Alas, I am no longer staying at a hilltop hut in Slovenia, where the table was daily spread with such delights (don't get me started on the crépes and ćevapčići). We are now three weeks removed from that first morning, where our GoTeam gathered in anticipation of a weekend of team training and camp preparation.
Our training for flexibility started right off the bat. We shared the hut with another team, a California-based group who would also participate in the orientation. (Their middle school camp would take place in Maribor, while ours would take us to Celje.) The guys' and girls' bunk rooms accidentally got switched around, so that we found ourselves faced with a bed shortage. Unfortunately, this shortage wasn't realized until after several of our team members had already fallen asleep for the night.
Our host, Iveta, came up with the perfect solution: some of us could bunk with her mother! Allie and I exchanged glances. Sure. Why not. We could bunk with grandma! Iveta mentioned, as a side note, that her mother would probably slip into the room after midnight, due to the many responsibilities involved in running the lodge. Oh, and another thing -- she liked to listen to the radio as she slept. Allie and I transferred our belongings, thankful for a bed and not at all concerned about a little white noise.
Now, perhaps grandma is hard of hearing. Perhaps she fears the dark. Or perhaps she's nocturnal and doesn't actually prefer . . . slumber. Whatever the reason, grandma's radio preferences far exceeded the bounds of "white noise" and landed somewhere on the scale between "startling" and "aggressive." Thankfully, the words to the music and talk radio were Slovene, so while Allie and I may have been disturbed by the noise, we at least weren't distracted by information that our minds were trying to process throughout the night.
Of course these are the situations that later make for laughter and stories, so after downing cups and cups of tea the next morning, we were eager -- albeit bleary-eyed -- to get on with our training. As we experienced last year, it was a joy and delight to learn and grow as the JV (Josiah Venture) team taught, and to share in this time of growth with our new friends from California, too.
The setting is absolutely beautiful, and we quickly felt at home in our hilltop hut. The weekend at the lodge also strategically provided space for us to recover from jet lag before jumping into the rigors of middle school English camp. We were only a few days into our journey, and already we had a treasure trove of memorable experiences behind us:
A transatlantic flight with our GoTeam, an afternoon picnic in Graz, Austria (the last leg of our journey), reunion with family and friends, and the myriad adventures that inevitably take place on a little chestnut hill near Sentjur, Slovenia. Some of which involved scurrying mice, lightning bolts, bunny dances, wide-windowed showers and -- for a select few -- the rare distinction of bunking with grandma.