Above Anything Else Gap Makes Me Happy        

By: Eliza Upton


I’m in total shock by the fact that it was well over three months ago that I was writing my first blog post in a little tent in the middle of Wyoming and now I’m sitting on an actual bed in Costa Rica writing one of my last. Somehow the end of Gap is coming very soon and I’m still trying to figure out how to cope with that fact. So I thought I might try by reflecting on my favorite part of Gap: how much joy it brings me.

So in no particular order here are ten moments that were made up of a few giggles and pure Gap happiness:

Anthonys tent setup:

More of a “had to be there moment” but after an already dysfunctional and funny day during NOLS, Anthony proudly revealed to our ISGE group the tent he had tirelessly worked on to set up by himself. All good intentions were there, but the sight of that Charlie Brown Christmas tree tent had me on the ground struggling to breath and crying from laughter.

Our Saturday night in Mullens:

It was a night full of spinach puffs, line dancing, slow dances with our friend Allen, and unidentifiable sandwiches. It was perfect.

The cloud to end us all:

On our first night of ISGE the whole gang got together to share a campsite. While eating dinner we noticed a huge cloud and storm coming our way. My cook group kind of went into hysteria. Weather Lady Larry was yelling out predictions, Lyn and I were rapidly trying to storm proof everything, and Andrew was watching us lose our minds over this cloud. The jokes and hysteria continued until we watched the cloud completely avoid us. Then we sat a little defeated by the lack of apocalypse, ate yellow cake, and laughed for about ten minutes.

Jacks parting words to the Re-member crew:

Inspiring and a tad inappropriate.

Bus/Van ride jams:

While most of the time we’re all either sleeping or listening to our own headphones, the best moments come when the headphones come out and we can find something to sing along too. Whether it was in Yellowstone, St. Louis, or driving back from a Volcano in Costa Rica making our own music.

Our afternoon with Roxana going to churches:

After driving an hour and a half to accidentally crash a funeral in Costa Rica, we sat on the bus laughing and trying to figure out what our education had come to.

Swimming in Cahuita:

Hitting the beaches of the Caribbean Sea was pretty wonderful. The warm sea water brought body surfing, the discovery that Lyn doesn’t really know how to swim, the telling of many truths, and Marta’s knack for finding glasses.

When Elizabeth Coder didnt make us get out of the van at Yellowstone:

After a day full of loading and unloading those vans all over the national park Rex brought us to another picture stop. As much as we love Rex and seeing Yellowstone, we were all exhausted from a month of our own sight seeing and couldn’t take another group picture in front of a waterfall. It was at that moment that Elizabeth said, “You guys don’t have to get out of this van. I’m not going to.” I think that’s when I first knew I loved her and that Gap was a going to be great with her honesty leading the way.

Double Stuffed Oreos:

Even though we joke about how much money we wasted on buying cookies and milk, let’s be honest, that got us through service. Through the plague, the constant communication confusion of Mullens, long and cramped van rides, and our little storming, those double stuffed moments kept us all together and happy.

Rescue Squads:

The whole “rescue squad” thing started when the hiking group I was in got lost one day, and we had to set up camp away from the rest of the crew. The other two groups, who were at the planned destination spot, put together a morning “rescue squad” to go find us where they thought we may be, tired and dehydrated. All love was there and a few people got very excited by the idea of a rescue mission, but in the end they were not very successful. My group found our way to the camp on our own, and we had to send Brandon out to rescue the rescue squad. Since then we’ve had a few more rescue squads, whether they were to rescue a bear fence or just wake up a gapper who overslept in Costa Rica. I can’t help but laugh every time those two words are said in the typical low voice that fashions the phrase because a lot of our rescue squads have been failed attempts, but they always come from a place of love.


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