Friday, April 29, 2011
A Day in Camp
Detailing days 3 & 4 of our time in Kosovo. Sorry this has taken me so long to write. My husband has been seriously bogarting the computer, but for a good cause.
It was Thursday and time to head up to the camp. We piled in one of the overseas workers Land Rovers and headed up into Rugova. At first when I saw that all the overseas workers had Land Rovers I thought to myself, 'Really? Land Rovers? I mean according to the history of the country it makes sense that they would be available, but is that really necessary?' I totally judged them.
We drove west of town up into the Mountains of the Damned, the road started to wind around a steep ravine over a torquise river. A few waterfalls dribbled down over granite edifices. As we climbed snow began to appear. The road eventually turned to dirt, I mean mud. The mushy, sloppy, spring snow grew in depth till about six inches beneath our tires. As we curved and twisted and slid, I kept thinking, 'I should be more worried than this, but this just kinda looks like the road to the trailhead for Mt. Princeton.' The Land Rover ate up the terrian until one sharp curve right before the camp property, it couldn't make it through the slop. We piled out, shoveled and pushed, and the Rover made it into camp. Then I felt a little bad for judging them. Just a little.
The camp was covered in a thick wet blanket of snow. Not ideal weather for backpacking. We were shown around the camp, the only two permanent buildings were the bathroom (meaning outhouse) and the kitchen. Our sleeping arrangements were to be two refugee tents scrounged from the war (I love this, the redemption of something horrible that happened), split into 'boys' and 'girls' tents. As the temperature dropped and I piled on more and more jackets, I realised this was going to be a cold few days. The only warm place in the whole camp was the kitchen, huddled right next to that firewood cookstove.
That night as I lay on a foam mat, encased in my mummy bag, sharing our cosy quarters with four other leaders, I could not sleep. I think i got warm, except for my nose, but someone was snoring and I just could not pass out. I kept thinking about Emma, about how much I missed her. Pictures of her sweet little toes and that hysterical face she makes when I wipe her mouth ran through my mind, making my heart ache. I thought about what I needed right now, 'rest' kept coming to mind. Pictures of warm beaches, books I have not had time to read, a place away where all my unfinished projects cannot haunt me, danced in my mind. I kept thinking, 'If I'm going to be away from my kid it needs to be worth it.' Lying in a cold refugee tent looking towards a week of being cold with no respite did not seem reastful. (Oh, the one thing in life that I can't handle is being cold.)
I heard Scott shift in his sleeping bag, I knew he wasn't asleep. I rolled over and on the edge of tears poured out my heart. He said that while it may not restful, you have to ask yourself is it 'worthwhile.' I rolled over, while sacrificing my comfort and rest to bring a powerful experience to others may be 'worthwhile' it certainly wasn't a whole lot of fun. But I knew that after all it was only a few nights, I've certainly been out in the wilderness for longer, in much tougher conditions. Now there was the added factor of missing my kid. A new dimension of difficulty that I hadn't dealt with before. The problem with getting older, falling in love, and having kids is that the stakes just keep getting higher. If I go on vacation, I miss my kid. If something were to happen to me, there would be an orphan and a widower. I guess those thoughts rise to your head, you think them, and then put them to rest because you can't live your life refusing to fully live because something bad might happen.
I did sleep that night. I was warm. That morning Pam greeted us in the kitchen with hot coffee and I thought, 'one more night down, and maybe this won't be so bad.'