Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Camp Granada

So a few weeks ago, someone from school sent around an email about what the French call a stage. A stage multi sport, to be specific. What you and I would call sport camp.

It would be a week, more or less, for kids ages 9 to 13. Soccer, jogging, ping pong, judo, swimming, and basketball. At some hotel/complex about 50 km outside Moscow. Hosted by Anatoly who is one of the fellows who teaches judo after school. I vaguely recalled Anatoly as one of those rara avises who loves kids and kids love back and who seems delighted to let them chase him and climb all over him and tumble around on the floor with them like puppies and not like Michael Jackson.

(Perhaps you remember our attempts to enjoy judo shortly after we arrived in Moscow? You don't? Because it was some sort of fresh hell all around. For me and for Skittles.)

I did raise the topic with The Spouse, and we had a big old belly laugh at the thought of our kids expressing any interest at all in attending Franco-Russian sports camp.

But, oddly enough, a few days later Skittles brought it up herself. Could she please, oh please, go to the stage multi sport?


Long story short, I arranged it and off she went last Saturday morning with three other girls, eight little boys, and the Very Brave Anatoly and his Trusty English-Speaking Sidekick.

The Spouse and Baboo and I spent the weekend wondering if stage multi sport might devolve into some sort of Franco-Russian Lord of the Flies.

Hello Mudder, hello Fadder
Here I am at Camp Granada
And it's very entertaining
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining

I sent Skittles off with Baboo's mobile phone, and we suspect half the fun of going to sports camp was getting access to a phone. She figured out how to send text messages, but she's not that good at it, preferring to have a real conversation. As a result, her messages have a very plaintive quality to them.

Some examples:


Monday during siesta time, a very homesick Skittles called sobbing, "I want to come home right now!"

Take me home, oh Mudder, Fadder
Take me home, I hate Granada
Don't leave me out in the forest
Where I might get eaten by a bear

Even if I knew exactly where this facility is, I have no car. We talked her off the metaphorical window ledge and soon all was well.

Later, we determined that lots of kids were having a tough time on Monday. Her roommmate became a bit short with her and announced, "I don't feel like talking right now." And another mother reported that her son called her on Monday in tears because the other boys were excluding him.

There was also the Great Candy Caper, in which some of the boys apparently secured and consumed large amounts of candy, so much so that they spoiled their appetites for supper. This caused Anatoly to confiscate the candy and lecture the group, in passionate Russian, about how athletics requires good nutrition, candy was certainly allowed, but he would only release the candy cache AFTER meals.

Tuesday during siesta, I received this:

SKITTLES: rest Skittle

Later, during a conversation, she revealed that she had been responsible for the basketball and that, while holding it, someone had slammed into her resulting in an injured and swollen finger. After supper, I received the following exchange:

SKITTLES: Salad french fry and meat and chocolate for dinner finger dark purple

No I don't want - to-oo scare ya
But my best mate has malaria
You remember Jeffrey Hardy
They're about to organise a searching party 

That resulted in my calling her and asking if she wouldn't mind showing it to Anatoly who, I understand, is a med student. Perhaps some ice might be in order.

SKITTLES: Finger in cup of cold water

Today is only Wednesday. A lot more can happen between now and Friday afternoon.

Take me home, I promise I will not, make noise
Or mess the house with other boys
Oh please, don't make me stay
I've been here one whole day


Tina in CT said...

Good growing experience for her.

My granddaughters' school goes away for 3 days - the entire class goes with their teachers. They loved it.

Hopefully on Friday, your daughter will come home all smiles and wanting to go back next time.

The Expatresse said...

They have done this sort of thing with school before, too. And this kid is usually the first to invite herself to sleep at someone else's house. I agree: it's a very good growing experience.

MoscowMom said...

I love her sms messages! Hope the finger is doing better, and that she's having fun!!!!

valentina said...

Ahhhhh, Pauvre petite lapine! And it really takes me back to being a kid to read those lyrics. I still laugh out loud! I bet she has a great time esp after her finger gets better! Fosters independence though, and god knows kids need that especially in the days of cell phones, immediate parental communication and not that you are such, but "helicopter parents!" Especially girls need to be encouraged to be independent I think. Boys get more social reinforcement in this direction and girls need it too! Hope all is well and that Baboo is not suffering from cellphone withdrawal. Although it must be a nuisance for you for her not to have it! Stay well and happy! xov

The Expatresse said...

Baboo never turns on her phone for fear it will ring in class (which is forbidden) even though THE ONLY PEOPLE ON THE PLANET with the number are The Spouse and me.

She's been lounging on the couch all week, watching SpongeBob. She doesn't need to call anyone.

Melissa B. said...

My kids went to sleep-away camp, and experienced similar feelings. But they grew and learned from the experience, too. SITS sent me by, and I'm glad they did...

Driving Miss Daisy

Fruitful Vine2 said...

Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the Wifey Wednesday discussion over at Our Fruitful Vine.

Have a blessed day.