May 15, 2008
Butler defensive specialist Chloe' Blasingame documents the Bulldog volleyball team's fourth day in Nicaragua.
So today was camp day and we were so excited!!! Today was the day 27 Nicaraguan kids came to Camp Alegria and we were their camp counselors.
The bus was late due to a flat tire so the team decided to hang out in the lake until they arrived. It was so much fun just sitting in the lake laughing and talking with each other about anything and everything. It was just another great bonding moment.
We were having so much fun that before we knew it the kids were minutes away. We all ran back to our rooms and changed clothes to get ready to greet the kids when they arrived. We all sat in the kitchen hall and talked for the last minutes of waiting and then as soon as we heard the bus we ran outside to greet everyone.
We were waiving and saying Hola (hello) as the kids drove up. All of the kids were smiling and waiving back at us. I knew right then today was going to be an amazing day.
There were four equipos (teams) and they were rojo (red) verde (green) azul (blue) and violeta (purple). Each equipo had around 6 to 7 kids. My equipo was violeta and I had seven girls ranging from 1st to 4th grade (adorable). My fellow counselors were Stephanie McGurk and Jalesa Lee.
There were four stations that each team had to go to. One of the stations was the English station where we taught the kids some English words. We played various games with flashcards to get the kids to learn. Some of the words were "Door" "Car" and "Family". The kids caught on so well!
The other station was the Sports station where we played dodgeball or soccer with the kids. My equipo decided to go outside the box so we taught them volleyball. That was awesome. We had some future players on our hands!
Another station was Games where we got to play with Jenga, puzzles, or sidewalk chalk. The sidewalk chalk was a hit (the older kids liked Jenga as well).
The last station was the Arts and Crafts station where the children decorated Butler bags. The kids were extremely creative.
After the first two stations our equipos went to lunch and then after the last two we had dinner. Before the meals we would take the kids to the lake to swim. It was so much fun splashing around with these kids. They were pumped. They would chase you or you would chase them, or they wanted to be picked up and/or thrown in the water. They were all full of laughs and smiles. It was awesome, and everyone got soaked. It was amazing how the simplest things brightened their day.
After all the stations, swimming, and meals we played to group games on the beach. The first one consisted of two teams. Each person on the team had to spin three times around a bat then grab a cup and run to the lake to fill it up. Once they filled it up they had to run back and pour it in a bucket. The first team to fill its bucket past six liters won. The team I cheered on won!!!
The second game consisted of the same two teams. Each team had to stand in a straight line. The first person in line started with a ball and the entire line had to alternate passing the ball overhead and underhand. When the last person received the ball they ran to the front of the line. Once the team got the initial person back in the front of the line they won. My team won again!!!
However even though my team won everyone was a winner in our book so everyone got candy for doing so well. When that was over the kids got ready to leave.
The time spent with those kids was so rewarding. It was amazing that all we did was give these kids attention and play with them (as well as a lot of hugs and hand holding) and people were telling us this will be an experience they will never forget and probably never get to experience again.
It made you just sit back and think about how blessed we are everyday. I mean they were so poor that this day was probably the first time most of them left the town they lived in. the simplest things made their day and we need iPods and cell phones and this and that to make us happy. I know for a fact that the smiling faces I saw today will have a lasting impression in my heart. Those kids taught us so much and we didn't even speak the same language.
After we took our final pictures (because pictures had been taken all day) we gave our final hugs and said our final Adios to the kids (as well as the mothers that came to help supervise). As they drove away we sang the Butler War Song as our last goodbye.
The kids were gone, but the night was not over. Oscar (one of our hosts) brought out two of his horses for us to ride on the beach. It was so much fun. We all took turns riding up and down the beach. For some it was a new experience so it was cool to watch someone experience something for the first time that you already know is so much fun. After horseback riding, we all took showers and got ready for bed.
Words cannot explain how amazing this day was, but it will definitely be remembered and cherished. They moments shared with the kids as well as with each other as a team were once in a lifetime events that I would never have wanted to miss.