only rock-climbing I’ve ever done has been inside climbing gyms, but here, in the beautiful landscape of Colorado exists ideal boulders for climbing. People here have asked me if I’m nervous, but honestly, I’m not. I can be scared of a tiny needle poking my skin, I can be scared of swallowing pills, but apparently I can’t be scared of the possibility of falling from huge boulders in the wilderness. We’ll see how it goes.

As for the group as a whole, I feel like I haven’t really connected with anyone yet. Most of that is my fault: I don’t want to completely open up to people I might never talk to after July 12th rolls around. I don’t see the value in sharing my innermost feelings with people who probably don’t care anyway. And I really don’t know what it looks like to completely open my soul, because I’ve never actually done that before. I look around and see everyone hanging out with each other during free time and I feel guilty because I’d rather email my friends, I’d rather write my loved ones letters, I’d rather update my blog for people I already have relationships with and wonder what I’m up to. I’m constantly battling this desire to build new relationships with people I’ll be with for one month and the desire to sustain the relationships I already have and cherish at home.

I have three weeks left, so I’m praying that God shows me the best possible way to live them and make the most of the experience He’s presented me.

C’est la vie,
Chappie

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