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CAPCA winter camping in Wisconsin

We joined a group of 68 individuals for winter camping in Wisconsin this weekend. And it was amazing!

camp vista RPCV trip

The Chicago Area Peace Corps volunteers do two camping trips twice a year to Camp Vista in Campbellsport, WI just near Kettle Morraine State Park. This was the 27th visit they’ve done and we are so lucky to be able to join this group. Finding Peace Corps-esque folks to chill with is amazing and we definitely plan to make this an annual event as long as we live in the Midwest.

We found out about it last year from some Dekalb friends that were also in Samoa and we are so glad that we finally decided to commit and do it. It was a relaxed comfortable weekend full of great conversations, tubing and some outside activities, cooking, getting to know like-minded folk and a great getaway. I’m sorry I didn’t get a photo of our Samoan contingency which was strong with 5 volunteers plus our support team of spouses and children.

There were older people, younger childless couples, singles of all ages and families with children a plenty. Taj was the youngest, but only by a few months and he enjoyed the older girls’ company anyway. 🙂

The lodge offered a great commercial kitchen and with Steve bringing his chefs knives, this group really did plow through prep and dishes in no time. If the cooks need help, they simply announce to the fireplace room or the dining area that they need onion choppers or dishwashers and everyone gets up. Never a shortage of help and a great hierarchy of talent and culinary skills. As an skilled kitchen person, I helped and did as I was told, no control freak Sara showing her head during this trip. I really enjoyed the kitchen work, as I usually do.

Dinner was an amazing full Ethiopian spread with at least six dishes and homemade injera.

Ethiopian cuisine in Wisconsin

We voted for the next meal and Peruvian was chosen, which should be great fun and tasty too.

I do see myself helping organize a meal at some point after I spend a bit more time with the group. Maybe  Caribbean medley with mofongo, oxtail, conch salad, pates, rice and beans, etc. Samoan might be tough without an umu and I don’t think everyone wants boiled bananas in coconut cream. Then again, oven-based palusami might just work if I can find young taro leaves.

pile of camping shoes

Lots of shoes.

Wisconsin snow tubing at Sunburst

Snow tubing at Sunburst.

brunch in Beaver Dam

Then to end the weekend, we drove west to Beaver Dam to visit Tim, Stef and Lady Elaine for brunch. A short visit is better than no visit! Love these guys.

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