The Opposite of Love’s a Need for Rest

by Tabitha Kidwell

Karaoke is interesting for me because I am always shocked to see the actual lyrics of songs. I can be relied upon to have sung them incorrectly for years. I was shocked to learn that in “Beat it,” Michael Jackson sang “no one wants to be defeated” rather than “no one wants to beat a fetus.” I mean, who does?

Last summer, driving home from a Lumineers concert with my friend Nate, I turned to him and asked “Do you really think the opposite of love is a need for rest?” He almost crashed the car laughing, because the actual words are “The opposite of love’s indifference.” I’ll admit that does make more sense, but my version really resonates with me right now. When you boil it down, the time we are spending with Indonesian high schoolers at these camps is just loving them. Look past the distracting games, songs, and silliness, and the important thing is that we are spending time together, building relationships and sending the message that they are important people. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

Unfortunately, all this loving has left me exhausted. Because of troubles with my Indian visa, I had to delay my departure, and I didn’t get to Indonesia until the evening before our camp planning meeting. Within 36 hours of arriving in Indonesia, I was signing in campers. After the national camp, I went straight to visit Salatiga, and was caught up in a whirlwind 2-day visit where I actually got to see most of the people who had been so important to me for 2 years! Then, I took an overnight flight to Manokwari and helped lead the regional camp there. I flew to Ambon after that and basically collapsed in fatigue at my friend Jess’ house. We did some visiting of her city, ate a lot of rujak (sliced fruit topped with a sweet and spicy peanut sauce – trust me, it’s good), and even got to scuba dive one day, but I basically just slept and relaxed all week.

We led the Ambon camp last weekend, and then I flew to north Sulawesi to scuba dive at Bunaken, which is supposed to be one of the best dive sites in the world. The first morning here, I was fighting a cold, but I thought I was well enough to dive. The dives were amazing: great visibility and easy to navigate currents; lots of turtles, nudibrachs, and colorful fish; coral walls that seemed to stretch to the very bottom of the sea. When I surfaced, I felt better than I had before the dive – my nasal passages had been cleared out by nature’s giant neti pot. But that afternoon, I started coughing and turned feverish. I can’t remember a time I felt so sick and weak (at least with no alcohol involved!). So I slept 12 hours that night and spent most of the next day taking cold showers and letting the hotel staff deliver ginger tea to my hammock. I intend to spend the rest of my time here resting up in preparation for my final camp in Kendari. It’s too bad I can’t dive here, but if you’re going to be sick, you may as well be sick in a tropical paradise!

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