Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Team Retreat 2014

Once a year our mission team gets away for a long weekend to relax, fellowship, and rejuvenate. Usually we go to Jinja, which is close and affordable. But our team has been planning for a long time to go to Kenya for our retreat this year. 

Rondo Retreat Centre is located near Kakamega, Kenya in the middle of the rainforest. Every year the Churches of Christ holds their men's and women's retreats there. I didn't get to go to the women's retreat this past year (having a baby who was too small to leave for a week) so this was my first time to go to Rondo.

This retreat was special because it was our last team activity with our good friends Vince, Joy, Elias, and Alegra Vigil, who have been in Mbale for 6 years. In less than two weeks they will be moving back to the US. It was really special to spend this retreat with them.

There was no agenda for this retreat, except for our meals. We played volleyball, baseball, and soccer. We played Heads Up, Nertz, and Spades. We talked. We sang. We ate. We hiked. We read. It was incredibly peaceful. The kids absolutely loved having the wide open lawns to explore and play in. I hardly saw Graham all weekend, he was having so much fun playing with his friends. 

We had a couple of not-so-minor hiccups on this trip though! The first night we were there Molly got sick with a stomach/fever bug. She slept very poorly the whole time we were there. And Chad slipped and severely sprained his ankle. 

A funny story from our trip: a large group of us went on an easy hike through the rainforest. At one point, the trail was absolutely covered with crawling safari ants (really large black ants that bite) for about 10-15 feet. We all walked across as quickly as we could, dumbfounded by the amount of ants. Riley Robinson (8 yo) immediately started yelping that she was being bit by ants. We all thought she was being overly dramatic, there's no way the ants could have gotten on us when we were walking so quickly! But a few steps later someone else cried out, "I have ants all over me!" Just then I felt a sharp bite on my arm. I pulled up my sleeves to reveal several huge ants! We had ants all over us, in our pants, shirts, and socks. Crazy!

Despite the TIA moments, this was a really special time of fellowship with our friends family.

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