To never have to start a sentence with "I wish I would have..."


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Monday, January 16, 2012

Camp GLOW 2011

I've been terrible about giving consistent updates. So sorry. Yes I did have malaria. Yes it was awful and I got pretty sick and lost a bit of weight from it. Yes I do think it's kind of cool to be able to tell people that I had malaria while living in Africa but YES I AM TAKING MY MEDICINE and have no intention of getting it again before I leave.

Onto more exciting things...

Camp GLOW was a HUGE success! I feel even more proud of it's success this year than I did last year. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I was one of the co-directors. Bottom line: Alyssa and I killed it. We overcame every obstacle thrown our way (and there were a lot!) and managed to put together a week long camp that not only changed the girls' lives, but impacted the women and PCVs involved as well as my own life too. This camp has such a positive message and I can't help but get giddy when I talk about it. It's definitely one of the best things I have been involved in during my time here and it's been one of the most gratifying.

The set up was pretty much the same as last year, with a few minor scheduling changes to make it feel more like a summer camp and take some of the emphasis away from classroom learning. If you want a more detailed break down check out the website Fellow PCV Tony worked really hard getting everything together and a special thanks to our media crew (Dave, Tony, Stevie) for all the awesome pictures!

I want to give a few of my personal highlights from the week:

-checking in girls during the registration on the first day and having them remember me from an AFRIpads presentation I gave at their school

-not being called madame and just being and equal with all the girls and women involved

-the camp GLOW song. I rewrote the words to Shakira's "Waka Waka" and I can't even explain how amazing it felt hearing all the girls and counselors (and male staff!) sing in unison when we welcomed the boys from camp BUILD during our field day

-being told we set the bar high for next year's camp

-giving the AFRIpads presentation, passing out a donated kit to each girl, and watching them get excited for Judith, a tailor from AFRIpads, to give her motivational presentation

-hearing the group cheers

-a group of girls returning a 50 shilling piece (less than 10 cents) they found in their bags and realized didn't belong to them (we had a small issue with money missing during the week...)

-watching the counselors bond with their girls

-the sense of teamwork that developed as the week went on

-doing the Cupid Shuffle with all the staff and counselors during our talent show

-having girls come up to me to personally thank me for all the work we put into planning the camp

-getting a beer at 11am after all the girls left on the last day of camp. Tony bought our first round and then gave a toast saying how working at GLOW was something he'd been really looking forward to. Our staff was really phenomenal.

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