Summer

They Made My Summer Even Brighter

Two of my highlights over the summer, which was without a doubt my favourite time of this year, were associated with church.  It’s probably obvious by now, but it was the people involved who contributed to making these events so memorable and highlights of my year.

I’ve been helping out at VBS (Vacation Bible School) for 14 years now, which is a staggering feat to me, especially as I am only 26.  I always love being a part of VBS and I will continue to help every year I can – I try to ensure that I’m available whenever VBS is taking place, getting the date in my diary months in advance.

For some reason, I enjoyed VBS this year a whole lot more than I have in a long time.  I loved the songs, I loved the set up of the hall, I loved all of the various activities and I loved my group of children – I’m always a Crew Leader, which involves supporting, looking after and taking a group of children around to the various stations.  Some of my favourite moments were when the children came running forward to splash me with water during one of their games, and the group hugs with my crew.

All my crew had a very differing set of personalities and characteristics, which made them an interesting collective that raised a varying set of challenges.  I’m always up for challenges though and we got through the week positively, with me striking up a bond with each of them.  There was one girl who was particularly funny, with her hard to please persona and who came out with the most unexpected comments.  She also took to counting how many songs we sung or were played each day, which was fun to keep track of – I’d regularly ask her what the total was throughout.  It is those little things that make the experience all the more enjoyable.

It’s also quite nice to be part of VBS with family and long-time friends.  My cousin, Sophia, was the VBS leader, assisted by her sister Rochelle, who both did an amazing job of pulling VBS together, in spite of some adversities along the way.  Sophia is genuinely made for this and I commend her for all she did.  My mum and my Aunty Debra led out in some of the rooms, making them an engaging experience for all of us.  It was great having brother and sister duo, Klavel and Si-Ann, lead out on the games – friends who are family to me.  And there was my cousin Kavan, who was a fellow Crew Leader.

A week after VBS had wrapped up, it was time for the Croydon Youth Extravaganza, which led up to our Youth Day.  The Extravaganza was well thought out and a special experience throughout the week that brought us all together, but the Youth Day was beyond beautiful.  I could not have been prouder of Si-Ann for all that she has been able to achieve and make happen with the youth this year, supported and guided by Pastor Alex, who is amazing in his own right.  I mean it when I say that Pastor Alex is a force of nature.

The whole day was emotional, well-organised and involved the majority of us youth from the church.  The four presentations in the main service were honest, relevant, useful and very special.  I was crying along with Si-Ann by the end of hers.  The play in the evening was slick, funny and made best use of everyone’s talents.  And the social in the evening was a whole lot of fun, laughter and good conversation.

For me, what made the day beyond beautiful was the people, especially being with those I had not seen for a long period of time.  I spent most of lunch with my Kay Kay – who I also had a nice meet up with a few weeks earlier along with Si-Ann – having good conversations and eating on the steps.  I exclaimed with joy when I saw my girl, Sh’kira, who I had no idea was going to be there and had not seen for a good few months – we had good chats too, as we always do.  I exclaimed with even more shock and joy when Gazza tapped me on the shoulder, as I hadn’t seen him for the longest.  We had a little conversation later in the day, but it wasn’t long enough – we fully need more time to catch up.

I swear, I filled with more and more joy as more faces I had not seen for a while began to appear.  However, I think I became full to the brim and found my heart overflowing with joy and love, when Ranen walked into the hall.  Now I literally have not seen Ranen in the flesh for years, so to be able to hug him and speak to him face to face was beautiful.  Ranen was one of the consistent faces in my life growing up, someone I could call a friend.  I also remember when he gave me his jacket to wear out in the cold at a social – a true gent.  It was great to have him around us again.

To be honest, it was just great to have so many of us in the same space again, as it doesn’t happen so often anymore.  Chilling and chatting to Arks, Gis, Sach, Charlie, Nnamdi, Ike, Ryan, Paige, Elliott, Jemel, O’Shea, JJ, Myrin, Karina and a whole lot more.  It was one of the best and happiest days I’ve had in a long time.  No matter what, I will always love my church family.

 

My Top 5 Months of the Year

So yesterday was all about my Top 5 Colours, but today is all about my Top 5 months of the year.  This may seem like a strange one, but these months stand out to me for various reasons, which is what makes them so special.  Maybe you’ll find yourself thinking the same thing as me.

 

5. January

The festive season is my favourite time of the year, and New Years comes under that.  Seeing as New Years Day is in January, it makes this month part of one of my favourite times of the year.  I also like the start of a new year, as I think it symbolises starting afresh in a way.January

4. July

Although the festive period is my favourite time of the year, summer is officially my favourite season and July falls under summer.  However, the main reason why this is one of my favourite months, rather than June, is because my wonderful little sister was born in this month and where would I be without her. July

3. August

Again, August is a summer month and you know how I love summer, with the sun and the warmth (if it comes) and the holidays from school or college or uni.  I also happen to be born in August, so you know that it’s the top month of the year, despite not being my overall favourite.August

2. December

Making the choice of whether December should be one or two was really tough, as I love the festive season so much, but I had to put December at number two.  Of course, Christmas takes place in December and I love everything that comes with that, from putting up the tree and hearing the songs on the radio, to seeing the Christmas lights and doing last-minute shopping.  However, the only thing is that the Christmas spirit is starting to diminish in me.December

1. March

This would have been different a few years ago, but for me, no month can be number one now but March.  I look forward to March every single year, not because it is the beginning of Spring (which is very pretty), but because of March Madness.  I love basketball, but I especially love me some college basketball, and March Madness is college basketball at it’s finest.  It is exhilarating and emotional, making me sit on the edge of my seat in excitement and cry tears of heartbreak.  Just writing about it is getting me excited already.March Madness

Now you know my Top 5 months of the year and why.  I’d love to know your favourite months and what makes them so special to you.

A Shining, Bright Personality

Today I’m gonna write about another one of those beautiful people who was thrown into my life this summer, all the way from the United States.  This is one particular individual who I have definitely stayed connected with, but that was not going to be hard, because of how warm, funny and approachable he is.

I spoke to him relatively early in the day that I met him, and he was one of the people who greatly encouraged me to return the next day to spend more time with them.  Considering that I was initially reluctant to return the next day, I am really glad that I did, because spending time with him and the others was great.  In the end, one and a half days was just now enough time for us to spend together.

Now I mentioned earlier that this guy is funny, but he actually is hilarious.  He always found some way to make me laugh and his bright personality never fails to make me smile.  I love people who bring light to my life and he happens to be one of them.  I remember him running around, happily speaking to anyone in his path.  I will also never forget when he said to me, “Can I ask you a question?  Who are you?”, during one of my little dancing outbursts – I thought it was so funny.

After learning that I call myself ‘Shanqy’, I also gave him the honour of calling me ‘Shanq’, which as you know, is quite an exclusive nickname.  Of course, this makes him special and ‘Shanq’ is what he always refers to me as now.  I just love the way he says it with such enthusiasm.

It was fun, as we ran down the steps to a stunning riverside location, which he was so intrigued to see.  It actually turned out to be even more stunning once we got down there, which created a special moment that someone managed to capture on camera.  It was also a classic moment when I went over to hug him for support, after being dragged across the road by a random man trying to help us get to our next location.

Speaking to him is always a joy and observing him on his spiritual walk is a beautiful thing – I know that he is going to make a great difference in so many people’s lives.  The light that he shines is amazing and feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet him.  I have faith that we will get to spend more time together in the future, because I really do love him a lot.