Although we were all tired after a busy week, some students opted on Friday night to attend a special event called the Relay for Life, which helps raise money for victims of cancer and for cancer research. Not only were we supporting an important cause, we were also supporting some of our new friends in the Gateway program who had spent the last several days preparing crafts, baked goods, and games for the event. At the Relay for Life, many of us got our hair and faces painted fun colors. Some of us also discovered a hidden talent for tossing beanbags and others designed and modeled dresses made of duct tape for a contest. I personally think our outfits were the most fashionable, but a little girl from the community stole the show. It's hard to compete with an eight year old. :-)
We spent our Saturday in St. Cloud where we walked through the beautiful Munsinger and Clemens Flower Gardens, did some shopping, and stayed for supper in the food court of the Crossroads Shopping Mall. Many of us ate Chinese, and I was taught by some experts in the group how to use chopsticks. Before heading back to Morris, we made one more stop to watch the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. When our bus pulled into the parking lot at Morris after our long day of activities, we were met by Swati, one of the student workers in the program, who had brought over a cake to celebrate a joint late-night birthday party for Frank and Sunny!
Another highlight of our action-packed weekend was yesterday when we all got in canoes and, with the help of an organization called CURE ("Clean Up the River Environment"), navigated our way down the local Pomme de Terre River. We were met at the end of our short trip by the American students in the Gateway program, along with members of CURE and GreenCorps, joined us for outdoor games and a picnic. A great way to end the weekend! We didn't get very many pictures--because none of us wanted to lose our cameras in the river!--but if you look closely you can see STELLAR students canoeing under the summer sun and the iconic Morris wind turbine.
Today we wrapped up our environmental studies unit. More to come soon as we spend some time in the town of Morris serving the community through fun projects!