Day 7: Taking It Home….

After breakfast and a mad dash to finish some cleaning, we boarded buses to head home.  There were many hugs and quite a few tears.

I can’t really write about the experiences of other PCVs and Counterparts returning home with their campers, but I would like to share a bit of mine.  My kids started Boom-Chicka-Boom on the bus home without my help and the girls were more outgoing than I’d ever seen them.  Their favorite session was girls’ night, one of the boys loved learning about the importance of gender equality, and the other enjoyed the HIV/AIDS lessons.  We all got off the bus at the same time and since Ethiopian custom is to invite others into their homes, we all had to stay to eat food and drink coffee at every camper’s house.  We arrived in Durame around 1 pm and I did not get home until 5 pm.  At the boys’ houses, they ran off to help their moms.  Their families seemed confused and tried to make them sit back down, but the boys insisted on helping their moms.  Change comes slowly, painstakingly, painfully.  It is still nice to see those baby steps.

To our wonderful friends and family back home that donated supplies- thank you from all of us at Camp G-GLOW Sodo.

To see what you helped create, check out OhnSoon’s video:

And for more photos, here’s a slideslow:

If you’re still wondering about the answer to the riddle from Julia’s and OhnSoon’s gender awareness lesson, the answer is:  The mother is the doctor.

Jackie, out.

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Day 6: When Hippos Rise

Today was the last official day of camp, so there were several special things planned for our campers.  Little did we know it would be so memorable!

We got up extra early in order to serve breakfast at 6:30, the goal being to get campers on the bus by 7:00.  We quickly prepared and served their breakfast sandwiches, but not quick enough it seems.  Yellow and orange piled onto one bus while blue and red climbed onto the other and counselors made sure we weren’t leaving a head behind.  Around 7:30, we finally headed out from the school on our special field trip.


“Arba Minch” means forty springs in Amharic and is known for its national park full of wildlife and a unique mountainous landform dubbed by locals as “The Bridge of God,” as it connects the two lakes, Abaya and Chamo.  We were headed there in order to take campers on a boat tour to see hippos and crocodiles like the ones they had pretended to be in our “Lions, Hippos and Crocodiles” game.  We reminded them, though, that they weren’t actually lions, and both hippos and crocodiles could eat or at the very least injure humans, so we warned them to keep a respectable distance.

It took approximately four hours to get to Arba Minch from Wolayta Sodo, with a minimum number of kids experiencing illness.  Sometimes we did chants on the busses to help pass the time.  But by the time we arrived at Lake Chamo, though, it was show time.  We broke off into ten groups and then group by group we all clambered onto a boat.  I polled my group out of curiosity asking who had actually been on a boat before.  Of eight students, only one raised his hand, and he explained that he had been on a boat on Lake Hawassa.  I told him I’d been to that lake as well and saw hippos there, but that this one would probably be slightly different.  “Also,” I added, “there are no crocodiles in Lake Hawassa.”

Aside from some great animal sightings, including herons and other birds, and of course close up encounters (almost too close for comfort in some cases) of crocs and hippos, our boat ride was more or less uneventful, as it should have been.  I recall mentioning to campers on my boat, after watching a crocodile slide lazily off of the shore and into the water, that maybe it was swimming beneath us as we spoke.  It wasn’t until we all got back onto solid land and waited a while for the last two boats that I realized how true that statement was.  Lakes are deep, and what we could see of the hippos – mostly their ears and noses poking up out of the water – was equivalent to what one sees of an iceberg and betrayed nothing about their actual massive size.

Our last two boats were delayed because they had had quite the harrowing experience with these hippo icebergs.  Our wonderful photographer, OhnSoon along with Kat and fellow camp blogger, Adi, had thought their trip would be pretty benign as well.  What they hadn’t expected was that their boat would unwittingly sail over a submerged hippo who decided it was time to come up for a breath of air.  The subsequent collision rocked the boat something fierce and OhnSoon was terrified someone was going overboard.  Thankfully, aside from a few screams and tears, everyone survived.  The boat, which consisted of campers Berehun from Yirgalem, Mihret, Tsegab, and Hibist from Hossana, and Bethlehem, Cherinet, and Mirket from Durame, somehow managed to make it back to the shore intact.  Jackie’s group, who had witnessed the whole thing in her boat, was also delayed returning because of the incident.

“Scariest moment of my life,” said Jackie about the encounter.  “I didn’t know how I was going to tell my kids’ parents that they were eaten by hippos.”


After the excitement of the morning, campers and counselors both were ready for some good eats.  We took them to the Tourist Hotel, which provided tibs and bayonet.  For those non-Ethiopians reading this, tibs is a meat dish eaten with injera, while bayonet is somewhat akin to what you might get at an Ethiopian restaurant, namely injera with several different vegetarian “wats” or sauces on it, including lentils, cabbage, and potatoes.  As an added treat, each student was allowed to drink one soda, and we recognized OhnSoon’s boat for their courage in the face of their hippo encounter, particularly Bethlehem, who kept a cool head and saved OhnSoon’s life, according to OhnSoon.  After lunch, we prepared for the long trek home.  It seemed to take longer to get home than it took to get to Arba Minch, but we did manage to get home before dark, and get home slightly ahead of schedule.  Because it was so popular, campers continued to work on their friendship bracelets until it was time to prepare for dinner.


After dinner, there was some short camper time when they had a miniature dance party in the hall.  The dance party came to a close when Emily and the rest of the counselors arrived with a stack of certificates and photos to distribute to campers.  It was Camp GLOW graduation night, and each camper was called up individually to receive their certificate and a photo of them at camp, as well as a group photo.  At the end, we also recognized counselors and non-PCV counterparts and thanked everyone for their tremendous efforts.

When the ceremony was over, campers were directed to the volleyball field where Dan had started a camp fire (because what’s camp without a camp fire?).  As we enjoyed the light and heat it provided, a second American delicacy was introduced to the campers: s’mores.  American counselors illustrated the best ways to roast marshmallows to make them perfect for the cookie and chocolate sandwiches they were about to enjoy.  Campers had a great time roasting and munching.  Even fasting Muslims decided to make one and keep it for the morning.  However, since s’mores never last long around me, I’m not sure how well that would have tasted the next day.  Still, campers seemed to really enjoy this new sweet, as did the Ethiopian counselors.

When the fire was dying down, it was time to return to the hall to watch a slideshow and video presentation created by our personal Stephen Spielberg, OhnSoon Kim.  Both the slideshow and the video can be seen on this blog, and you can experience our week at Camp GLOW just as the students relived it this Friday evening.  The video and slideshow truly encompassed the spirit of what we were trying to do, as well as the reality of what actually happened, from the good to the hilarious.  The presentation was so good that several students asked for a copy of it.


At the end of the day, we all have to sleep, but there was only one more sleep until we all said goodbye.  It hadn’t hit campers yet, but it certainly would the next morning.  Campers retired much later than usual on account of all the evening activities, but we all laid our heads down for our last night at Camp G-GLOW Sodo.

– Carlin, Camp Blogger


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Day 5: “I can help create gender equality by preventing rape.”

Campers started the day by playing football, or, by popular demand, Tae Kwon Do with Julia.  After breakfast and morning circle, we moved on to lessons.


Julia led a lesson on gender equality.  We split into groups of only boys and only girls and discussed what prevents gender equality in Ethiopia.  We all came back together and each group shared their ideas.  Julia wrote the women’s challenges on piñatas.  Some of the challenges included:  girls are discouraged from going to school and encouraged to work at home, culturally girls are supposed to act shy, and girls are punished if they don’t obey their families.  Our female Ethiopian Counterparts were then asked to talk about a challenge they experienced and how they overcame it.  After, we all moved outside where the piñatas were tied to a tree.  Campers took turns being blindfolded and hitting the piñatas with a broomstick handle.  Before they hit the piñata, they had to finish one sentence:  either “I am a strong woman because…” or “I can help create gender equality by…”

One camper, Berihun, stated that he will help create gender equality by preventing rape.  He then not only broke the piñata, but also the broomstick into not only two pieces, but three.


Carlin facilitated a session on leadership.  The lesson started with a free word association and definition of “leader.”  We then talked about where leaders can be found and named specific famous or known leaders.  In groups and then as a whole, we discussed who can be a leader, what skills and education leaders need to have, and how leaders act.  Next, we moved outside and split into two teams that formed human knots.  We raced to untangle.  After, we discussed how they solved the problem of the human knot, if anyone emerged as a leader, and how the others responded.


For our final lesson of camp, Shane led a session on volunteerism.  We discussed what a community is and different types.  We talked about characteristics of communities and what is important to different groups.  We identified resources that may be available in a community and discussed if and how we formed a community during camp.

Next, we split into our towns and drew a map of our own communities and the resources available.  Campers presented their maps.  Finally, we worked on action plans for how we would deliver a lesson from camp in our own towns.

Field Day

After free time during which most people worked on friendship bracelets, we had a field day that started with a game of Jeopardy.  We played with our four teams and a different person from each team tried a question and then switched with another person on their team for the next question.  The questions focused on what the campers had been learning all week.  The game became quite competitive and loud and by the end of it, Dan was saying we should’ve just had a spelling bee.  The red team won and received medals to wear around their necks and we blasted them with bubbles.

Activities for the rest of the day included an egg race (won by the blue team), a boys’ sprint (won by Belete from Durame), a girls’ sprint (won by Danawit from Buee), and a relay race (won by the yellow team).  All of the winners received medals.  Even the orange team received medals for displaying the best sportsmanship.

We concluded field day with a massive water balloon fight.

Girls’ Night

After dinner and getting ready for bed, all of the girls had a girls’ night to answer any questions and to cover any topics not addressed during the sexual and reproductive health lesson where the girls made RUMPs.  We ate popcorn, talked about periods and sex, and demonstrated how to correctly use a condom (on a banana).  The discussion ended with Emily telling the girls that boys may promise them the moon and the stars, but the best thing they can do for themselves is to not have sex.

Boys’ Night

The boys were lame and went to sleep early.

Jackie, out.




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Day 4: Bonding Over Bracelets and Gua-a-o-lee

We began the day in much our usual way.  Football, running and various other activities outside to get the kids all energized for the day to come, followed by the breakfast of champions at 7:30 – peanut butter, honey, and/or jam sandwiches prepared by PCVs


Today was a special morning, because we were lucky enough to have a special guest come to give a talk to our students.  The speaker, Abebic, is from Marie Stopes International and came to talk to our female campers about their reproductive health.  So after our morning circle and some routine energizers (Bananas and Mingle Mingle have become a favorite), Dan commanded them to divide into gender segregated groups for perhaps the first and only time in our entire week to attend separate, gender based sessions.  Abebic spoke to our young women in Amharic about their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause.  There were even a few comments from our other Ethiopian counterparts.  Admittedly, it was difficult for me as a blogger to follow, as my Amharic is shaky at best.  The talk was good, but Emily decided it wasn’t enough.  That’s when plans for a girls’ night were hatched.  More on that later, though.

We broke for snack and I got the skinny on what the guys were doing in their sessions as I watched the boys frantically wash their hands and Dan jokingly remark to Nick, “They act like I made them touch the plague.”  Our young men also had a session on reproductive health, although for them it seemed to revolve around bananas and condoms.  The boys did not seem fond of the feeling of the lubricant from the condoms on their hands.

We returned to our rooms, where the girls proceeded to sew reusable menstrual pads, or RUMPS, using cloth and a cardboard template.   After that, we once again divided into two color-coded teams.  Today, it was blue with yellow and orange with red.  I like to dub these two teams the Nile Stars and the Fiery Galaxy.


The Nile Stars headed over to Nick’s session on malaria, where he impressed upon them the importance of using bed nets reduce the risk of contracting malaria.  To illustrate his point, he played a quick game with the kids that involved blankets and footballs (soccer balls).  In teams of six, campers held the blanket out flat between them and balanced the football on top of it.  Then, they were told to launch the ball high into the air and dive under the blanket as quickly as possible.  If they were outside of the blanket when the ball hit the ground again, they “had malaria” and had to get inoculated by clapping Kat’s hand.  Kat represented the local clinics that had malaria treatments available.  Nick explained that the blanket is like a bed net – so long as you’re underneath it, you won’t have to run to the clinic.  He and a few campers then proceeded to set up an actual mosquito net.


After our first session, we dined on misrwat (lentils) catered by the Konto Girls’ School, as per usual.  At camper time, we had some football and volleyball going on, as well as some heavy interest in Tae Kwon Do with Julia.  Kids were so excited about it that she promised to do another session of it in the morning.  But what proved to be the most popular activity was making friendship bracelets with Lacy.  Samantha, Rahel, and a few other counselors also joined in, teaching campers different styles of creating interesting patterns.  I saw a lot of red, green and yellow, colors from the Ethiopian flag, but campers crafted a rainbow of unique and diverse bracelets.  They were so enthralled that they didn’t want to stop when it came time to do a lineup and proceed to our next session.


Lacy helped define what a healthy relationship was for campers through scenarios and sketches created by the campers.  Groups of campers were given situations in which they had to make a difficult decision regarding friendships and romantic relationships.  Should they intervene if they see their friend making bad decisions, and if so, then how?  What do they do if they are getting unwanted romantic attention from another student at school?  I was pleased to see that a lot of the campers were using some of the skills they had explored in yesterday’s session on decision making.  For the most part, campers made sound choices, and they produced excellent drama to illustrate it to boot.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I see some of our campers on ETV one day in a soap opera.  After this session, there was a quick snack of kolo for campers and counselors.


Emily had campers draw an outline their own body on their own piece of flip chart paper.  She then had them think of positive words that described them and instructed them to write it inside of the body outline.  She provided magazines, so that they could also cut and paste words and pictures from there.  One of the more memorable examples came from Yohannes, who glued a photo of a crying baby with the words “I want descuss befor I cry.”  The whole activity was meant as a self-esteem builder, to help campers see what was good about themselves and express it through art.


Immediately after this session, campers were ushered on to the next.  The Nile Stars headed up to the nutrition lesson while the Fiery Galaxy headed down to find their GLOW with Emily.  Because this was her second time teaching this session, just walking in the room hit us with the pungent aroma of garlic.  Lacy gave a great lesson on food groups and balanced diets, as well as how to prepare fruits and vegetables before you eat them and the importance of boiling water for three minutes to minimize risk of foodborne pathogens.  Students created their own balanced diet using the staple foods of Ethiopia.  Injera, for iron and grains served with dinichwat (potatoes) for a dose of vegetables with some ayb (Ethiopian sour cheese) and sigawat (meat) to balance out the meal.  Some students did breakfast meals as well, incorporating rice or pasta with fruit.  But the real fun started over some culture sharing as Lacy taught campers how to make American guacamole, a dish she explained that was loaded with nutrients and different than the kind of food campers were used to eating.  The race to make guacamole began as Nick was nominated for taste tester.  He tried to get to every group, but one group liked their batch so much they ate it all with bread before Nick could even get a small taste.  The guac seemed to either be loved or not well-liked, depending on each individual student, but it seemed as if no one fell in the middle.


After all sessions were completed, we had our closing circle at the end of the day to review what had been covered in all the sessions and ask for favorite sessions.  One student, Yohannes, in the yellow group asked me what the name of the dish we had made was, and I told him.  “Gua-a-o-lee” he repeated and I smiled and helped him pronounce it until he could get it right.  Once he did, his hand shot up into the air to share that he had learned how to create this new Mexican/American delicacy.  He was so eager to say it that even when he wasn’t called on and circle ended, he grinned at me and said, “We made guacamole.”

After a delicious dinner and the students had (mostly) washed all of their own dishes, it was some short camper time and then time to bed.  Counselors retired to their rooms to plan and prepare for the next day whereas Rahel, Yodit and I entered the girls dorm as we were supervising that evening.  Campers fell asleep rather quickly after some questions about whether or not they could watch a late night show, no doubt exhausted by the day’s activities and looking forward to the next one.

-Carlin, Camp Blogger

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Day 3: “We campers have a love circle every day.”

Bright and early at 6am, campers chose to participate in playing soccer or sleeping in.  After breakfast and morning circle to discuss the day’s schedule, we moved onto lessons.

Gender Awareness

Julia and Ohnsoon led a session on gender awareness.  They started with a riddle which went as follows:  “A father and his son get into a car accident.  They are taken to the hospital.  The doctor enters the room and says ‘That is my son.’  How is that possible?”  Keep reading for the answer to the riddle.  Next, the students were given sheets of paper with the professions teacher, doctor, nurse, government worker, secretary, and engineer written on them.  They were instructed to draw a picture of what they thought a person in that job looks like.  After they finished, they tallied how many students drew a certain profession as a man or a woman.  In small groups, they discussed why they chose to draw only men as doctors or only women as secretaries.  Finally, they had a discussion with the whole class about gender awareness.

Interactive Immune System

Kat led a lesson on how the immune system works in a healthy person, how it doesn’t work in a person with HIV/AIDS, and how it works in a person with HIV/AIDS that is taking ART (antiretroviral treatment).  The kids did a few skits acting as red blood cells, CD4, B cells, HIV, the common cold, T-fighter cells, and ART.  They also had a discussion about ways that HIV is transmitted, and the testing and treatment of HIV.

Line Up!

During Line Ups, campers get into teams to play games.  On this day, we played an Ethiopian version of Tug-of-War and, of course, more Lions Hippos and Crocs.

Camper Time

Every day after lunch for one hour, campers have free time and many activities to choose from.  Today, some campers washed their clothes and some played soccer or volleyball.  Shane taught an origami lesson and some campers did coloring on coloring pages made by OhnSoon.  Jackie, Nick, Dan, and Kat taught Frisbee.


OhnSoon and Shane had a session on decision-making.  They started off by doing a skit in which Shane wanted OhnSoon to skip school and go drink beer, but OhnSoon had a test.  The class discussed what options OhnSoon had and which one she should choose.  The kids were then split into groups and given a scenario that they had to act out and come up with a decision.  They then discussed as a class why it was a good decision and what the consequences would have been for the bad decisions.  Finally, they discussed the characteristics of good decision-making.  Everyone really enjoyed acting in and watching all the skits.

Readers’ Theatre

Dan led a readers’ theatre lesson.  The campers were given scripts with narrators and other characters.  The narrators drew a background scene on poster paper for their group’s set and the characters made puppets.  Each group presented in front of the class.  The characters got under a table so only their puppets were showing while the narrators narrated.  The kids had fun creating their sets and puppets and then did really well acting out their scripts together.


Carlin did the final session of the day in which the students made an “All About” book.  They were able to make a book about any of the subjects we’ve covered such as HIV/AIDS or gender equality, or they could pick any other topic about which they are an expert such as their town or their school.  One camper, Samrawit, wrote “All About Camp GLOW.”  On the final page, she had drawn a circle of people holding hands with the statement “We campers have a love circle every day.”  We sure do.

Good Night

We’re settling into our routine of closing circle, dinner and doing the dishes, and washing up for bed before lights out.  When we said keep reading for the answer to the riddle from the gender awareness lesson, we meant keep reading all week.

Jackie, out.

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Day 2: Future Planning with Handkerchiefs and Fingerpaint

Monday marked the official launch of camp proper, which means it’s lesson time!  We began the day at 6:00 sharp with Dan hosting a football (soccer) game out on the field for the early risers.  There were even some runners out there with Yeshi and Shane.

Breakfast was served at 7:30, followed by our morning circle where campers received miniature schedules that fit into their nametags.  And then, Dan introduced our management system.  Campers are able to earn a tangible reward for their efforts to be good citizens and role models.  If a counselor sees a camper doing something pride-worthy, then the counselor can bestow upon that citizen a “ring of pride”, which they can wear around their nametag.  At the end of each day, team leaders count the number of rings across their whole team and the number is tallied up.  At the end of the week, the team with the most rings of pride will win a mystery prize!  We’ll keep you posted on the running tallies of the teams.

After the morning circle, campers split off into two groups.  Red and Blue, also known as Team Blue Strawberry or the Galactic Nile, made their way to Jackie’s session to travel in time by writing a letter to their future selves.  Yellow and Orange, also known as Team Citrus or the Fiery Stars, also invested in their future in OhnSoon’s lesson by growing their own life trees.  After snack, the teams switched and the Galactic Nile went to make Life Trees and the Fiery Stars went to write to their future selves.


The seeds we sow today will provide the feasts and shade of tomorrow.  In OhnSoon’s lesson, campers considered their most deeply held values and wrote them down as the roots of their own life trees.  All of those values came together, feeding a strong trunk that reached up to the sky and sprouted leaves, which represented their goals.  Values that were mentioned as examples included honesty, courage, loyalty, respect, and kindness.  The goals that sprouted from those values included helping others, becoming a doctor, owning an orphanage, and going to university.  Students created future goals and kept the focus on where they were going by remembering where they came from.


There have been many times in my life in which I wished I could write a letter to my past self and tell her not to make a mistake, or even just reassure her that everything will turn out all right.  Unfortunately, our Peace Corps Research Team hasn’t exactly figured out the trick to sending letters back in time, but they have discovered a way to send letters forward in time without a return address.  Jackie had campers consider who they are today, in the present, and who they want to be in a year or ten years from now.  She asked them to think about what they wanted to tell themselves in the future, what their goals were, and how they might achieve those goals.  So our intrepid time-traveling writers crafted creative prose, asking their future selves questions and stating their goals in writing to be discovered by another time traveler, a person almost but not quite themselves in twelve months who will then read a letter from the past.

After all teams completed both sessions, we had a lineup where we engaged campers in small and large group activities.  Blue and Red played a tug-of-war game while Orange had fun with a local Ethiopian version of duck duck goose.  Meanwhile, Yellow played the name game and got to know each other better, along with Mingle Mingle and a little duck duck goose themselves.

The next round of activities were Hankies for Health with Kat and Finger-Painting Stories with Dan.  Team Blue Strawberries attended the former and Team Citrus went to the latter, and the groups switched after lunch.


Our personal hygiene and health habits can literally mean the difference between life and death.  Kat provided a fun and crafty solution for helping to stop the spread of disease from all of the sneezing and wheezing we do, especially when we’re sick.  After a very helpful lesson on hand washing wherein Kat illustrated the necessity of using soap and water, or ash when soap is unavailable, she distributed fabric, needles and threads for students to create their own handkerchiefs.  I know that I, for one, learned something, even if it was just how to sew.  And the campers developed a better understanding of how germs are spread, and how to prevent that.


No matter how old you get, there’s something to be said for getting a little dirty with finger paints, and no one knows this better than Dan.  He set up canvases of three sheets of paper per camper and had them stand in front of them.  After explaining the structure of a story and modeling that the three papers represented the beginning, middle and end of a story respectively, he asked each camper to paint whatever their hearts desired on the first sheet of paper.  Campers got really into the activity and created masterpieces with their fingertips.  And then, Dan threw in the twist.  After each student was completed with the beginning of their story, Dan told them all to take a step to the right and work on the middle of their neighbor’s story.  Again, campers panted remarkable works of art.  Then they stepped to the right one more time, and drew the end of their next neighbor’s story.  When all the pages had been painted, Dan instructed students to move one more place to the right and write six sentences about the three sheets of paper in front of them.  What stories could these pages tell?  Where would their imaginations take them?  Dan helped students think of stories in three parts, and the importance of all parts and of collaborating with others to make something collectively wonderful.

Lunch occurred before the last activity, and when campers were finished they were able to have some camper time wherein optional activities were provided.  Today, these activities were football, volleyball and watercoloring with Dan, Nick and OhnSoon respectively.  Campers seemed to have a great time enjoying all three of the activities with the counselors.


At the end of the day, Jackie led an excellent discussion on gender while the boys made coffee for the girls.  In Ethiopian culture, it is generally considered to be the woman’s job to wash, roast, grind and prepare the “buna,” or coffee.  As a backdrop for this role reversal, Jackie engaged the campers with questions concerning gender roles and society, their uses and issues, how they are determined, and whether or not they are necessary.  Campers also examined the difference between gender and sex and by discussing what men and women were biologically capable of versus generally capable of.  For example, only women can get pregnant and give birth, but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of playing football or becoming leaders.


After the gender role reversal lesson, it began to get dark, and we ate a lovely dinner and had our closing circle led by Emily.  After that, campers prepared for bed and anxiously awaited their next day at camp while the counselors decided to have closing circle earlier, as our facility doesn’t have much in the way of electric lights.

Carlin, Camp Blogger
Education PCV 2012-2014


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Day 1: “Gibu! Get in!”

The big day arrived as campers, PCVs, and Counterparts from 10 different towns across Southern Ethiopia journeyed to the town of Wolayta Sodo to begin our week-long summer Camp GLOW.  Everyone eventually reached Sodo safely, but not without a few bumps along the way.

Gunchirie, Durame, Hossana, Dilla, Wonago, Yirgalem, Leku, Areka, Buee –> Sodo

Shane being the furthest from Sodo had contracted a car to take his Gunchirie group as far as Hossana where there would be another contracted vehicle.  Their first ride fell through, but at the last minute, they were able to hitch a ride with a car from the NGO World Vision and made it to Hossana.  Jackie and her Durame campers’ bus broke down twice, but since they had started so early, they also made it in time to Hossana for the contracted bus.  The Gunchirie, Durame, and Hossana groups all travelled down to Sodo together.  Emily’s Counterpart brought their campers from Dilla, as Emily had to come early to set up since she is Camp Director.  The Wonago, Yirgalem, and Leku groups also contracted a bus to bring them over to Sodo and other than quite a few stops by the traffic cops, their ride went smoothly.  Nick and his kids had the easiest trip down to Sodo from Areka, which is only thirty minutes north.  Kat and her campers also had some bus trouble when their tire gave out and they had to switch buses.  Kat was cheered by a letter from one of her campers, Tekalegn, that read:

“I’m so happy And delightened And the thing is I have a great Interst (hobbay) And think a lot about Cap GLOW.  I’m responsible to work togather In CAP GLOW.  Tank you too madam!!  So long madam!”

All finally joined together hungry for lunch.

Let the Wild Rumpus Begin

After lunch, we played many energizer and icebreaker games with the kids such as Go Bananas, Boom-Chicka-Boom, Mingle Mingle Mingle, and Lions Hippos and Crocs.  Next, we had an introduction of our camp staff to the campers and played People Bingo.  With People Bingo, we could see from the start that we have an active, competitive group of kids.

We then split into teams for the week.  Each team is a different color: blue, orange, red, or yellow.  Each camper got a t-shirt of their team color and our camp logo.  Staff is wearing black.  Counselors Lacy, Nick, and Mignot are leading Team Blue; Dan, Jackie, Rahel, and Yodit have Team Orange; Shane, Julia, and Adi are in charge of Team Red; and Team Yellow is led by Carlin, Kat, Samantha, and Yeshi.

Next, campers received and decorated their journals and nametags.  We also split into teams to pick team names and to make team flags and team actions.  The blue group is “Blue Nile,” the orange group is “Team Fire,” the red group is “Red Galaxy,” and the yellow group is the “Stars.”

Finally, we had dinner and closing circle.  We all supervised the kids as they brushed their teeth and got ready for bed.  Each night, two counselors will stay in the boys’ room and in the girls’ room.  We had lights out, a staff meeting, and then all collapsed to rest up for the first full day the next day.

Check out the “Day-By-Day” tab at the top of the page for our schedule for the week.

Jackie, out.

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Team Blue Nile.


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