The end of EXP came swiftly and snuck up on us like a killer in the night. Starting on Sunday began the best three day stretch in my opinion. Filled with many debriefing sessions about our whole trip we went out in style. I’ll give a quick run down of our schedule so you can understand my references that I make.
Saturday (Aug 1st)- Back from outreach. Rest and relaxation.
Sunday- More rest and relaxation. Told schedule for rest of week.
Monday- Morning debrief at Zig Zag. Check into Fallsview.
Tuesday- Game Drive. More debriefing. Dinner at the Golden Leaf. (Indian food)
Wednesday- Depart from Fallsview. EXP Graduation.
We came back from outreach on Saturday the 1st. After some time to recoup and get some wi-fi, we had a quick meeting on Sunday briefing us of our week. So we all sat in our common room awaiting to hear the schedule. “We will be spending the next two nights at Fallsview.” Abby told us. Chatter filled the room, but no one knew what Fallsview was and how nice it would be. But excited we were regardless of how much we knew. Monday came and we had our first debriefing session at Zig Zag, a cute little hotel/restaurant. We returned home gathered our belongings and headed up to Fallsview. Resting atop a big hill we pull in and enter our houses, one for girls the other for boys. Tile floors, three rooms with double beds, Cable TV in each room, one master room with its own bathroom, kitchen, big living room, and a HOT SHOWER and huge bath tub. I was blown away and with a huge smile I took a room and settled in. It was very luxurious and very unexpected. So, after some more debriefing we went to bed. Waking up at 6:30, we all piled into the bed of a pick up and headed on a game drive. This was amazing. We saw impalas, hippos, baboons, boars, giraffe, water buffalo, a crocodile, a zebra and an elephant that was super close. The experience was awesome. Coming home we finished up our debriefing. After our last session the leaders did something very humbling to finish up our sessions. They washed our feet. It was a very touching moment where it showed our leaders doing what they do best. Leading by example. That night we went out to a delicious dinner at a Indian restaurant, the Golden Leaf. I had some very good chicken wings and then finished the night with some tea and a big blanket on the couch. We had a great breakfast in the morning and then left for home. Soon enough it was graduation time. So with many guests, we had our ceremony and received our certificates for the completion of EXP. What was really cool was I received many words through people from God. It was a great night but I felt sad inside. Knowing that the end was near. We finished the night with some Nshima and Chicken, then watched a slideshow. It was a very good way to wrap up our time here as we still have one more program to do. Which I’ll tell you about in my next post.
Ok, so maybe you’re wondering about all those sessions I was talking about? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you. We had many debriefing sessions to wrap up EXP and to get feedback about our three months here. So here’s a simple breakdown. These were really good just to talk about our time here and make sure we are prepared to go back home and take in American culture.
First Session- What God has done during EXP. We wrote down all the things that God has done in the past three months, both person specific and as a group, then prayed over them all.
Second Session- What is our Calling. We went around in a circle and all stated what we believe is our calling. I’m still working on mine, so I’ll get back to you guys when it works out…
Second Session- Classroom debrief. We talked about mainly Prayer, and missions, our two main subjects in the classes during EXP. We talked about what we learned and asked more questions about what we didn’t understand.
Third Session- Going home/culture shock. For the Africans, they don’t have to deal with culture shock too much returning home, but they had to deal with normal life and adapting back into that. For us Americans, we had to talk about what would happen when we return home and social media guidelines in order to not offend people or post something controversial. We also prepared things to say when people ask us about our time here.
Fourth Session- EXP feedback. We all got to give our input on what went wrong, what went right during EXP, and make suggestions for changes next year during the program.
These days were nice and relaxing as we ended our EXP program. It was a crazy three months but I learned a lot. No we just have P10 left, where we have to lead a camp for school kids. Before I know it, I’ll be back home.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Ennis • 2015 International Immersion Intern