Thursday 20th November:

    We opened the morning with “moaning” exercises, a fun time of getting-to-know-you games, and short walk under brilliant blue skies to a small, open defile looking out across the sparkling water of Lake Avalanche. Verna told the story of the woman washing God’s feet with her hair and anointing him with expensive perfume. As with the night before, the girls’ responses were exceptionally perceptive and completely unexpected. When asked a question regarding who would be more grateful for debt release (the 500 versus 50,000 rupee debtors), there was a great deal of internal discussion within the language groups. The consensus opinion: that the man who owed 500 rupees would be more grateful, because anyone who was 50,000 in debt was obviously a spendthrift who was wasting money and didn’t understand its value. The girls also became very aware that the situation of this woman, and the fact that God knew everything about her past, was very similar to their own situations, which made God’s responses all the more important to them.

Primary recreational event for the day, and for the camp itself, was rappelling down the face of a moderate sized waterfall a 15 minute walk away from our campsite. Three days into increasingly unique experiences the girls were now faced with real danger and real opportunity to let go of their instincts, as they now had to trust in our camp guide, the unfamiliar equipment now strapped around their torsos, and the completely counter-intuitive requirement to lean backwards over the edge of a cliff and to walk down backwards over sharp rocks and a slippery waterfall.  The event taught them to move through individual fear, and as a group to give and accept support as the teams cheered their every move.

Campfire time continued the discussion from the morning, highlighted by one of the girls opening up in group with her story. As a new addition to the earlier singing and excited chatter of the day, the evening now became a time of deep bonding for everyone.