Wow, we are way behind. To follow on from where we left off in the last post: We arrived in Hope, B.C. We were staying at Camp Kawkawa, which was beautifully situated in the mountains, next to a lake. It really was a very nice place. It’s a shame it rains so much in B.C. because otherwise I would probably want to move there. I can’t take the rain, though. It’s depressing. I did get to go for a nice hike, though (in the rain), and fortunately it was nice inside. They had four pianos, though only one was in tune. I played them all anyways.
That week we had a pretty fabulous instructor, who taught us about Anabaptist history, pacifism, church discipline, and forgiveness. I really enjoyed the way he made us think about what he was saying and form opinions that were informed and that were our own. It was also great because he was speaking on topics close to my heart. Anabaptist history is the history of my family and it’s something I’ve always been fascinated by. It was only an overview, but it was lots of fun to learn. It also showed me that I missed my social studies class. I also enjoyed the discussion on pacifism and Just War, because that’s something I often think about as a writer. The balance between my personal convictions on Just War and pacifism and the fact that I read and write fantasy that involves war in many forms is interesting. What do I really believe? What would I do in a given situation? Is it okay to have good characters who do something I wouldn’t do because of my moral convictions? How do I portray that situation?
These were some questions that sprang up as I thought about my life in relation to what I was learning. I also liked it, however, because it sparked conversations outside of the classroom. People were bringing up hypotheticals and solutions and having great discussions about what we believe. I loved the atmosphere and the ideas going around.
That week we also went caving. That was an amazing experience. I was a bit concerned, at first, because I wasn’t sure if I was claustrophobic or not, having never experienced anything quite as tight as those caves. But it turns out I’m not claustrophobic, so that’s good. I was glad of that, because caving was one of the neatest things I’ve ever done.
It was pouring rain, of course, because we were in B.C. in the mountains in November. Even in our coveralls we ended up soaked through. The tip of my braid was muddy and filthy from where it dragged on the ground when I was crawling on my stomach through the tiniest openings. I was glad I wore my old, ripped jeans because afterwards we thought they would be stained by the muddy water they were drenched in. But despite that, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
We played sardines in one set of caves, hunting for our guide, trying every little crack to see if we could get through. In another set of caves, we climbed up four levels and beat all the other groups out the top. We were mighty proud of ourselves, then. After we retrieved the rest of the groups from inside, some of us climbed up the outside of the mountain, exploring the huge boulders. We found salamanders and generally had lots of fun. We probably looked like child mine labourers, in coveralls, helmets, and gloves, dirty and cold. There are some awesome pictures of us from that experience!
That weekend was our free weekend in Vancouver. We stayed at a hostel in downtown Vancouver, right on Main Street. Some friends and I visited the science centre, and Granville Island. On Sunday afternoon, after getting brunch from a pancake house, I went to Chapters and spent a couple hours there, just browsing. I came out feeling like my normal, book-obsessed self. It was awesome. All together, that week was pretty great.