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Our group hung together. We started to explore the place. Went up and down the escalator, bought some snack, sat around and finally the bus arrived.
That was a pretty big bus. I went through the gate, the gentleman in front of the gate checked my ticket and said something super quickly. Why does everyone speak so fast here?! I didn’t ask him to repeat it as the line was pretty long and I didn’t want to make everyone wait and send me any negative vibes. A gentleman outside said something and pointed at the pile of suitcases. Oh, he meant I should leave my bags here and they will be taken care of. Hm… What if they forget to put my bags in… Well, there was nothing I could do but comply with their request. I got on the bus, took a window seat and got comfortable. I would cast an occasional glance at my bags until they were taken somewhere.
A lot of other people got in. The bus was full; we waited a bit and started departing. We went through a long tunnel and emerged on the surface of this magical city.
A few hours in, we arrived to a small town of Monticello. I don’t know why but I don’t remember too much about the trip. We got off the bus and there was a Camp Director waiting for us with a few other people. They were super welcoming, gave us a hug and took us in their van to an even smaller town of Roscoe.
Everything was green, the air was fresh and clear. It reminded me of home. The ride wasn’t too long, we went up the hill and approached the gate of my camp! It had such a welcoming energy. Little houses, trees, some wild life, a lake. There were some people there, walking around, sitting, hanging out. Seems like they made friends already. This is going to be my home for the next two months! I’m totally down for that!
We arrived there later in the evening. I think we were the last group that day. They showed us our dwelling and we started unpacking. I chose the bed at the very of the long bunk near a window. It was going be my place, my little kingdom for the rest of the summer. After we unpacked and got situated we went for a quick dinner. I got myself some nice veggie pizza as it’s something I can’t say no to.
Then girls and I went for a walk, it was getting darker and cooler. Everybody started playing some games in their little groups. Someone hung out at a gazebo, others were at the front porch. I suddenly felt unbearably shy and self-cautious in front of all these non-Russian speaking people. I thought they wouldn’t understand what I say and would laugh at me. They all had their own accents – American, Canadian, English, Australian, South African, a bunch of European ones… Uh oh. I thought I’d rather go to bed and not join them in whatever they were doing, besides I felt like the jet leg finally hit me pretty hard, or maybe it was a combination of that and that very clear, fresh air up in the mountains. All I wanted was to go sleep, which I did.
My first night at this beautiful, wonderful, amazing place filled with a bunch of other kids from all over the world.
I woke up to my alarm and to the smell of morning dew and fresh air, grass and fog. This smell will forever be associated with my camp.
We had our first training in the kitchen. They showed us what we were going to do. The whole kitchen stuff was Eastern European – Russians, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Czech, and the main cooks were two African-American brothers from Florida and Georgia. They were super kind and since they are used to work with those whose first language wasn’t English they talk slower and were very patient. Two guys under them were two Czech guys. They were very kind and understanding as well. They worked at this camp for ages and helped us out with everything.
They gave us some easy tasks; we cooked breakfast for everyone, cleaned and had a break. All the counselors had their own training depending on what their specialty was. We (the kitchen crew) were done before everyone else and had a long break till our lunch period, so I went to check the camp out.
I started going down the hill from the kitchen towards the basketball court and our eyes met. A tall, blond, green-eyed Apollo looked at me and smiled. My heart stopped beating and my lungs refused getting any oxygen…
To Be Continued…[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]