Let them eat cake!

Trip Start Aug 07, 2009
Trip End Dec 31, 2009

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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Friday, October 2, 2009

Our second school today was in Salem, NJ.

When we arrived, our contact person, one of the vice principals, had us wait in her office while she finished attending to some business. This "business" involved playing judge and jury disciplining two young students for bullying. And we sat just outside her open door. Awkward. Kelsey and I felt like we were in trouble, too! Sit down, legs together, hands folded, silent...

Well it wasn't that bad. Maybe the kids would come watch our video and realize the error of their ways!

When we were shown the auditorium, we both looked at each other with a mutual understanding that "Wow... this auditorium is TINY." Two rough-and-tumble janitors came to our "aid" to bring our equipment up a flight of steps from the van. Eh... maybe not as ginger as Kelsey and I would have done it, but it all got in.

Then we were given three eighth-graders to help set-up. Now, the fastest and best set-ups are always when it's just Kelsey and I doing it. But, we cannot forget the ministry aspect of our job. Camfel encourages us to interact with kids and be a positive influence in their lives, if even for a half hour.

But this auditorium was tiny. The stage was only big enough for one of our frames. And once we assembled one frame, there was no floor space in the entire room big enough to keep it. So, we had to carry the completed frame off to the side and lean it against the wall while we assembled another one on stage, which in turn was carried to the other side, etc. So we had frames all over the place. Meanwhile, Kelsey was doing a surprisingly good job setting up projectors and tables in the seats. (Not surprising that she was doing well, because she's awesome--but surprising in light of the space we had to work with.)

Well, anyway... we eventually got everything in place. Turned out being not all that bad. In fact, it was kinda cool. The auditorium was so small, that our three-screens were almost of IMAX proportions. Kelsey and I viewed the movie by lying on the floor right in front of it, looking straight up. Cool.

When the two showings were done, so was the school. It was the end of the week. We were offered kids to help tear down, but we knew they would be of minimal help after school on a Friday. So we gratefully declined. But even better than students, we were then offered cake! There was cake for the teachers that day, and the vice-principal brought some to us. I was so hungry and so excited that I forgot that I don't even really like cake! But it was so good, and helped ready us for a long, tough tear down. Nothing notable about it, really--but due to the spatial constraints, we had to employ some unorthodox tactics to get everything down. We weren't out of there until, like, 4:00! It's okay. We had the Friday afternoon slumbers, and were kinda numbed by the fact that we had to drive almost six hours across Pennsylvania that night for the weekend.

We got our mail from that school (including next week's schedule. I'll post it this weekend), and we sat in the parking lot as we made a few business phone calls and organized paperwork.

Our van became suddenly infested with flies. At least three of them (okay, maybe not an infestation). So I took our trash bags out to the dumpster, just in case they were attracting them. The dumpster, however, was infested with killer bees! (yes, infested... but maybe not killer). I braved them for a moment, disposed of the bags, and ran away.

All things squared away, we were ready for the long journey across the state of Pennsylvania to our destination, Whitehall. Well, the school is in Whitehall. Our hotel is in Kutztown, near Whitehall. So, we entered the information into TomTom, who told us that it would take less than two hours.

Two hours! No no no, wait a minute. When we looked it up, Whitehall was almost six hours away! Did we book a weekend hotel six hours from our Monday school?! I scrambled to figure out what was going on. I refered to our trusty atlas.

... Oh no. There are literally two Whitehall, Pennsylvanias. One on the west side, by Pittsburg, and one on the east side by Allentown. No way. I called our Monday school hoping to get a hold of somebody (which, on a Friday afternoon at 4:30, isn't likely). But I was fortunate to reach our contact person that day. He verified that yes, the school was the one outside Allentown. Whew!

We'd only have to drive a couple hours! We'd be in by dinnertime! Wow.
This incident A) restored our faith in our schedulers, who DIDN'T make us drive six hours for one school day, and B) left us a little stunned and humored by how close we had come to driving almost 400 miles more than we had to. Whew!

So here we are in Kutztown. We're staying in a really nice Super 8 this weekend. The stay is nice, but the location is desolate. There's a small restaurant across the street, but that's about it. But it's home for three days.

I'll go ahead and post next week's itinerary later today. Talk to you later!

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