We had a retreat by a lake recently with our colleagues, 3 days of team building, learning, small groups and free time.
The theme was running the race, and how to grow in the challenges that face us along the way.
We had a great time singing, listening, discussing how our faith impacts our work and vice versa, and, for me, always an opportunity to boost my language learning and cultural insights along the way.
So how does a retreat for a group of 30 adults and about 20 children work in China?
First you have a couple of most excellent organizers plan ahead and organize the details.
You add in a short-term team who happened to be in town surroundings the dates of the retreat, who provided children’s VBS camp-type activities.
And you pack lots of snacks.
For your kids, for yourself, to share with others.
Oh, and water.
Lots of water.
Somehow water is never available in these hotel dining rooms unless it’s in tea and hot.
And you realize again (you forgot after being in the States for 3 months) how Chinese special foods and hotel delicacies translate into unidentifiable parts of shellfish, bovine and swine in various flavors and consistencies that are oh so difficult to feed to toddlers and preschoolers.
Tofu too, of course.
Actually, I err.
My 3 year old eager dived into all kinds of stuff with his chopstix and eagerly munched it down, while the mother embarked on the China Diet.
Translation: Vegetarian is In.
PS: Don’t forget to bring your own coffee too.
I’ll do a shout-out to Dr. Hope who gave me a French press travel mug this summer:
THANKS a milllion times and a zillion cups of coffee…