Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I miss TAF



TAF 2011 just passed by and the word that most accurately depicts how I feel is ambivalence.

On one hand, I love TAF.

I repeat, I LOVE TAF.

It's hard to convey this online and halfway across the world since TAF is one of those things that you need to experience yourself, because from the outside looking in it seems like a cult (the best cult ever.) The feeling you get rolling up into North Manchester, IN and onto E College Ave and seeing Oakwood/Helman Hall and seeing TAFers just hanging out again is best described with a "hell yeah..." It's a place where you can be yourself, free from judgement, get acquainted with people growing up just like you, and where you can create bonds to last a lifetime. It's a slice of what seems to be utopia, albeit brief. Without a doubt, TAF is one of the three things that has impacted my life the most, outside of my parents and my experiences with my fraternity Lambda Phi Epsilon.

Y Chromosome up in this

It's a bit of a drag not knowing if I'll ever get to go back to TAF...because on the other hand, I love Australia.

I repeat, I LOVE AUSTRALIA.

It's a massive dilemma...flying back to America isn't cheap (~$2000,) and neither are vacation days. Days and money that can be used to see family (I'm over 7500 miles from the nearest family member) or to accomplish my international travel goals. I'm also getting older and have to think about saving money to buy some real estate (still not sold on this) or an all purpose emergency fund outside of my travel fund. Kids, enjoy your youth, free of responsibilities and living on your parents' dime (or not if you aren't as fortunate...)

Way to go Kevin

But man, I miss TAF. This is only the second time since 1996 that I haven't been at TAF in any capacity (the first time was 2003) and I...missed out. What I miss the most about TAF besides the inside jokes, bonding with amazing staff members, soft serve ice cream, swing choirs, slideshows, and all the pranks are the JH campers. Knowing the program you've designed with your co-PD can bring these kids so much joy that it's something they look forward to every year is a gift. Knowing you can make a massively positive impact on these kids in a safe environment they might not be able to get anywhere else is a gift. Seeing these kids smiling and learning about themselves and potentially discovering new passions is worth the sleepless nights, drawn out meetings, and countless hours of logistics. At TAF you get your chance to be a servant leader, and you get to see the fruits of your labour year after year (assuming the campers return.) It's a wonderful feeling.

One small girl terrorising several adults
.
You're creepy, Michelle

Good job boys

A feeling that will now serve as a distant memory...(haha that sounded really nerdy writing that out...I apologise for my wackness.)

I was actually audacious enough to apply for Executive Director even though I'm way out here in Australia.

As you can see, I didn't get it...but it was worth a shot (congratulations Jess!) I have so many ideas for where I'd like to take TAF but it's just a pipe dream.

I miss TAF.

I miss my 2nd family.


1 Comments:

At August 13, 2011 at 7:16 AM , Blogger karen lai said...

WE MISS YOU MORE!!!!

 

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