Before I get into the rest of how awesome this past weekend was, I suppose I should take a minute to explain what this SSP thing that I keep mentioning is.
SSP stands for Sierra Service Project. It’s a nonprofit based in Sacramento that runs weeklong mission trips for church youth groups on Indian reservations throughout the American West, in South Los Angeles and in Mexico and Honduras — although both the international programs were scrapped this summer because of the security situation in each country.
I first went to SSP as a teenage camper in 2002 and barely made any mention of my first SSP experience online. I only posted a snarky comment about how surprised we were upon returning from Loleta in northern California to find the monsoon had already come to Arizona.
My last year as a camper, I was in Duck Valley and documented pretty much the whole dang week on Brian.Indrelunas.com upon my return from SSP ’04.
The next summer, I spent a week as an SIT, a staffer in training, in Lukachukai, Ariz. Then in ’06, I became a full-fledged staffer, working all summer as a spiritual life coordinator in Tsalie, Ariz.
And then, I graduated and got a full-time job, which meant no SSP this summer. Someday, I hope to become an adult counselor and take a youth group on a week of SSP, but for now I’m in a sort of SSP limbo.
So now you’ve got the basic outline of my SSP life to date, which should help you understand why my weekend was so great. I’ll get to that next.