Monday, July 28, 2008

Chronicles of a World Changer part 2

The Church bus had left about an hour and a half before we left our house. Yet an hour or so after we got on our way we caught up with them at a truck stop. It was now 12am. Dad and Ilmarë switched places (now Ilmarë was driving) and Yavanna and Eärendil decided to ride on the bus with the other youth-ians. They're the social butterflies of the siblings. Mr. Bill (the youth pastor) was driving the bus. So I already knew that this was going to be an interesting trip.
But I was not prepared for how slow and cautious he would drive! "Since when does Mr. Bill drive like this?" I thought. "Is this the same Mr. Bill that nearly drove us off the side of a mountain because he was driving too fast?" It was probably because it was so late already and he was tired (he doesn't drink coffee either). A few hours later we pulled into another truck stop to take a short break because Mr. Bill was too tired. He grabbed his pillow and a blanket and curled up on a picnic table under a pavilion by the bus. The other youth-ians stayed on the bus with the other two chaperones.
So we rolled down the windows and tried to sleep. Couldn't sleep! I'd be dozing off when a semi would drive by, then I'd be wide awake. I just couldn't relax!

Hehehe, this was in the men's restroom at the second truck stop. No I didn't take this picture. Dad did.

Anyway, after a while we hit the road again. This time Dad was driving. Not two hours later we had to stop and let Mr. Bill rest again. He was having trouble staying awake. So he slept out on a picnic table again. This time one of the youth-ians joined him because it got hot inside the bus.
We stayed at the rest stop much longer that time. But it was still dark when we got back onto the road. This time we didn't stop until breakfast. McDonald's! We were in the Neverending state by then and there was daylight! We filled up the tanks at a nearby gas station and got on our way. And we only stopped once for bathroom break before our lunch stop.

This was at the stop before lunch. I have never had cracker jacks like that Hunkey Dorey stuff! It was so good I could feel my arteries clogging up!

After a lot of driving Mr. Bill parked the bus in a vacant parking lot and gave the youth-ians their lunch options. Burger King, Taco Bell, or Hardy's which was across the street(I think it was Hardy's, now I'm not so sure).
All the youth decided on BK. Mr. Bill and the other two chaperones went across the street to Hardy's, leaving Dad the only chaperone with the youth. (But technically Ilmarë and I are adults too. Oh, and there was another college student on this trip with us. But I don't think she likes my sister and I. She talks to us like we are younger than her, even though Ilmarë is older than her) After we ate we went out to wait for Mr. Bill by the bus. He had given us an hour and a half for lunch (wayyyyy to long!). But then it started to rain so the youth-ians rushed under the eaves of the warehouse/garage-thing by the bus.

I was amused because they were trying to cram themselves against the wall while still trying to have conversations with each other. Ilmarë and I stood under the back door of Dad's car.

Here Sport (with the glasses) was playing roughly with Between (the other college student) while Yavanna (with the blue shirt) and Eärendil (with the black sneakers) look on.

We still had a lot of time left before Mr. Bill would come back. So the youth-ians decided to cross the road to the Books-A-Million. Two of the guys made across 5 lanes to the median. Eärendil was about to go across also. "Dad," Ilmarë said. "Eärendil is going to cross the road by himself! Tell him to stop!" "He'll be fine," Dad said. We were heading that way anyways. "I'm not watching!" Ilmarë said. It was fine. He was a ways from the intersection and the light was red. Once he got to the two guys in the median they would cross the other side together.
So he went across. The next thing I see is a blue SUV and my brother flying sideways. I couldn't believe it. He got hit by a car! I ran up to the road and was about to go out to him when Dad said to wait, making sure none of us would get hit either. I hadn't even thought about that. We ran between the cars (it was still a red light) to where
Eärendil was. The driver of the SUV was holding him steady on his feet. He was pale and he looked shocked. But he was okay. He had landed on his feet. Dad got to him and lead him off the road back to our car. The two guys at the median came back over. One of them, Eärendil's friend, Outdoorsman, started cracking up once he saw that Eärendil was ok. "Dude," he said. "You just got hit by a car!" They both had seen the whole thing.
The SUV driver came to the parking lot to make sure everything was okay. Another elderly couple had pulled over also. But he was fine. The shock was wearing off and his color was better. Outdoorsman's laughter lightened the mood. Thank God for that. I felt so sick I don't know what I'd have done. God was definitely watching over him. All he had was a bruise on his butt from where the car had hit him. He was back to joking around now.
They waited out the rest of the time for Mr. Bill by the bus. Then we hit the road again.

Yay! Our destination state!

No further incidents occurred until we were about two hours from our destination. Mr. Bill pulled into a WalMart parking lot. He was just so tired. He wanted to rest for at least half an hour. Forty-five minutes later we were one our way again, this time with Dad in the lead.
And we made it! 6:30-ishPM. Mr. Bill and the adults checked us in while the rest of us made a bee-line to the cafeteria for dinner. All the other church groups were there already. A few minutes after my sisters and I sat down Dad joined us. He told me that he had talked to one of the staffers and mentioned that I was interested in becoming a summer staffer for World Changers next year and that I had a few questions (which is only partly true, because I only had one question to ask). Wow, that was fast. We'd only been here like 30 minutes! Now amidst all the busyness of eating, then unloading the bus and getting situated I had to make time to go find this staffer.
So we ate a hurried, yet gratifying, dinner then went back out to the bus (cafeteria food had never been so satisfying as it was then. And it hasn't been since). Mr. Bill gave each chaperone a map and told them where our rooms were. Then we unloaded the bus and took our stuff up. The girls' room was on the second floor.
When we walked into our room we found that we were rooming with girls from another church. They arrived hours before we did and had all their stuff set up. So we staked our claims. We didn't have enough time to blow up our mattresses, though. So we just laid them out on the floor. Then we grabbed our Bibles and rushed to the worship service which started at 7:30.
Wow, we were so tired! After 19 hours on the road, a rushed meal, and unloading and dragging mammoth-sized luggage up a flight of stairs, the nice, cool air-conditioning in the worship auditorium was very welcoming! The guys had still not gotten there yet. It was just us girls. I don't even know where our lady chaperone was. Even though we were just sitting for hours I couldn't wait to sit in those auditorium seats! Oh, they looked comfy. But then, allofasuddensurprise! They slide forward when you lean back in them! The group behind us had been watching and waiting for us to sit. When they saw our reaction they started laughing....a lot. But, right then I didn't care at all.
Eventually the guys made it before the service started. We all weathered through the service trying to keep awake (the darkness was no help). Then, after a brief group meeting we headed back to our rooms. We finished setting up. We went down for showers, which were pretty empty by then (most of the other girls from the other churches had taken theirs earlier). Then we crashed. Well, at least I did. I don't really remember much what happened after dinner.
So passed our first "official" day at World Changers. The next day, Sunday, we would meet our crews and visit our host church. But that is for next time.

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