The camper and I made awkward eye contact. Immediately, we glanced away, pretending we weren’t trying to figure each other out, but her body language and the clearing of my throat said something else. We had just finished our first small group together, so she knew I spoke fluent English and I knew she was shy. Eventually, the ice was broken when we both acknowledged the fact that neither of us knew where to go next. Being the first day of English Camp and the middle of summer, this was enough to base any friendship off of.
A conversation began, made up of a mixture of Hungarian and English. I discovered she had a twin sister at camp, and she learned that I’m an American who lives in Hungary and whose parents are teachers at camp. “Do you want to go to the rooms?” She asked me, her accent clearly marking her as a native Hungarian speaker. I readily agreed, and off we went.
Stopping in front of my door in the girls’ hall, I glanced at her. She stared at me blankly, then asked, “Komolyan?” A slow grin spread across my face as I realized that it was her room as well. We stepped into the room and she threw her hands in the air, exclaiming that this couldn’t be possible. Not only were we in the same room, but our beds were right next to each other! For the rest of that evening we lay on our beds and chatted in our typical “Hunglish” fashion.
Months before this ever took place, I learned that none of the friends whom I knew were coming to camp with me. Nervously I realized that this would be my first time staying in the girls’ dorm without Panka, a good friend of mine. At one point I considered the idea of just sleeping in a room with my family, like I used to before Panka came to camp with me. Unfortunately for that idea, there was no room for me there, and so I was kicked into the dorms without so much as a, “Yes, that’s fine,” from me.
Now when I recall my doubts, I can’t help but smile a little. It’s been two days since the camper and I met, and already we have made Irish sweets together, danced together, sung together, and thrown water at each other. None of it would ever have happened if I had hid in my family’s room. From the start I could clearly see God’s hands moving us towards one another as we kept popping up in each other’s paths. I suppose in a way, we never had a choice to be stuck together like this, but it shows even more God’s design for our friendship.
Often situations look dire from the distance. We like to examine the odds, the past, our experiences, notice any differences, and then foretell the outcome. We complain and brood over our misfortunes, hardly even taking the chance to look at things from a different light before God’s plan comes and metaphorically slaps us in the face.
I hope that now my new friend and I can get to know each other very well, seeing as we will hardly be able to get away from one another throughout camp, and that our friendship will blossom in an incredible way. I also hope that the rest of camp will bring us closer to God and to each other, and that it will continue to teach all of us a better way to accept God’s plan over our own.