I’m thankful for RYLA
On Friday, February 9th, I went on a camping trip to Huntsville for RYLA. I was joined by two other students from my school, Erick Poz and Pascaline Chuma. We left school at 3:30 with Ms. Belinda. I met Ms. Belinda for the first time and it was wonderful. She talked with the three of us and told us something about herself. We went to restaurant called Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill and it was wonderful. The food was very delicious. Ms. Belinda was so generous that she even asked us if we wanted to get something for takeout just in case we feel hungry during the car ride. After Fadi’s we went to Niko Niko’s and waited for Dr. Isis. Ms. Belinda left and we drove with Dr. Isis. The ride was pretty long and we all took a little nap. Dr. Isis was friendly with us too. It was approximately 9:30 when we reached our camp, we all signed in and were put in different groups and cabins. Dr. Isis was in my group yay! The three of us became really good friends with our group mates, we had a lot of fun. If it wasn’t for RYLA, I would’ve never realized that people could get so close to each other in less than 24 hours. We did really fun activities that had a moral and thought us something about life, leadership and trust. There were speakers who spoke about their life experiences and careers. On Saturday night, we went to the campfire and did s’mores, sang and listened to campfire songs, our coaches told us about their first experiences at RYLA when they were our age. After that, we were all so exhausted and were just about to go to our cabins and sleep when our coaches said that a surprise party was held for everyone, it was a surprise to them too. We were all too tired to dance but we still went to the chapel. It felt like we were at a real dance floor because of the lights. I had never danced freely before, because I was always insecure about it since I don’t know how to dance. But I always wanted to dance at a party like I owned it, and I danced like I never did before. We all got our energy from the music and danced. It was the best night of my life. We never realized how time passed by so fast and it was already 1:00am and the party ended. Awwh, I still wanted to dance! But we went to our cabins and I packed my bags so I won’t have to pack the next day. The next morning, I was the first one to wake up at 6:40am. I went to take a shower and wore the RYLA tees we were given on Friday, I wore my group’s bandana. I wish we could stay longer… I called my family whenever I could, so I called them and we talked until everyone was ready. At 8, we went to have breakfast, I really loved it. If there is one thing I could change about RYLA, it’d be to extend the days because literally, we all wished that. My days at RYLA are unforgettable. My coaches, Paige, Chance, and Charlie are simply the best. They let us express our real selves to one another. While waiting for our rides, we had snacks and danced. I felt really emotional because I didn’t want to leave. Mr. Ngyuen came to pick us up, he signed us out and I hugged my coaches goodbye. We took photos and left the camp. Mr. Nguyen took us for pizza! We ate and talked about our camp experience with him. The three of us fell asleep in the car. We finally arrived at Houston and I called my parents. Erick walked home, while Pascaline and I took the bus. I am really thankful to Ms. Belinda for picking us up and taking us for a meal, Dr. Isis for driving us, Mr. Nguyen for picking us up and taking us for pizza, Rotary and RYLA for giving us a wonderful experience. It wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for any one of them. And a very big thank you to Lamisa Rehenuma, for believing in me and telling more about RYLA.