“There is no WiFi in the forest, but I promise you will find a better connection.” -Anonymous
Team Burkina Faso travelled to Manitoba Pioneer Camp this past week. All nine of us (seven students and two site leaders) piled into a 15 person CMU van and headed off. During our stay we had the privilege of taking part on a four day long canoe trip. During this time we were not allowed to bring along laptops, phones, or even watches – for many of us, this was harder than expected. We paddled for the majority of these days and enjoyed exploring caves and mines along the way. Since there was an odd number of people in our group, someone always had to be the middle person and not paddling. When it was my turn to be the middle man, I decided to make a sail out of my hammock and a log! Which actually worked! …Well sort of.
We had our share of laughter and funny moments, including more than one accidental plunge into the water while attempting to hop into the canoes.
As for our cave adventures, we all had no idea what to expect and were surprised at what we found. At our first mine stop we portaged into the mine and made our way through the tight spot which felt like a Disney ride. It also turned out that keeping your feet dry while exploring caves is not an option. We shuttled people along and while doing so found some stalactites! There was a running joke about how you can improve calcium build up. By not using CLR you can make your own stalactites at home! (We don’t recommend you try this at home, unless accompanied by a member of the Burkina Faso team)
One of the topics we discussed and thought about were barriers. and how when we are camping we realize all of the things we take for granted, such as a warm bed, running water, sufficient light and a roof over our heads. It helped us realize that we get caught up in our busy lives where we are comfortable, but when we step out of our comfort zones we can grow. We also talked about beauty and how we are surrounded by beauty in God’s creation. Everyday we were in awe of the beauty we saw each day. Thirdly we talked about brokenness and how from brokenness things have a chance to grow.
This trip allowed us to grow closer to God and to get to know each other better, while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, as well as utilising the forest’s bathroom. Although the canoe trip was tough (paddling into many headwinds), it was rewarding (camp cherry cheesecake) and helped us get ready for the weeks to come.