That's a wrap- DTS draws to a close

Trip Start Sep 08, 2009
Trip End Jun 07, 2010

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Where I stayed
Commercial Drive

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

From Tuesday to Friday we had "class"- debriefing the last 3 months (having already debriefed the lecture phase before Christmas). So lots of discussions, 5-on-one meetings with the staff, thinking about the future and our 're-entry' back into our home environment. We also had a few YWAMers come to not-so-subtly inform us about opportunities to serve in Vancouver with them- always on the look out for new recruits! Then on Friday morning we had a meeting with the rest of the YWAM team to tell them about our outreach, throwing in our highlights, screening a slideshow etc. And before we knew it, that was the formal DTS over!

The weekend has been pretty relaxed too. I've signed up for a 7-day trial of a gym, so I went down to check it out on Saturday morning. While I was there, I got a call from Bobby saying he was heading over to Deep Cove. Deep Cove is a beautiful little village by the sea in North Vancouver- and I'd been wanting to go there ever since the rest of the students went back in October. Not only that, but Bobby had managed to borrow a Canadian Canoe (funnily enough, they just call them canoes over here) from a friend of Randy's- so he strapped it on the truck, swung by the apartments to pick me up and drove down there (in quarter the time it would have taken me on the bus). It wasn't quite brilliant sunshine, but at least wasn't raining, and was unseasonably warm- around 13 degrees. We gingerly placed the canoe in the water from the small pebble beach, and pushed off.

Bobby has done some competing in canoes before, and was steering, so coupled with the facts that I a) have no idea how to efficiently paddle a canoe, b) have little upper body strength at the best of times and c) had just come straight from the gym, doing press ups for the first time in months, I think he probably did most of the work. Still we stayed out for about an hour, just paddling around, checking out all the multi-million glass-fronted houses on the water. It reminded me of being on the river, and cycling through Henley. I guess wherever there are good views and people with money, you're bound to get enormous and attractive homes!

After a short stint, we arrived back pretty exhausted, and had to haul the canoe back up the hill and onto the truck. But we were soon rewarded with a coffee and huge bowl of soup in a nearby coffee shop, where Anne was waiting for us. After we recovered, I returned home to make the dinner!

On Sunday morning, Rebekka joined me at Westside for the Palm Sunday service, which was great. The service- and the overflow room where a live video of the service is screen- were both full though, so I've no idea how they're going to fit everyone in next week! When I got home, we got to baking- having promised desserts to those attending our graduation on Monday night, we didn't want to disappoint. Because it has been a Transformation DTS, I decided to make butterfly cakes :) Which, (yet again, I should really stop being surprised), no-one over here has ever seen before! 

I then spent the rest of the afternoon working out- felt very healthy and relaxed after a long gym session, followed by yoga/stretching, followed by hot tub, sauna and steam room- and topped off with a smoothie! The evening, was sadly, less exciting. Packing up the apartments. Bleugh.

We spent most of Monday clearing all the furniture, cutlery, plates, accumulated junk from the last 6 months etc etc from the apartments into storage. I think we managed to keep most of it- the storage space is unfortunately very limited, so some mattresses and a chest of drawers had to be thrown onto the dump *shudder*. But we all got stuck in, and were done by lunch- a true moving day lunch of pizza, eaten out of boxes while sat on the floor of our empty apartments. Ah the joys of moving house.

After lunch I hit the gym, and then went straight to the classroom for our DTS 2010 Graduation! I wasn't really sure a graduation 'ceremony' was necessary, but it turned out to be a really nice evening with some YWAM friends we'd met along the way, plus Taylor's family drove up from Colorado Springs to be there. I was host for the evening, so welcomed everyone in, introduced a slideshow (courtesy of our wonderful photographer Heidi). Heidi and Trix then went up front to give two awesome little testimonies of what God had been doing in their lives since the start of DTS- which led us nicely into some worship. The evening was really a celebration of God rather than us, realising that everything we've achieved over the last 6 months has been thanks to him.

Then the moment came... one by one we were called up for our certificates(!) to hug all the staff etc etc. It was certainly more congenial than my university graduation! Us students put together a little thank you presentation for the staff (each having a different letter T-H-A-N-K-Y-O-U-! and saying thankyou for your Time, for being Humble, Attractive(!), Nice, Kool, Yourself, giving us Opportunities and for being Unbelievable awesome!). The evening finished with everyone praying for us, for wisdom and a blessing for the future, wherever we may be, whatever we end up doing. And then the snacks! We spent a good few hours just hanging out and talking to people, not quite believing that this time had come to an end.

And so Tuesday came: our final day on The Drive. While most of the students got to cleaning the apartments from top to toe, Heidi, Trix and I drove with Randy to the US border (about 45 minutes away) to renew our visas. We've been on 'Non-salaried Religious Worker' visas for the last 7 months (you should have seen the look on the immigration officers when I asked for that!) but now wanted to become fully fledged tourists. However, you have to leave the country before you can get a new visa, so we walked into the States for 5 minutes and walked back into Canada, getting new visas in the process. Easy peasy. So now I can legally stay until June.

By the time we got back, the cleaning was more or less done (wonderful timing, methinks) so we just finished up and then had a wonderful afternoon on the drive! Started at Prado coffee shop, then went for one last free ice-skate, then went home to get ready for our group dinner at La Rocca. It was such a good evening- great Italian food, we practically had the restaurant to ourselves, 3 course meal for $25, great company, the best end to DTS. We eventually dragged ourselves home, to have a giant sleepover in our empty apartment. Apparently everyone else stayed up until 4am but I was exhausted so as soon as the ear plugs went in at 12:30am, I was out like a light!
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