Practical = “of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory or ideas.”
Our class in Practical Skills did just that. Turned the “some-day-you-might-have-to-deal-with-this” into “do-it-now.” And what may those practical skills be? Well, let me show you:
1. Knowing how to find your way with a compass. Sounds easy. But it isn’t.
2. Using a GPS. Again, sounds easy. But it’s not (we found that out the hard way during a 4-hour scavenger hunt through the woods).
3. Scratch cooking! We had to cook everything from scratch for two weeks, which was fun and prompted me to experiment in the kitchen a bit: I made pasta and tortillas for the first time ever!
4. Lots of other very practical skills: How to use a pressure cooker, how to meal plan overseas, what kitchen tools to bring, how to fight cockroaches in your home (those things are NASTY in case you’ve never researched them), the basics of building a house, how to safely use LP gas, the basics of hydrodynamics, plumbing, car repairs…
5. How to live with limited electricity and limited running water. Have you ever tried making a cup of coffee without using any electric appliances? Makes you appreciate that cup of coffee a lot more!! It really got challenging when we happened to host 16 adults and 3 kids the day that we got assigned “dry season” (= no running water at all). Ha!
6. OUTDOOR LIVING! A big part of the class was a 4-day outing:
We used our compasses to hike to the campsites, having to carry most of what we needed on our backs (including our kids)
Each family got 2 tarps and rope and had to build a waterproof shelter:
We cooked our food over the fire and had to improvise when we realized that our lunch meat and cheese was still frozen:
We were blessed with beautiful, warm weather! It still got chilly in the mornings, so Elias was all bundled up in a full-body snowsuit 🙂
We had classes out in the woods, including chicken butchering (sorry, my PETA-loving friends), small engine repair, battery wiring, chainsaw class, star orientation class (fascinating!)…
We went on an all-afternoon scavenger hunt hike with our team! The goal of the hike was to find our dinner for that night 🙂
And we eventually did find it (after getting lost a couple of times)!
The whole camping trip was challenging at first (like sleeping in a self-made tent with two kids who keep on waking up and one that’s puking) but turned out to be a really fun and rewarding time as a family and as a “village” (=our small group from campus).
What did we take away from this class besides all the practical skills?
Thanks for reading 🙂