Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our Last Day of the Trip! :(

Our trip comes to a close with a bang as today we spent the morning sea kayaking! We drove to a small beach where we were met by the kayak company and a plethora of colorful kayaks! Our instructors/guides, Matthew and Case, were patient with us as we started our day with a wonderful inspirational and early morning gratitude session. After being outfitted with paddles and life jackets, we hit the ocean!

The ocean water was a toasty 50 degrees, but that
didn't stop us from having splash fights with our paddles! We spent our time getting wet, exploring coastal caves, and watching harbor seals and porpoises swim withing 100 yards from our kayaks! Oh, and we can't forget the bright purple starfish and squishy green sea anemones that we all had fun looking at and touching!

We will end our trip tonight with a testimony meeting and wonderful feast prepared for our food committee! As we reflect on the AMAZING trip we have been on, we had everyone write up some highlights:

Cassidy: It's so hard to pick a favorite moment out of such a fantastic trip! Some of the moments that really stand out have been our wonderful gratitude meeting everynight, the team time with our amazing race groups, and our 3 days on the boats! Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible for us!

Parker: My highlight for the trip was probably when we went biking because I haven't ever used any type of bike besides a mountain bike and these were cross between road and mountain and you could get going really, really fast. That was one of my top moments out of the whole trip but there are still more high lights.

Niklas: Well i think its obvious what my favorite highlight was, or is it? From biking to sailing, from walking to running, the answer isnt very clear. One of my favorite highlights was the chance to relax on the sailboat, SPIRIT III, this vessel was smooth and fast and showed its elegance in the water. Another favorite highlight was eating Cassidy's famous caramel rolls.

Andi: My highlight of the trip was the down time I got to spend with my NLC family. We learned a lot about each other and became closer than we already were. Playing cards at the hostel, a trip to Uwajimaya, and many other alone times we all spent together. I was really proud of the way we helped each other no matter what the problem was and I love everyone so much! And hangin' with Dean.

Dean: I won't give a cliche about how all the moments of the trip are my favorites. Without a doubt lying on the boats, whether it was the power boat or the sail boats, while baking in the sun and working on my beautiful tan, and to top it off having talks with my great friends (like my #1 Andi). Without a doubt, life doesn't get any better... well maybe if the water was warmer...

Jess: I have to cheat... I have two highlights because this trip was so bomb. First of all, crewing the sailboats was the most fun I have ever had on water (or land for that matter). My crew got really good experience tacking on the second day because the wind was so superb! My second favorite moment was on the second to last evening driving home from bowling. I was in the back of the bus, rocking out to the blasting radio with the rest of my class. I have never been happier in my life. I was surrounded by people who love me, by people who support me and I realized I never want to leave this group. Even though we will soon be separated by land, we will always be connected by our hearts. I love this class so much. They just make me so happy!!!

Hannah: I also have to cheat. Out of this entire trip 2 things stand out to me the most, and those things I will remember forever! First, is everything that had to do with our sailing trip. I love to sail! The first two days I read, researched, and mapped the orca whales. I then looked at our source map and figured out what day most likely we would see them. My research payed off! On the third day along the Haro Straight we saw them! They were amazing, and huge! Second, was each moment that I got to spend with the 21 people I call my family.

Shane: I have to say that my favorite moment (or moments, depending on how I feel on the end of the blog) was when Jen & Mark told us that we were going sailing as we got out of our bus. We walked down the gravel road and saw Puget Sound (I hope that's spelled right), and it was gorgeous. Okay I do have another favorite. It was when I was on Spirit III with my scurvy scallywags, heading out to see the fireworks for 4th of July. I was in a pile of sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows. It was raining and the fireworks were awesome while we listened to Lady Gaga. I'm glad that I got to share this moment with my most favorite people in the world.

Robiny: My favorite part of the trip was probably either sailing on a gusty day or our debrief after our Wednesday night testimony meeting. The sailing was spectacular because the wind made me feel extremely empowered-- like every time we tacked we were conquering a great force and using it to our advantage. It required the entire crew to work together swiftly and harmoniously, and we all had smiles on our faces. The debrief was just a great moment for our class. We all opened up, sharing testimonies, encouraging each other, and revealing challenges. I think we all cried a little, and laughed a lot. I've definitely grown a new respect for my classmates, my NLC parents (Jen and Mark), my real mom and dad, and my Father-Mother God.

Shelby: My favorite part of the hard to choose! I loved everything! So I'll tell you a few of mine. One of my favorite parts of the trip was all of the Urban Adventures! Those were so exciting and got you pumped up! I loved working with my team and we did an AMAZING job! The second thing was when we got to go sailing!!! That was just an awesome opportunity and was glad I could do it with my NLC class and all the other people that contributed to the whole entire trip. Also, I loved learning all the cool words for the boat (port side, starboard, bow, stern)! Then we got to learn how to navigate and DRIVE/SAIL THE BOAT!!!!! Being at the helm was the best out of those three things.....and I can't believe it but I am actually good! Last but not least, I loved the Kayaking Adventure that we did. To tell you the truth I am not a big fan of kayaks, but I got in it and did a great job and enjoyed it a ton! I am so glad I got to be on this trip with my class mates, older brother, parents, mentor, and the additional people that chipped in to help! I can't wait to see everyone again I am going to miss them sososososososososososo much! Oh and P.S. I loved are dance party on Spirit III!!! THEY ARE FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

Collin: Whenever I'm with the class I always laugh a lot, but last time at the All Class Retreat my voice was starting to change. I had an obnoxious laugh with lots of cracks and high pitched squeaks in my voice. This trip my voice has deepened since then, and according to other people in the group, I have a contagious laugh. I love being able to laugh so much and so loudly, and being able to make others laugh just by purely laughing.

Another one of my favorite parts was during our first urban challenge in Seattle where we raced to the Seattle church. After half-hurling while eating the pickled plums and sushi, we got to the church. My group, the Toy Box, tied with team 'Tupac'-olipse, but neither of us had assembled our piperoid figure. As we raced to finish our Muscle Joe piperoid, we put the last piece on and yelled: "DONE!" That was the first time we actually won a challenge.

My other favorite part was the sailing. All the crew and skippers were great and I appreciate "Captain my Captain" dealing with our rowdy group for the first two days and teaching us how to sail. It really made me want to live on one of the San Juan Islands when I'm older.

Robin: I loved this trip soooo much!! I really feel like I bonded with all of my classmates ten times more than I ever had. So much growth was involved for me and the group as a whole throughout the trip. Some of my favorite times in specific were the urban challenges in the B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L city of Portland! We were treated to an enlightening experience of biking and hiking through both the wildlife and the city. This included an exhilarating thirty minutes of running around in a public fountain :D The other mind blowing part of this trip, to me, was the sailing aspect of it all. I had never sailed before or really spent much time on a boat, but this completely made me fall in love with both the San Juan Islands and the overall sailing experience! The way the icy water rushes white into the boat along with the amazing clear skies and rocky evergreen islands made me wonder how I could have ever lived without such a picture perfect painting. I am so incredibly greatful to have spent such an amazing trip with the even more amazing people that I was able to experience God with, and am excited to take my learning experiences into my life both at home and at school.

Amy: One of the best parts of the trip for me was the day we biked all around Portland for our urban adventure. I hadn't biked in a long time and it brought back memories of biking in my town with my momma when I was younger, something we did very often. This time it was to the backdrop of the beautiful city of Portland with lush landscape, lakes, and tall buildings. It was also the first day it was truly a race against time until the end and I had a ton of fun with my team, and we were the only ones to make the time requirement. Also, during the trip it was so inspiring to be with all my classmates as I grew spiritually and got closer to God.

Meg: I could never choose a highlight of the trip, but I know this trip is the highlight of my summer. I love my NLC family and I have learned so much about God, adventure, and my spiritual identity and individuality. A huge thank you to everyone who helped put such an incredible, memorable, AMAZING trip together. NLC is such a blessing and I am so grateful for all of the precious experiences we are so fortunate to have with this awesome group. NLC 2013 forever! time to get on the plane! i love you all! thanks mom, dad, mark, jen, tom, and everyone else! :)

Japhet: Well one highlight? That's impossible! I loved the whole thing! Although there were some utterly awesome points and they were: Going to Tent City, going the EMP, Sailing, and well everything! But those were just the actions we did, the feeling surrounding you when your with 21+ people who are the bestest, coolest people and being inspired by them is amazing and a definite highlight. I am always in awe of these great people and will miss them but know that God is what they express and I can't be taken away from that! Thank you Jen for everything including folding that laundry, and looking in that one pocket that my boarding pass was in, I love you! and to Mark thank you for being such a great dad to our class and keeping me, at least in line! I love you also! and to Tom thank you for being that perfect man that we as Christian Scientists are supposed to see in everyone and for staying up till 2AM with me and being ditched at the bowling alley with me and you better be on the service trip! and to every other awesome person that contributed to the trip Thank You so much! and thank you God.

Cooper: My highlight was when we were sailing for 4 days and saw all the orcas and the beautiful scenery. :)

Jordan: I'm going to cheat on my own rules. The whole trip was incredible, but two moments that really stick out to me are as follows. First, Collin and I were going on a ride where the whole thing's spinning and then you can spin your own "car". Collin and I were spinning as fast as possible and laughing our heads off the entire time. It was the best kind of joy. My second part of the trip happened almost every night. We would give gratitude and sing "Wither". Thank you to everyone who made this trip wonderful

There were SO MANY awesome moments in our adventure trip, but one sticks out for sure. Our hang out time on the beach in Anacortes, Washington. After every planned event or meeting, people would sprint down to the shores to walk around, check out tidepools, or just wade in the water. Dean, Colin and I ventured out to the nearest point, and found a secret tunnel leading under some rocks. I remember having deep conversations with NLC'ers as the sun set. No words can describe how pretty a sunset over the pacific coast is. Throwing tennis balls, kicking around driftwood, and skipping rocks all were frequent and fun activities that occured on the shoreline. These combined moments make up what I consider to be the best part of our NLC 2013 adventure trip. Now all thats left is to wait for our service trip!

Tom: Some highlights include, but are not limited to: 1) BY FAR! the fact that I feel I have 21 new brothers and sisters! Who knew one could fall in love with so many individuals so fast!!? 2) late nights up chatting with “the bros” 3) deep one-on-one convos with many in the group (and still more to come!) 4) hitting 8.5 knots in an awesome wind my first day on the sailboat “Sienne” 5) Amy’s amazing pickled plumb eating skillz 6) grace before dinner which included singing hymns in public spaces 7) endless gratitude sharings at the end of the days, … and much much more! Thank you to everyone who brought their hunger for Truth and shared so much love, making this trip AMAZING!

Jen: It’s the little moments that color in the picture, watching each of you connect on deeper and deeper levels – whether it was the bros wrestling issues with Mark and Tom, the girls caught in a late night “wisdom whispering”, or those priceless one-on-one check ins from the bow of the boat. I love seeing you spiritually on fire and dropping barriers of human history. I celebrate all of you who say this experience was life-changing…and live it. Though some of you questioned it at first, the smaller teams allowed everyone to work with and get to know those you might not have sought out on your own, and that opportunity has solidified our group as ONE. As for those bigger group moments – there were many. The July 4th party atop Spirit was perfection, and the look of contentment on Bob’s face said it all as we sang the “Star Spangled Banner” going out and “Whither” coming in. I smile every time I think of our swim party off the back of the boats in Reed Harbor or our craziness in the fountain in Portland. I still have “Giant’s” poetry book from our night at TC3, a time for breaking through stereotypes and fears and finding a true high in loving others. This trip was more incredible than I could have outlined because it was in Love’s hands, and everyone knew it. Even the perfect weather rewarded our daily gratitude!

Mark: When reflecting on this trip months and years from now, my fondest memories most likely will be those of getting to know these incredible kids more. As class leaders, it is sometimes difficult to engage on a deep and personal level, as we are tasked with the responsibility of thinking out ahead logistically, nurturing kids spiritually and fostering their growth in leadership. Well, being with a team, in tight quarters with everyone else, really promoted togetherness and gave me the opportunity to engage, which I loved. Seeing Meg smile, hearing Collin laugh, witnessing Parker and Robiny work together, praying (I use that term loosely here) with Jordan to avoid getting splashed in the kayak, introducing Chipotle to a few and loving it with the regulars – these are just small examples of the daily fruits that I devoured. Thank you to everyone for your trust in us (parents, mentors and kids!).

Gwen: the course of this amazing trip, there have been two highlights that have stuck out to me. The first one was getting to sail around the San Juan Islands; this was such an incredible experience. I learned so much more about sailing and connected so much with my fellow NLC students when i was enclosed on the boats that we had. I also feel like the beauty and being away from civilization allowed me to grow so much spiritually in those four days. My second highlight was definitely the solo on one of the San Juan islands, where we slept alone in our sleeping bags one night. This definitely put me out of my comfort zone, but I LOVED being alone just to think about everything without distractions, even if we did have some slimy slug trails on our sleeping bags the next morning :). This trip was incredible and I had so much fun! Thank you everyone for helping put it together, ESPECIALLY Mark and Jen!

And there we have it. It was a great trip :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nothin' better than the smell of banana slugs in the morning

As we were awakened from our solos we heard various stories of banana slugs. They went from slugs crawling into shoes to on journals, over personal belongings and even a couple of them mating. Not wanting to stay in Banana-Slug infested woods, we cleaned and carried our things down to the dingys faster than ever before. Once to the boats we divided into our crews while stuffing down a quick breakfast. As it was a long stretch with little wind, we motored our way back to our home port. Once we docked we had an intense cleaning while the smell of pizza wafted throughout all the boats, our cleaning prize. The pizza was truly delicious, the average amount of pizza slices per person was about four slices. We left our boats for the last time, happy with the promise of showers, flushing toliets, and infinite water supply. For the next couple hours we savored our chill time on land. Soon Mark and Jen called a meeting to discuss
NLC things and get our questions answered by Susie Jostyn. The answers we got inspired us, and bellies growling we headed off to a bowling ally that boasted of the 4th best fish and chips in the country. Bowling was loads of fun and we are now headed to bed.

Humongous thanks to:
Bob Baggs
Steve Holser
Bill Block
Marcia Pecaut
Jeff and Marguerite Beacker
Dick and Linda Ward
Susie and Jay Jostyn

Goodnight family and friends-
-Jordan (I promise different people will blog tomorrow and pictures will come)

P.S. There was a BEAUTIFUL sunset.. a wonderful end to a wonderful day! -Robiny

Monday July 5, 2010

Monday morning began right with a gorgeous hike to a lighthouse on Stuart Island in the San Juan Islands. At the lighthouse we saw seals playing while enjoying a new weeks lesson. After an intriguing discussion we hiked back to the boats. With prayers for sightings of Orca Whales, we set off. Each boats crew continued to learn how to sail and put that knowledge into practice until late afternoon when four yellow boats appeared on the horizon.
"whale watching boats!" cried Steve Holser
With those three words everyone on Steve's boat hurried onto the bow (that's the front as we all learned) to watch whales. Steve used walkie-talkies to let the other boat know. Each boat zoomed through the water until we were as close as we were allowed. We saw the Orca Whales jump, and push their six-foot-long fins out of the water. It was a beautiful sight that not too many enjoy seeing.
Our eyes still filled with awe, we anchored in Shallow Harbor. But as you might have picked up by now, everything is not how it seems on this trip. We were told to dress in warm clothes, contrasting the warm weather and to bring our camera. We were then dumped on an Island, given a quater sheet of paper with things to take pictures of, 3 instructions, and told to get going by team. We all rushed through the Island looking for North Echo Bay Camping Ground while avoiding other teams and taking pictures of all sorts of things (banana slugs included). We all made in to the camping ground so quickly the adults in their boat didn't even beat us. For dinner we made tin dinners and had s'mores for dessert. With full bellies we circled around the campfire and listened to Susie Jostyn's lecture on adventure. Thoughts of the inspiring lecture filled our heads as we ventured off into our separate areas for our solos and drifted to sleep.
-Jess and Jordan

Independence in the open sea

Day two of sailing began with a wonderful breakfast held in our ships. All slept wonderfully and some even got the opportunity to take a night watch shift in the night. Many people loved this beautiful time to relax and think. In the morning we prepared for our day of celebration for the USA with sailboats ready to be sailed, but of course we couldn't truly begin our day without good old Sunday school. Once our last hymn had been sung we boarded our boats and began to sail. The wind whipped around us and huge waves crashed (at least huge to amateurs like us). Many of us followed Jesus' example and slept during the storm. And all the boats made it safely to our next anchoring spot. For dinner we cooked hot dogs and hamburgers in the basic American fashion. After a quick clean-up we boarded Spirit III (the power boat) and motored around different coves watching fireworks and jamming out to music. Before our voices began to get weary we began motoring back to our anchor spot singing "Whither" in soft harmony. We all slept peacefully that night.
-Jess and Jordan

A Day of Jumping Ship

Thank you to Marguerite (Oh Captain My Captain) for the photos.

Saturday, July 3rd

On the third of July, we woke up extraordinarily early for our young group of leaders. Soon after a quick breakfast, we headed out on a public bus to the Sea-Tac Airport. After arriving in we went to the airport to catch a shuttle to the San Juan Islands to receive news that we would be sailing for four days and three nights. After receiving the news, everyone was ecstatic and exuberant with joy. We were immediately informed about the route we would take and then boarded the two sailboats and one power boat with only enough gear to fill our daypacks. After departing we sailed to a docking harbor northwest of Anacortes and ended our long travel day with some relaxation.

-Cooper and Robin

We're late, but Friday

Hey Blog!
On July 2nd (Friday) we had our last Urban Adventure. The four teams became two and they headed off in separate directions. One to the Seattle Reading Room and the other to the Seattle library. At the warm, lovely reading room we discussed Mary Baker Eddy and in the unique and 11 story library we discussed ethics. Then we found different landmarks of Seattle until we ended up at the Monorail which took us to the Space Needle. From there each team got to explore the Experience Music Project (EMP) and ride rides at the base of the space needle. In the EMP each team got to be rockstars and preform their own rocksong. Our entertainment for the night was eating out at Ginger Thai and a fantastic gratitude session.
-Nik and Japhet

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Day of Being Selfish...

Just kidding!!!! Today was our service day. First we had breakfast and raced in our teams to Safeway. We hastened to purchase food for the lunch and the dinner we were going to make. After a filling lunch consisting of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, we watched a movie about Mary Baker Eddy's students healing around the country and all ending up connected in one big circle. After a few moments of charades and chill time, we got down to business and cooked the dinner we were preparing for the homeless. We ended up being pretty tight on time, but we made it to the Tent City. After serving the homeless stew, pasta, fruit salad, ceasar salad, bread and cookies, we talked and wandered with the residents. At first some were a little nervous, but we, and the residents, started opening up and having a great time. One man I really enjoyed talking to was a guy named Matthew, or Giant as he was nicknamed. He had about 15 different genetic cancers passed down, three of which were all three types of skin cancer. He was in an aprenticeship program out of high-school but got turned away from the union because of all of his health issues. He told us that he refused to have kids because he didn't want to put a child through all the cancers and sickness. Then he finally told us that what always keeps him going was knowing the fact that there is somebody out there who may not be as priviledged as he is. The other thing that kept him going was God. There were many other inspiring stories to tell, but I'm sure everyone will hear the rest later. Today was a really fun day that taught us a lot about service and now we're really excited about the days ahead.

written by Collin and Andi

Day 4

The day started early when we had to find our own way to union station by 7:45. Our train departed from the station at 8:30 and we had lesson study on the train. The ride was uneventful and we reached Seattle by around 11:45. Once we got to the station, we found our way to the American hotel, which is actually a complex hostel. Once unpacked, we headed out to a time trial urban challenge sort of thing. We had to taste the cuisine of the local chinese market. The pickled plums were absolutely atrosious. We also had to eat a "Bento" platter, consisting of unagi, squid/octopus, and some other delecasies that I would rather not like to discover the name or content of. Right now I am watching a video of Gwen gagging on her plums. Anyway, we also had to make a chinese paper tube toy. We took a bus/ran to the 1st church of Christ Scientist, Seattle. When we reached the destination, we enjoyed a nice lecture from our practitioner Tom about Christian Science in Germany. Once through, we enjoyed a meal of Subway/Taco Del Mar. Afterwards, the testimony meeting was very inspiring, including healing from a very well spoken man named Quinton. The student healing started with our not so new to our class anymore classmate Cooper, and once the ice was broken, 4 others participated. Afterwards, we had a lovely walk through the fresh Seattle air, to the local McDonalds forr McFlurries, milkshakes, ice cream, and smoothies. Then, we headed back to our hostel for the night, and eagerly retired.