I’ve wanted to write about the Triennium experience. Scratch that; I need to write about it. The coordinator for Albany Presbytery asked if I’d recovered, as it took her a day or two. I recover when I offload it from my head.
Each day at Triennium had a theme. Day 1 was TUNE MY HEART and the Scripture was PSALM 100, “come before the LORD with joyful songs.” You know, someone could read that at my funeral.
I suppose I should back up. We had a bus of twelve 14- to 18-year-olds. One of them is related to me. There were others scheduled to attend, but the father of a couple of them had died in the previous month, which made one of their friends decide to forgo the trip as well.
One of the two male chaperones was a pastor in a rural church. I got to really get to like Jerry over the week. The two women were from my church, so I knew them. Also, 23-year-old twin brothers who would work behind the scenes at the conference traveled with us.
After a brief commissioning service at a local Albany church, we started off at about 8 p.m. on Monday, July 15, my wife’s birthday. The present from my daughter and me was our absence.
Early on, we watched the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, most of which I actually understood. We switched drivers somewhere between Rochester and Buffalo.
I cannot sleep on a bus. Maybe I could as a child, but certainly not now. I may have nodded off somewhere around Toledo, OH, though not for long. So I was quite tired when we got into West Lafayette around 8:30 a.m., much earlier than we had anticipated, even with a couple of pit stops.
We ate at some nice dinner with ANOTHER group of about 20. It didn’t take as long to be served as we were told. That, BTW, is a key to good customer service: under-promise and over-deliver.
We disembark at Hawkins Hall at Purdue University. We each had one bag we carried onto the bus and one underneath the vehicle. After an orientation meeting, we got our room assignments and two keys. One is actually a swiper card you need to get to a floor other than the main lobby, and the other is a traditional key.
I go to my room on the 8th floor and I find one of the male teens from Albany. If I hadn’t had all that training, I might have said, “Ah, that’s weird. Whatever.” Instead, I left my stuff there, and went down to the lobby and told the folks, who recognized it as an issue.
They gave me a key to a 3rd-floor room. I went to the 8th floor, got my stuff, then went to the 3rd floor. All I saw were young women. In some dorms I’ve been in, they have males on one winge and females on the other. This was NOT the case here.
Back to the lobby. My luggage and I got a ride in a golf cart to some other dorm to talk with someone who’s supposed to fix these things. But my guide was told it should be worked out within the building.
Back to Hawkins, where I was given a key to a single room on the 6th floor. When I opened the door, someone else’s luggage was there. Back downstairs; the coordinator already knew the problem. She led me to the 7th floor, single room, unoccupied, on a floor with only males. Settled at last.
I had time to nap, but by then, I was too wound up to do so. The group walked to Earhart Hall to eat supper, then to the worship service, which was a good introduction to the week.