Ok, so before I continue writing up the camp experience, I want to make it clear that while some of the programmes were not for me, I have nothing but love for the organisers of the trip and the instructors. They’ve made me feel very welcome and been very patient with me – and I have almost no co-ordination so that is no small feat. But yeah, just want to stress that point. The people are phenomenal, the camp was great, the way I portray an experience is how I percieved it due to my own internal factors.

Also I realised it had been a while since I threw in pictures so here, have a million random ones! You’re very welcome, esteemed ladies and gentlemen.

I reported the programmes without any sort of sense of order, just the ones that stuck out in my mind the most, so this is all kinda messy and confusing, but the camp started with a programme called Who Is In? wherein you would ask each other, “who is in?” and respond with the first thing that came to mind. So, it could be a title you hold such as teacher or friend, or it could be a random word (the best series of responses I heard was “chicken! chicken! salamander?”) If nothing else, this was a really good way to get to know people. I can think of no more fun person than the one who thinks of salamanders when they consider themselves, thats awesome.
My words were pretty surprising to myself. As the exercise continued and I relaxed, I started to feel very grounded in my lower back, like there was a weight in the bottom of my stomach keeping me tethered to the floor, while it felt like a balloon expanding in my insides. I was super aware of my heart, weirdly. I dunno if this was supposed to happen, but the effect it had was to make me think of words surrounding growth and expansion as well as security and peacefulness. I think that sums up my life here pretty well, to be honest. Can’t even be cynical about it, from the description it sounds kinda silly but keeping an open mind and commiting to trying, it worked pretty well for me. Kinda flooded me with all my good vibes and also raised some questions about the way I relate to my environment and loved ones.

The last thing we did, I could not keep an open mind for. This was the moment we went out to the forest, picked a tree, and were supposed to kinda share its energy. The second this started my mind kicked in:

“A tree? Hah, wouldn’t it be funny if – oh wait…no, no way. No way. No way! We’re going to, yeah, alright, we’re going to hug a tree. This is it, this is about to be tree hugging. I am crossing a border into “tree hugger” territory. Wow…!”

In actuality, I chose to stroke my tree. I didn’t feel we had established enough of a connection to embrace yet. Maybe next time, if it gets me a drink or something. It did make me realise that since I grew up and stopped being a little kid, I stopped interacting with my surroundings. Like, now if you walk through a park, even if the point of the outing is to enjoy your time in a park, you tend to stick to the paths and just look around. Remember when you were a little kid and would just trundle about all over the place, eager to get your sticky little paws on everything? Reminded me a little of that, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

The weekend was a very interesting experience, and I’m glad I went. I came out here to do something different and try new things, this definitely counts as part of that! This is why I decided to try the all night meditation too, I knew what would happen if I went to sleep, but had no idea what would happen if I stayed up. Part way through that, the instructor mentioned “right now you’re wondering why you chose to stay up, wishing you were in the other room asleep. But hopefully in the future, you will remember that you can do this. You can withstand” that sort of motivation is something I think I benefit from because I’m terrible for intellectual – and general – laziness. It’s just sort of cool to see what you can be capable of if you try, but also to know that the only person you let down when you don’t is yourself and that you end up poorer for it. Something I forget in my efforts to focus on other people and their perceptions of me.

New and improved reciepe all my own

Last note, the food was awesome. It was all organic, they had Indian food including naan bread, it was amaze. We also had one meal of entirely raw veg which was different. This was a pretty succesful part of the cleanse though, I woke up on Monday craving more fruit and veg, rather than the chocolatey cereal I usually have. Sadly, I didn’t actually have any food so I just went hungry (and was grouchy as hell, this is why Naomi Campbell throws phones; I coulda launched a whole phonebox at my screaming second graders, the rats) but have been experimenting with smoothies so maybe that’s an option. I dunno, willpower’s kinda not one of my things that I do.

Other news!
I now have a phone, an iPhone no less, so if you have a smart phone and you like me enough to read this then surely you should like me enough to download Kakao Talk and add me “rebeccamarie” so we can chat all day. I am also available for skype pretty much whenever, so you can call me and voice chat for free any time anywhere. Except I’d rather you didn’t at like 5am. That’s in my 6 hours of sleepy time, those hours are precious.

One or two people have asked me why I don’t update more, so I’ll try to get better at that, partially it’s because I didn’t think anyone was actually reading but mainly its because I tend to concentrate on school during the week. Most of what I have to talk about is which classes piss me off and how I’m trying to change and improve my lessons to better get through to them. I think it’s kinda dull if you’re not into that, but I’ll give it a bash. Tomorrow is my “open lesson” or Day When The Children’s Parents Come In And Stare At Your Lesson so that might be slightly interesting. I hate speaking to grown ups though, I crashed and burned at my practise lesson in orientation so I’m nervous.

Stay tuned; next week I’m off to Seoul to check out the DMZ and also to give bungee jumping a go. My health insurance hasn’t come through yet so, uh, let’s just see how that goes.