Wow. This week has been full of so many activities and relationships packed into such a short time! Day 3 started off with a video call to Brian Schaudt. He has been missing the camp so much that he stayed up super late to make this call.
Every practice has settled into a routine, kind of. Yes, we’ll get stretching done, but why warm up with just a lap around the gym to get the blood pumping? Variations of tag and other games are more fun to do instead!
After we warm up, fundamental skills are practiced each day, as well as drills and games that focus on a specific skill set.
Day 2 was focused on serving.Following each day of volleyball camp, we have been shown such amazing hospitality. It’s like a dessert at the end of the day, meeting new friends and now family, at their home to experience an evening in a Latvian home. The theme of this visit has been burgers. I think it’s appropriate, since the weather is perfect for a backyard picnic.
This little girl Natalia (I hope I spelled her name right) is so cute! As we are in deep conversation inside or outside about such things as Latvian culture, politics, and orphan ministry, Natalia is in the background passing by on her bike as she makes her circuit around the property and up and down the hill.
Day number 4 rolled by so quickly. After warming up, the skill set that Randy focused on was hitting.
Matiss has been providing structured time during lunch breaks to engage and also create interactions between campers. Today he brought in a favorite from last year, the illusionist who not only showed off a couple tricks, but the main focus was to show the campers how to do a trick themselves.
After day 4, our team once again was adopted for the evening. Peteris brought us out to Katie Leatherwood’s office. We keep bumping into the same people! Katie had spent the lunch of day 2 sharing with the campers about why she is in Latvia and what she does here. I learned just as much as the campers and then being able to see her office was icing on the cake. Her knowledge and experience of assessing needs for prosthetics/orthotics, putting them together, and helping clients or athletes train with the new tool is an amazing and valuable gift. All of the prosthetics or orthotics that she provides for people in need here are donated, so she serves people who otherwise couldn’t have those important tools to have a more full life. Not only does she help people physically, she inevitably is asked, “Why are you here doing this for me?” It is an easy question to answer for Katie, as she shares the love that God has filled her with.
Much could be said about Katie and what she does here, but we were hungry. So after seeing the office that she’s recently moved into, we shared a meal that would rival any Oregon hipster restaurant. This was followed by a stroll through a local open air market that also had traditional Latvia music playing by a local band. What an amazing evening! Oh, by the way, apparently it has rarely rained here in the last two months. Guess what it did this evening? Of course, Oregonians and Latvians are a match made in heaven, since pulling out the rain jacket for a 15 minute shower is a shared common skill we each have.