Looking at the tour photos from this year made me want to look over mine from last year – and so, I did. In spite of the craziness of tour last year, it’s an experience I wouldn’t take back. Here’s some photos and some reasons why I wouldn’t take it back.
The sexy carrot. You see, before we left I asked Ali to pick me up a copy of Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz” because I’d lost mine (again) and she lives close to a Christian bookstore. There’s a chapter in there that’s a story about Don Rabbit chasing Sexy Carrot. Read the book if you’re really that curious. Michelle took a liking to the sexy carrot and so I bought a carrot and created a sexy carrot for her, with bobby pins for arms and post-it note clothes and hair. It lived in our room with us, and I’m pretty sure he was left behind in the fridge when we left (whoops?).
Nothing huge learnt from the sexy carrot, but a lot of giggles were had… and it was great to know that someone apart from me found Don Rabbit’s plight endlessly amusing.
We climbed a huge sandhill on Fraser Island and while that was an epic experience, there’s something more to that day that means more to me than I think I’ve ever expressed to anyone. See, that day I revealed a lot more about myself to everyone without saying anything at all. I wore short sleeves. Everyone knew something had happened and apart from whispers of “I’ll pray for you,” it wasn’t a big deal. It meant a lot to me that being broken just made me part of the group rather than an outcast. If nothing else, that day tore the mask of everything being okay off my face and left me feeling naked and exposed… but somehow, it was okay. I’ve got butterflies writing about it because I remember it so clearly. Splashing water to clean wounds outside the window of the car and just a concerned glance from a friend and then another whisper of “talk later?”. It meant a lot. More than I can explain.
This photo is so good because it shows the boys doing what they did most of the time, and Graham standing back too amused to stop them and too ‘grown up’ to join them (at that moment, at least). They had fun. In the airport they all sneak group hugged Graham and it got a lot of odd looks from innocent bystanders in the airport. The guys like to hug.
I almost forgot the lecturer enforced alone time. We had to have an hour by ourselves every day, but instead the lovely lady with the red frog on her tongue and I enjoyed what we called ‘alone time together’ where we drank coffee and wrote in our journals for the day. It produced entries that were often read out. When hers was read out, people assumed it was mine. We were just that good. Lots of laughter, a few tears here and there because we’re overly emotional at the best of times, and too much caffeine and sugar.
Tour was crazy. Tour hurt at times. But I wouldn’t take it back because I think we learnt more about each other than we thought was possible – some good, some bad… but it was worth it. I liked college tour. I hated it, too. But even when I hated it God had an intention for the group of us who don’t quite fit right together but that he’s decided to throw together for his own purposes.