It's so hot outside that my brain works very slowly. Or maybe I am just on a holiday mode (holiday that doesn't exist for me). So I haven't been able to pull myself together enough to write a blog post. But M. is writing her blog every day, even with that heat wave, and that inspires me. Even though I don't have much to say.

The main thing is that I spent a week on Saaremaa island at our conference's youth camp. I am not a camping person. I am a "please do not disturb my little routines and my little comforts" kind of person. So if it wasn't my job - literal job - to show up and help at the camp meeting, I would totally skip it. I guess it's good in a way that I can't skip it. It forces me out of my little comfort bubble. But on that Sunday morning two weeks ago I had to take a very deep breath before getting on the bus and preparing myself mentally for a whole week in a bush with our youth.

Of course everything turned out just fine. I had mentoring / Bible study classes every morning with 16-19 year olds (I'm like twice as old as them and thus from a different planet). I translated the main speaker. Answered some theological questions at the camp fire in the evenings. And I had meetings with other mentors to discuss the content and ideas for our classes every evening. The rest of the time I did very little as it was so hot. We went swimming and I read a book and went bird watching once with my dad (he was one of the mentors too) and one day I almost skipped the camp altogether and went to Kuressaare with A. to eat in a restaurant and buy fresh strawberries from the local market. Like I said, I'm not a good camper.

I'm doing much better at home although the office gets hot too and most of my colleagues are on vacation. I like routine - every Tuesday I'm in the local library reading my compulsory books and writing reading reflections, after which I allow myself some cake in a nice cafe. You need those little rewards to keep you going and motivated. Every second evening I walk to the close-by market to buy strawberries or blueberries. I read Jaan Kross. I'm trying to get my talk on paper which I need to present in Helsinki in the end of this week. I've picked up gym again. Other than that, I'm sort of hibernated, really.


Here are a couple of pictures from the youth camp. I really like the one with K. She's studying in Newbold, half way through her MA studies and I get, well, not motherly, but older-sisterly when I see her. Because everything she tells me about her studies and life in Newbold is so familiar. And I tell her stuff about working in the church and what is waiting for her here next year. But we don't only talk about theology and church, we also do other things together. I stayed at her place for an evening before we headed to the youth camp and after we had watched France win the World Cup and after an evening walk when it was way too late and we should have gone to bed, we had to watch another episode of The Night Manager. Because, you know, Tom Hiddleston...

Poppy fields of Saaremaa island
Mr Snail
Unidentified flowers
With K. at the end of the camp