Time flies! It's already been a week here at YWAM Townsville and I enjoy it so much! This week was all about introduction and orientation. The first weekend was a lot about meeting new people, we went to the market and the art museum and in the evening we went with a large group to the beach where we swam in the sea while enjoying the stars and fireworks.
Monday we had our first day of lectures. Every week we have a fixed schedule from Monday to Friday. Get up at 6.20 am, breakfast from 6.30 am to 7.15 am, 8.00 am lectures til 12.30 pm (Monday and Friday we start with an hour of worship with the whole base). After the lectures there's lunch, then free time, then 'ministry placements' (workduties). Everyone has their own fixed task, I'm on dinner prep, so I can be found in the kitchen every day from 3.30 - 5.30 pm! After dinner we play volleyball (love it!), go to the beach, the shop, or chill at the base. On the weekends we're free, so that's exciting as well.
Lectures are in one class with all 54 students. In addition, we meet every week in small groups of 6 people and we have a weekly one-on-one conversation with a set 'mentor' (Katisha) in which personal goals, growth and progress are discussed. This week the classes were mainly focused on introduction, getting to know each other more, rules for living in community, fire safety, etc. I had to frown when I heard that the rooms are inspected weekly for cleanliness and hygiene, but yes, if you live with 22 people in a room, there are always people who hate chaos and with this tropical climate it is extra important to watch out for vermin like cockroaches. In addition, Donna spoke about the 'Belief Tree'. A nice principle to find out what your worldview is based on, what influences this and what underlies your actions. Furthermore, in 2 days, we went through the whole Bible in a chronological order. This was really inspiring to see the whole Bible in such a broad perspective!
It is so nice to get to know everyone, different cultures and different countries, but all with the same goal; Knowing Jesus and making Him known. I was a bit taken aback that everything would be in English, but it's not that hard to follow. I can understand the lectures and conversations without problems and as the week progresses people can also understand me better haha. Apart from the fact that the first alarm clocks go off at 5.30 in the morning, I love living with so many people.
I already feel well established now that I am no longer awake every night from 2.00 - 5.00 am because of jet lag, I have eaten kangaroo & crocodile meat (not recommended) and have done the TIMTAM Slam (an Australian tradition where you top and bottom bites off the timtam (chocolate biscuit), puts it in the hot chocolate, sucks it like a straw so that it fills up with chocolate milk and then puts it in your mouth before it melts). This weekend we went to a shopping center and we went to the beach with all 54 students; volleyball, longboarding, swimming, slackline between 2 palm trees, playing guitar, and cake for Tekoa's birthday! Pure enjoyment!
Thanks for the sweet messages and responses! I'll keep you updated!