Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Senior Trip to Pucon, Chile!!

Our wonderful Cabin! The Lord totally worked out a blessing in us finding these clean, accommodating and new cabins. We started out the trip in a cabin that would of been about a Motel 8 in standards. Dirty sheets, dirty dishes, no Internet, small, and everyone by the second day was desiring the same thing. To move. Thus began our search for a different cabin that could hold a group our size...and was within our VERY limited price range. After a couple hours of dead ends and closed doors, a discouraged group of teens began the trek back to the cabin and right before we arrived Chongbin noticed some cabins nestled off the road that we hadn't checked because we were "sure they are too expensive". We we went for it and just asked, and the guy gave us an amazing deal...and we moved in 30 short minutes later! The Lord provided us with a Hilton! :)
We're HERE!!! Well not yet. We landed at the smallest airport I have ever seen in my life. In fact, for those of you who have seen Scoobidoo, you know the deserted houses were the bad guy always lives, in the middle of nowhere, no human life around, yea ....that was this airport! From there we waited for a taxi to then take us to the Bus station, that would take us 2 hours into Pucon! What an adventure it was lugging our suitcases in the rain from airport to car, from car to bus and then walking from the bus station a couple blocks to our cabin! haha.

Such sweet girls eating at an Italian Restaurant that had home made noodles that were AMAZING!! Makes me want to learn how to make them myself.....

Sweet Stephanie. She reminds me so much of my little sister at times i just would look at her or hear something she would say, and miss charity all over again! They even play the guitar and sing alike!!

And out in the rain we go again!! :)
Even though it was rainy, the kids had such a great attitude and we still made the most of it. We ziplined, rafted ( jumped off a cliff into the cold river) paintballed, and shopped in the rain....and at times the Lord brought the sun out to warm us up and dry the rain, which was very sweet of Him. :)

One night we walked to this adorable chocolate shop that was started by some Germans and the German influence was definitely noted, which made you almost feel like you stepped outside of south America and into a little European village and stopped into one of the bakeries.
Misol being ....Misol. :) Love that girl!

Most of the buildings in Pucon are made from this type of wood! And I loved it!

They had Christmas lights everywhere too!!!

The Enormous Fireplace inside the chocolateria. In Pucon most of the restaurants had fireplaces because their is not central heat, so anywhere there is a fire, you want to be!

She kept saying " NOOO my eyes dont' look right when theres a flash!!" haha....
I got to know this sweet girl Abbey really well, and Whether we were sharing our favorite Gaither vocal band songs, or talking about Liberty ( as she will be attending there in the fall) I felt a true kinship with her, and am thankful the Lord allowed me the opportunity to get to know her. Her family is serving as missionaries in Santiago, and she has lived here for a couple years. I am most looking forward to getting together with her many more times before she heads to the states in July, and keeping in touch with her while she is off beginning a brand new stage in her life :) At the best collage ever. :)

So forget traffic laws and seat belts....and paved roads....all you need is a backless old war wagon with two wooden benches stapled to the floor, and a leaky tarp roof and your set to go!! Talk about pumping yourself up for a battle of paintball, because by the time you get where your going, your believing you really are being escorted to war.

It was freeeeeeeezing and raining and dark, made for a foggy ( mask) blurry, wet, cold game of paint ball capture the flag! My personal favorite event of the week!
I think they asked me to be Captain because im loud, or maybe it was.... i'm crazy enough to be the one running towards the firing squad...over and over again in an effort to grab a flag that was the size of a large napkin!?
The Chaprones! I was so proud of Ms. Laura! She got down in the dirt with the rest of us, and actually helped their team win by being a great shot in protecting their flag. As I approached the Flag stand and saw victory in my reach Ill never forget hearing " CHOW" and getting a good one in the leg! haha...so funny!

The Sand was actually Volcanic Rock!! And I actually liked the texture of it more than the yellow sand. It was not as messy! Oh and I took a bag of it home with me, and am still hoping I don't have the sand patrol cops pounding on my door telling me it was illegal and I unknowingly committed a Chilean crime! Yikes!
The beautiful Lake of Pucon....

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Since it rained 4 out of the 6 days on and off, and Chile doesn't have a drainage system...they put cute little bridges out to cross the deep puddles that had accumulated!

I was feeling a little inspired by all the trees everywhere, I don't know I just kept picturing tarzan flying through the branches and thus I pretended for the moment to be Jane. Hey, you never know what you might find when in a foreign country.
Our home away from home!

Oh Hello active Volcano. You sure are a beautiful, terrifying testifier to the greatness and creativity of our Creator.
These girls were always at it! In fact, Misol was always at something, all the time!She was one of the most outgoing hilarious people I have ever met. And I must admit a couple days into the trip I looked at her and just said" Misol,  you are the loudest Korean I have ever met" hahah. She and everyone else agreed!

CHONGBIN. Was our musical entertainment on the rainy days inside the cabins. " I wish I was Korean, you can do everything, and well!" haha :)

She brought popcorn!!!! Which was not only a treat in Pucon, but is a treat here in Chile period. And forget finding really good buttery, salty popcorn that melts in your mouth...they are more a fan of the sweet popcorn, and it is expensive. ( I learned that after asking each parent to bring a bag in for our Movie Day a while back. No one said anything, but only 3 students actually brought a bag!!) Learning as I go!
The Whole gang, minus the only guy ( talk about odd man out) he was prolly taking the picture, bless his heart!
Our mode of transportation for the week but hey..living on a budget calls for cutting corners on the things that aren't as important ( like comfort :)). Oh and that is me sleeping.
The Last evening in Pucon the girls wanted to go out and try out ONE more of the adorable "cabin like" restaurants. And we picked a place that had ( of course) a nice fireplace right beside our couch, and that had choclate milkshakes - well, ice water with chocolate powder blended together -so  NOT a chick-fil-a milkshake but it was still tasty! :) All in all I am so thankful for some of the conversations the Lord allowed me to have with many of the girls, and also being able to share a good amount of my testimony at Bible study one of the nights. It is such an amazing comfort to me to see that the Lord truly has allowed me to go through certain experiences in my life, to provide me with the ability to relate to a group of girls who are from different cultures, life experiences and family upbringing than myself. Who have many things not in common with myself , but yet, many desires stemming from just having a women's heart, that were very much in common . Every young girl wants to fall in love, have a romance filled courtship and get married, and we just know it will be by 24. But what I was able to share with them as a group and then separately when a few of the girls reached out to talk, was that Christ is the only fulfilment in life, and marriage is just one of MANY blessings the Lord may or may not CHOOSE to give. But how much more blessed you are when your in the center of God's will, than trying to control things yourself and ending up stressed out and dissatisfied. I told them how I understand that feeling of having "everything" I thought I had wanted and heading towards marriage and into the  life  my simple faithless heart thought I desired. Oh how Being able to tell those young girls the Lord's plan for each of their lives will far exceed anything they desire now, and really be living it and able to testify for His provision and direction, was such a special moment in my time thus far in Chile.
 I will always remember the funny laughter filled moments at 2 am. Waking up to The girls running into my room in the morning to stand in front of the tiny plug in heater I almost didn't bring. Bus ride chats about life and big decisions. Singing round the fire on a rainy day, and everyone stuffed into the kitchen eating and talking. Wearing 3 layers inside and still being cold. So many special moments, and memories, But more than that, I have 7 more lives to invest in for the remaining month they are here, and hopefully via email and facebook once they have left. But regardless of how contact, I feel a deep responsibility to continue to lift their lives up to the Lord, as I know many of them will face big decisions and will eventually come to a place where they must decide between following the plans they have made or the plans God has specifically designed for each of their lives.

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