Every Wednesday and Saturday of this summer we have had events or hangouts with our students. The last couple of Wednesday’s we have been at camps and so have not had our usual movie night and open “apartment”. So, yesterday was Saturday and we invited everyone over to watch the first Bourne movie, play games and hang out. Part of building relationships with the students has just been built on being present and welcoming them in and creating a space for them to just hang out.
The last couple of weeks we haven’t had many students come because most are on the islands. It’s typical for them to go to the islands for a month or so during the summer. But, last night was exciting. One of the first girls to show up was Ana P. who we haven’t seen since June. Then, we had a lot of guys come who we haven’t seen for quite awhile! John and I played Egyptian Ratscrew with Ana and Korina for awhile…we introduced this game to the students at camp and they love it. We watched Bourne and finished around 9 or so. It’s fun to be able to understand a bit of the Croatian banter amongst the students now.
On a typical Wednesday or Saturday, the students trickle out and leave. But, last night Korina, Grigor, Sven and Ana S. stuck around until past 11. Ana excidedly told us about her cafe and about coming to church tomorrow. Sven, Grigor (sneaky greegy), Korina and Mladen did card tricks (mathemagical) and laughed.
As we played Egyptian Ratscrew around our kitchen table we all excitedly giggled in anticipation. If we slapped too loud, we had to put two cards down. As I sat around that table, a smile washed across my face as I thanked God for these moments that I’ll miss. There’s been beauty and pain in the cultural confusion, joy and laughter. Oh, I am so thankful.