Monday, August 12, 2019

Kid's Action Day

While the Finnish team were here to help run the Youth Camp, on their last day here, we decided to do a fun day with the kids from our project too. When Rami and Katja-Maaria were living here, we used to run "Kid's Action Days" twice a year. We used to do them at the local school, but now we have the church building and so we can do it there!

We started off with a program - the team is here introducing themselves: 
Then it was time to sing some songs: Here they are doing actions. We also sang the song Rami wrote called "Vrlo Dragocjen" (Very Precious) which was our camp song one year. It has a fantastic message of everyone being precious - and that differences are actually to be celebrated, not mocked.
Then one of the team from Burma/Myanmar shared about his experiences - he was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, as his parents had fled persecution in Burma. Eventually they were accepted to go to Finland. As he has grown up in Finland, he doesn't speak English so well, so he was speaking in Finnish, the guy next to him is translating into English and then Ljilja into the local language...
 Then it was time to be surprised by a bunch of sheep:
Who told the story of the shepherd leaving the 99 to go find the 1 lost sheep... which went along very well with the message of the song - every one is so precious!!
Then it was time for a whole lot of games throughout the building...
Sword fighting was a real hit:
 As was the "how many sweets can I get out of the box with chopsticks" game:
 Facepainting was also a firm favourite:
And guess how many sweets in the jar:
There were many more games all over the place, but we didn't get pics of them all. After the kids all had a chance to do all the games they wanted, it was time to finish up with Finnish blueberry pie: yummy!!

Then a pic with most of the kids and the 3 Burmese guys...

Before picking up Mom or Dad (who were having their own meeting upstairs while this was on) and going on home... 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Youth Camp 2019

Last year, our ex-colleagues from Finland, who had helped us run all of our Kid's camps from 2011-2015 asked if we wanted them to come with a team from Finland and run a Youth Camp for those children who had come to our camps previously. And of course we said "YES"!

We had a LOT of issues before camp started and at one point the place where we had camp did not have water, so we thought we might actually have to cancel, but thankfully they managed to get it fixed an hour before we arrived!!

Here is the camp photo so you can see all of us! As you can see, it was a fun group!
The Finnish team brought a LOT of great and fun games... and despite the heat, the youth all loved to join in!

 Especially when the games included water:
We invited some other organisations to join us at the camp: here is Dragan with some of "his" kids - they are all part of a traditional dancing club:
 And we got to enjoy some of their talents:
Here is a Finnish/Burmese/Bosnian band playing traditional music for them to dance to:
One day the pool next door let us go there to swim for an hour for free! We were very happy as it was very HOT!
The food was fantastic - Ankica, one of the mothers, once again did all the cooking... with a little help from Sinisa the pot-stirrer:
And also our brothers from Burma/Myanmar: 4 of the team were originally from Burma and went as refugees with their parents to Finland over 10 years ago. Here they are helping to cut up the watermelons:
 On the last night we had a lovely big bonfire: with fun and games all around it:
Including the Finnish tradition of cooking "makara" (sausages). The Burmese Finns also shared some of their food in form of a spicy salad - which was VERY spicy and a bit hot for many of the kids!
We not only fed ourselves physically, but also spiritually, with a daily word from Sinisa from the Bible:
One of the best aspects of camp for me was working once again with Rami and Katja-Maaria, and of course we didn't get ANY photos together. Here they are with some of their team downtown...
Even though they have been gone for 5 years, it was like slipping on a familiar and comfortable glove working with them again. They brought a team of 10 (plus themselves and 3 of their girls) and it really was so much fun being together again. Before they left, we also did a Kid's action Day with the kids in the project, but more on that in the next post... 

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Korcula, Croatia 2019

 After the crazy busy schedule I have been keeping, it was time to take a week off and try and rest up before the rest of the craziness continues for the rest of the year. This year, Sina, Ljilja and I decided that it was the turn of the island of Korcula. This is why:
Above was our "local" beach - about 10 minutes walk. Below is another beach which we drove to one day: so beautiful:
 We also managed to go check out the town of Korcula for the day when it was a bit "cooler":
But, as unfortunately, Sina was actually sick for most of the time, we had to make do with this STUNNING view from our apartment balcony. To be honest, I quite enjoyed our quieter pace, and so, although I am sorry that Sina wasn't well, it all worked out... 
And of course I had to get a picture of the "beware of wild pigs" sign... we didn't see any though :( 
After a lovely week away, it was time to go back to reality and get ready for the Finns to arrive!! 
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