On the 14th-19th February 2010, COGIC Youth had their annual Youth and Sunday School Leadership Conference. It was a wondrous occasion, where we were fortunate to go to Callela, Costa Brava, Spain.
I decided to write a little article/diary about the occasion.
For me the day (14th February) started really early, meeting with the rest of my church at 9am. For me that is way too early to be going for a holiday. I got to the van and for some reason I had the biggest suitcase and then everyone was asking me if I’m going for a month. I was like ‘Laughing man, laughing.’ Then we set off to pick up a few people and I saw my little friend Ajani moomoo, looking quite cold to be fair. We then set off again after having to tickle (hurry) Auntie Yolande to get her in the van, lol.
The next thing I knew we were at the airport, where we saw the rest of the saints and had fun weighing our suitcases, to ensure we were within the restrictions and helping out those who were borderline, hmmm. We also had to play this game, where we had to be in groups and no where each other were, to ensure we got on the plane. Which worked apart from, some people didn’t manage to get Burger King, lol. Oh well next time.
We got on the plane, although a few people were running for the plane (no names) and were on our way. I woke up over the Pyrenees mountains and the views were amazing and then we landed in Girona Apt, Costa Brava. After a little worry about numbers we got on the ‘Bada tours’ bus, now excuse me but they would get a coach for black people called ‘Bada tours’ init? To be honest the tour bus was amazing, with awesome decoration, TV and a toilet, as well as leather seats. This almost put me to sleep, but given the flight wasn’t very long. I reconsidered that and stayed awake, shout out to the driver playing music on the radio, although I wasn’t sure about the Rihanna singers, but anywho.
We arrived at the hotel all 54 of us and had dinner. The food was actually nice and there was a lot of food. After this we had a meeting with the hotel management. Time for sleep, best part of the day, whoop, whoop!
Day 2 started with us having a glorious English/Continental breakfast followed by devotion, which was led by Bro. Jerome and was a real blessing. Then we had our first session which was led by Sis. Hayley and it was entitled: ‘What would we do if we were president?’ Actually what we had to do was; go to different numbers from 1-10, based on the statement she said, 1 being agree and then 10 being disagree. It was good fun and we really thought about and politics and how our vote can make a difference. Although, I know I got a little confused with the statements, lol. It was a nice session to ease us in. We then had a break and then an icebreaker session where we had to introduce ourselves.
This was followed by us being put into groups to discuss four topics, these topics were ‘You should know better your a Pastor’s Kid,’ ‘Get back in the service.’ and a few others. We then had to replay the sketches to everyone. This was really well acted with some entertaining impersonations of glory, hallelu!!! and some of the ushers who can be controversial at convention. It did however, highlight we all have a responsibility to show respect to all and that respect is earned not given. After this it was lunctime, as you can imagine, I came back fat, but that’s another story for another time.
AFTERNOON CLASSES CANCELLED
RESULT!!!!! So you know what I did?
Shopping, your splendiferously late!! Some people got a little carried away, coming back after shopping ‘cough, cough’ (Auntie Yolande) and coming in after dinner time. Anyway, after a few chats and meetings, off to bed.
BARCELONA!!!!!! SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PLACE!!!!!BARCELONA!!!!!!!
So we set off on Bada Tours again after Breakfast, with our tour guide. We drove along the coast and the mountains and then headed into Barcelona. The first stop was the ‘Holy Family Church’ which was an awesome ‘modernist’ structure with 8 spires. It started being built in the 19th century and isn’t even finished yet! This is because the architect Anthony Gaudi died before he could finish it. The detail of the structure is so intricate that it won’t be finished until 2015! It has this really weird image on it that follows you as you walk past it down the road. I stayed in the coach, I could see well from inside.
We went from there into the centre of Barcelona to see a few other churches having driven past bullrings, shops and other places of interest. We then went into two semi-gothic churches that were really pretty inside but full of pickpockets, so we had to be careful. These sights were very interesting and a nice stroll around Barcelona.
Then we had free time to shop, some people went down La Ramblas (the market, supposedly full of pickpockets), whilst I went to Maccy D’s! Your on time, yes you are, yes you are! Also went for a little shop, didn’t see anything that I liked so I moved on. We got back on the coach and then we drove down to the harbor and along the seafront, from there we drove up the mountains to see the Olympic Park. At this point we had our lunch overlooking Barcelona, which was one of the most awesome views and sights, as the sun was shining by now, yeahhhhh!!!! There was also a waterfall and statues in the Olympic Park, which we took huge group pictures of.
We set off again, from there passing the Olympic Stadium’s and other arenas to go to the ‘coup de grace’ the Camp Nou stadium. As we arrived at the Camp Nou stadium I was excited, after we got our tickets and started the tour, we realized there was a coach leaving the stadium full of players! I almost cried, sad times! Anyway took a tour of the stadium which was awesome, touching the Champions League Cup, seeing all the goals, history, shirts of the team was brilliant. We also got to go into the stands of this absolutely massive stadium, with so much history! I thought it was just huge!!
After we left the stadium, having bought some memorabilia, we had to leave to go back to the hotel. After this we got back had some food, I think some people went shopping and then went to bed. Although I was informed some people were taking Flamenco lessons, lol.
This was our last full day in Spain and due to a schedule change, we decided to have our free time in the morning instead of the evening. Therefore after devotion some of us got on the train to go to a market, whilst I stayed and slept and also went shopping. I found a nice few bargains too and some souvenirs. In the evening session after lunch, we had a session on how we could improve the Sunday School, Youth department, how we can do more work in the community and a few other topics. We had to give problems, give solutions and ways of implementation. My group had Sunday School and needless to say the conversation spent a while on why a 15 year old was colouring in, in Sunday School. From this we had to present our ideas back to the rest of the group. After dinner a few people decided to do a few dances and I’m not sure what time they went to bed. No names, lol.
Home time always seems to come, way too fast. After our last glorious breakfast, we had to comment on the food which was pretty good all the way through. I mean they even gave us oxtail one day! You can’t complain about that, plus the deserts were awesome and so much food, so often. After Devotion we started having a few wrap-up sessions. Our first session was a Q & A session with a panel representing the leadership of the Sunday School and Youth departments. This was an interesting session as we were allowed to express our opinions and views and for the leadership to answer the questions. As sometimes can be the case with these events, we got a little off track, but overall it was a good event.
After the break the next session was based on us having to learn peer mediation. This basically means: that you can deal with problems between two people in an effective way without having to resort to any adults. It was an interesting session and a lot of skills were learnt. After this we had a wrap-up session and gave our feedback. We also presented to the staff of the hotel a picture of London. We then hopped onto the ‘Bada tours’ coach once more to go back home. The coach trip was dangerous with a number of people falling asleep and getting caught out with ye olde camera. There was also some singing going on, as we were going home. After we got on our delayed Ryanair plane, it was all over!!
On reflection this was a great retreat and although we all came back with a cold, we still had a great time.
Until next time…..