Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Today the hair saga continues. Catherine gets finished—boiled, relaxed, touched up—and Katie, Joy, and Ellie get their long turn in the chair. The order has something to do with their hair color, because of the fact that the hair dressers are mixing hair colors to match. It’s all far too complicated for a mere man to understand. Some of the girls describe the tight braids as painful, and others say it’s not a big deal. I can’t tell whether the hair dressers have to make tighter braids on some, or whether the subjects just have differing tolerance for pain.

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You may recall that Jon and Ellie weren’t with us on our little walk into town the other day. Today that matters. On that previous walk we happened across the fabric kiosk, as you recall, and everybody bought fabric—girls for a dress, and guys for a shirt. Well, the order for the dresses went in yesterday (Ellie made a special trip into town to get her fabric), and the order for shirts goes in tomorrow, so Jon needs to get himself some fabric. Pretty much everybody else decides to use that as an excuse to take another walk into town. (I stay back to write the journal from yesterday, and of course the girls who are getting braided can’t go anywhere.)

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There’s also a palace here in town that belongs to the chief; it’s something of a historic site and a tourist attraction. They hope to get a look at that too. Simon knows where it is, so he volunteers to lead the safari. Later they tell me that they were able to get up to the fence around the grounds, but they couldn’t see much from there, and Simon tells them they can’t get inside because they didn’t make an appointment. So that was kind of a bust. But it’s not far out of the way, so the trip into town proceeds smoothly. In the market they find a tourist shop and buy some souvenirs—bags, carvings, and so on. They try to bargain for the price, but the lady refuses, I suspect because they’re Americans. I’ve noticed that when a tourist shows up, the price rises significantly and solidifies. 😉 Then again, this is a tourist shop.

Back from the walk, the team gets some rest before VBS, and those telling the stories get their presentations prepared. Again I send them off to VBS without me; I guess, since I’m teaching at 5:30 every evening until we leave, my VBS visits—and suppers with the team—are over for the Ghana phase.

The VBS goes well; more kids show up, and since there’s no Big Ball to break, that can’t happen. J

After class prep, I take a walk around the compound and check the mango trees for ripe fruit. There’s not much, even though there are hundreds of good-sized fruits on the trees. I’ll bet they’re all going to ripen after we leave. :-/ I do get a half dozen that are almost ripe; we’ll hold them for a day or so and see how that goes.

Off to class. They’re on time, pretty much—I mean with 5 minutes or so—and we get right to it, finishing up last night’s material, taking questions, and introducing the paper topics and specifications. At the first break, we take a field trip over to the library, and I show them where the best resources are. They have a pretty good collection of commentaries—Tyndale, Expositor’s, NIC, BKC, as well as some older ones that won’t be that much help for this assignment—as well as individual volumes that will be helpful. A pretty good theology section as well. And with web access at the classroom, they should be in good shape for research materials.

When I get back after class, I find that the power has gone out again—that is, half of it. When that happens, it’s a sign that we need to buy more power. Timothy will take care of that in the morning. In the meantime, the crew is pretty excited about Mama’s supper: baked macaroni. They claim it’s the best yet. I grab the leftovers and agree. After supper, while I was teaching, they played another game of signs, and apparently they’re getting pretty good at it; it’s a wonderful thing to watch an artful pass.

Sitting in the dark, we have a truncated devotional time and head off to bed. Fortunately, the half of the power that’s working includes the refrigerator and the 220 circuits, and that means that some of the fans work. So we’re set to survive the night.

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Dan Olinger

Chair, Division of Bible in the BJU School of Religion.

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