Wednesday, October 08, 2008

ACTS Weeks 5-6

We’re trekking along mighty peppy, aren’t we?  Did I really leave my job over 3 months ago?  And have I really been here for 6 weeks?  I’ve said it before, but time is a funny thing.  So weeks 5 and 6.  The fifth week of ACTS had three major events: a benefit dinner for the Union Gospel Mission, a baby shower for Alicia, and a hike on Mt. Rainier.  The sixth week was basically the most “uneventful” week thus far, though it was certainly a good week, ending with a corn maze with the youth center kids.  If you don’t need any further detail on those events to feel like you have amply caught up on my life, you can stop reading now, because the remainder of this blog will be spent expanding upon those events.  Ready, set, go.

You may be chuckling that I went to a benefit while at ACTS.  You may be thinking, “Wow, she even gets herself into events with tasty food and good speakers for FREE in the boondoggles of Washington. Seriously?”  You would be right.  And know me well.  But I assure you- It was handed to me on a silver platter, no finagling needed! The Union Gospel Mission is an organization here in the Yakima Valley that provides boodles of different services including rehabilitation programs, food, shelter, discounted and free goods of every imaginable kind, and of course the youth center.  It’s pretty sweet.  The guest speaker was Star Parker.  Another bonus.  I love funny black women!  And surely someone will now send me an irritated email for saying something SOOO un-PC, but you know what, I do love funny black women.  Especially when they’re Christians.  So deal.  She wrote a book on poverty (White Ghetto) that I have and plan to read.  Nothing else really of note, just the typical fundraiser dinner schpeel.  But it was fun.

Then we had a little baby shower for our little baby mama.  And by little I mean huge and burstingly preggers.  Bless her dear sweet heart, Alicia is a joyful gem, never complaining that she is literally about to burst and just wants little baby Asher OUT.  But we did some girly goodness and helped prepare her for her new arrival. 

Isn't she the cutest preggers you ever did see??

And then there was Mt. Rainier.  Ooooh man.  I had been craving a HARD hike.  The kind where I would sweat.  The kind where I would be sore the next day.  Better yet, the next week.  And finally the day came when I got what I asked for.  Let me tell you, the seven miles we hiked on that mountain we spectacular.  I just love being out in nature, love the challenges it presents, love the lessons it teaches, and the photo-ops, obvi.  I sweated (is that even correct?) a boatload, made my quads burn, and got some quality bonding time with my friends.  And some truly spectacular pictures.  All in all, a great day.

Moving on to week six.  In class we studied through the Gospel of John with Jeff (our director)’s brother Ken.  Let me tell you what- that dude is hilarious.  And friggin awesome.  I learned a ton, and all of us were kept on our toes.  In case you were wondering, the fifth week we studied the book of Genesis.  A lot of controversial topics in there, but man, we charged right through, talked about them, offered the various viewpoints, and were left to decide for ourselves where we stand.  Good stuff. 

Along came Friday and it was rainy.  This is significant because it just doesn’t rain here that often.   And certainly not all day, as it did that day.  This particularly Friday happened to be the much anticipated field trip with the kids at the youth mission to the Corn Maze.  I friggin love hanging out with those kids, no matter how rambunctious, foul-mouthed and unloving they can be sometimes.  I just love to love them, to serve them dinner, help them with their homework, or teach them Mary Had a Little Lamb on the piano.  So the more time I can spend with them, the better.  And dude, a corn maze?  Yes, puh-lease.  I was less than thrilled about a corn maze in the rain, but I put on my hiking boots (well worn in by this point), rolled up my jeans, and donned my waterproof jacket (Shout out to my former client who sent it to me, emblazoned with the company name and everything!  I’m a walking advertisement for y’all.  Holla!). 

It was a wonderful night.  Once I got over being wet, dirty, and turned around in the dark in a corn maze with men all in black with wolf masks on hopping out from the corn at random times- ALL AT THE SAME TIME- I had a blast.  Being in the corn maze reminded me of being in Venice.  It seemed like every road led nowhere.  I had not the slightest clue where I was and seemingly everything looked the same.  I couldn’t see any distance because there was corn all around me, and it was daggone easy to get turned around and end up back where you started.  JUST LIKE VENICE.  So, how long did it take to get through the corn maze?  1 hour 25 minutes.  Yes, that is a true statement.  I will qualify it, however, by saying that I was not in charge.  Had I been, we most certainly been out in under an hour.  No, I’m just kidding.  Kind of.  At that point I couldn’t care less about my saturation or mud level so I was gung ho for some playing.  And play we did once we were back at school- running around in the rain like we were twelve year old schoolchildren.  Or banshees.   It was glorious.  And I’m pretty sure I am catching a cold now, but IT WAS WORTH IT.

We were all wearing hats, totally unplanned

Jacob with cutey Ramon

All of us, and all the kids.

So there you have it folks.  Weeks 5 and 6.  Not in a nutshell, because I never write in nutshell size portions.  But alas, if you have read to this point, you are probably ok with that.  As always, thanks for reading.    

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