Acampamento Jovens

We were surprised to learn on Sunday that the youth of the district (not yet a stake) were coming to our town for their version of youth conference/camp/summer activity/whatever. Ruby, of course, was going. Then we learned that Ruby, Herbie, AND Moses could go (and really it ended up... we all could go).

It was super nice because their camp was within walking distance of our apartment, so Woo and the older kids could do the activities, the little kids and I could make a token appearance, and then we could all skip the camping and the late dinners.

(Moses looks like he's been camping 3 days within the first 3 minutes.)

Woo, Ruby, Herbie and Moses hung out most of the first day. Linus, Penelope, Archie and I met them in the afternoon at the beach. Moses was super excited because he'd made a friend who spoke english. His friend's parents are separated. He lives in England most of the time with his mother, but spends summers in Portugal with his grandma, because, apparently, his father is in jail.
Linus: Why'd his dad go to jail? 
Moses (completely serious): Tattle telling.

Linus ended up being able to go to the waterpark (the stuff of his dreams). Only, he spent the first few minutes crying. All the pools were too deep for him and his swimming skills aren't strong enough to get him to the side. That was solved by Woo going down every slide first to catch him at the bottom, and then he had lots of fun.

Herbie had a super rough couple of days at the beginning of the week. So rough that we didn't allow him to go to the waterpark the second day; he got to stay home with me. He took it surprisingly well, and during his time home admitted he thought he'd sleep better in Archie's room where it's darker. He spent the morning moving all his stuff down and organizing.  And he has been better since.

It was fun to meet some of the district members. One of them told me they needed me to teach them how to make chocolate chip cookies; they had never gotten them right in Portugal. I made a batch today to see if they were truly impossible here. They seemed fine to me. Possibly even more tasty because I chopped up a chocolate bar instead of chocolate chips.

The kids were very excited. (I only make chocolate chip cookies once every three years or so... )
Moses: Mom! This is the best smelling thing ever! 
... Except for your breath.
I thought it was a joke until he turned and gave me a big hug.

Penelope is not speaking a lot of Portuguese but she is worming her way into plenty of people's hearts. They usually respond by giving her something--the necklace off their necks, a trinket in their purse, etc.

The youth group had a "Peddy Paper" on the third day. It was some sort of competition where teams went around a course in teams, doing different things at different stations. Penelope was put on a team with three teen boys, one of them a big German kid who had been invited by a friend.

The other two boys were not excited to have Penelope on their team. They wanted to win. I saw them try to encourage her to run off with another team. But the German boy decided she was his personal responsibility. After the start, he picked her up and ran with her.

(None of the boys should've been afraid she'd slow them down. She ran by herself after that and beat all of them to all the other stations.)

Anyway, afterwards, the boy went into his tent and came out with two German treats--one for him and one for Penelope, and he stuck close to her the whole time we were there.

Archie and Ruby were on the same team. That's Archie tearing it up on the wheelbarrow.

And then... to cap the week off... Woo, Ruby, Herbie and Moses were invited to pick pears for the branch president's brother. Woo mentioned that at one point, Herbie and Moses were throwing pears, but Ruby worked the entire time.
Woo: But, I'll be honest, after 9 hours of picking pears, I was ready to throw some myself.
And they really did pears for that long. I was thinking 2, maybe 3 hours... the rest of us at home would've spent the day a bit differently if I had known. Anyway, they came home extremely tired. The rest of us were a bit bored.

Today was a good day, but this email is long enough already. I hope your week was great!