- Four weeks – absolutely nothing.
- Fifth week – Monday and Wednesday, taught ESL and was very excited. Later that week, found out that the CNBC was going to make me stop and transfer to a sports camp.
- Sixth week – worked at the sports camp. That weekend, got the news. Came home the following Tuesday.
Of course there was more than that. So, lessons learned:
- 24 is an awesome show.
- Real Chinese food is (mostly) quite good.
- Air conditioning is unnecessary.
- You can find some pretty weird creatures in your basement.
- Real maple syrup is a lot different from the gross flavored corn syrup we buy at the grocery store.
- Horseback riding is fun.
- You can never have enough watermelon.
- Jiaozi dough doesn’t keep long.
- There’s nothing like a theological argument to make things awkward.
- I’m hopeless with a camera.
- I’m a walrus?
- Exercise is a good idea.
- Seagulls can have an attitude.
- I have no self-motivation. At all.
- Having a good attitude makes things much better.
There are a lot of lists today. Oh well.
Despite all of the… difficulties… my six weeks in Toronto weren’t too bad. I met lots of great people and got to experience independent life (to some extent). I also gained a few pounds and lost a few marbles, but hey, you win some, you lose some.
Now that I’ve gotten burned, would I do anything through the Sojourners program or NAMB again? Maybe. At least, I might be willing to, but I doubt I will. Next summer will be my last summer before college, so I might stay closer to home to get ready and everything. And if I end up as a missionary, I would prefer to work with a nondenominational organization.
But anyway, to any of you who are considering doing something through Sojourners or a similar program – learn from my experience. Contact the places you’re going request; make sure nothing has changed since they wrote the job description; make sure they aren’t going to spring any last-minute costs on you. If it takes them over a week to get you doing something, complain. And if whatever convention you’re working for decides to mess with what you’re doing with no consideration for how you might feel about that – well, tough, because there’s nothing you can do about it short of going home. Or maybe you’ll be lucky enough to be under a convention that A) cares or B) listens, or hopefully both.
(If someone’s about to accuse me of having a bad attitude, well, maybe so, but there’s a different between making the best of things and saying that the people who put you in that situation aren’t at fault in any way.)
Knowing how things turned out, would I do it over again? That’s a hard question. The surprise fundraising I had to do gave me experience in baking, entrepreneurship, and sneakiness, the last of which will be useful if I end up as a missionary to a closed country. 😛 I got to experience international travel; I got to live on my own; I got to experience a different culture. I made a lot of friends. And I did get a small taste of teaching ESL, which was fun. So yes, I guess I would do it again. And maybe it was worth it after all.