Last night was camping night at the university. Wow. Every class set up a large tent; most of them seemed to be made of tarps and bamboo. But what this meant was that nearly every student from who attends the university was there. My first reaction was to think that it looked like a county fair, minus the elephant ears, cotton candy, and other unhealthy foods. There were lights everywhere and people everywhere. I spent time with the other English teachers migrating around from tent to tent. Just when I was finding everyone through the confusion of people and darkness, one of the other teachers grabbed my arm and we started running towards what was soon to be a bonfire. A large stack of kerosene-soaked wood was lit through some flaming substance traveling along a series of cables. Once the fire was lit, then everyone grabbed other people’s hands and started running around it. I went around a few times with a teacher, then I was taking a breather (because the fire was really hot and we were relatively close to it) but then some students grabbed me and around I went again. Then I was trying to catch my breath again and was pulled off by students to run. After that though I tried to get away from the fire.
My students had all been telling me that they were going to stay up all night, and although I wasn’t sure if I had permission to stay there late with everybody, the teachers said that it would probably be alright if I did. We visited I don’t know how many tents. People kept telling me to eat, even though I was full. Then people started to fall asleep; in tents, on the ground, in the few chairs that were scattered around.
Two teachers and I found that a small cafe across from the main gate had made the lucrative decision to stay open. We went there for some coffee around 3 a.m. or so. However, my energy was fading. We went back to some of the students tents and hung out and played card games with the ones that were still awake. But then they started taking down the tents and I was exhausted, so I went back to the guesthouse around 5 a.m. A wild, insane, but thoroughly enjoyable night.