Friday, 5/30/14

This is the last weekday of our prep schedule; starting next week, tutoring begins at 9, so we enjoy the luxury of having nothing scheduled until 10. Asher and I roll out about 8. He notices that after sitting for 24 hours, our bucket of bleach-infused lake water doesn’t smell quite as bleachy, so we decide to use it to shower—or rather wipe ourselves off—this morning. The guys have joked about having a contest to see who can use the least amount of water to get clean. I use just a cup or so of drinking water to brush my teeth, floss, shave, and wash my face, and then about a liter to shower. It’s really amazing how much you can get done with that amount of water if you pay attention. You dip a washcloth in it and wipe yourself down; that gets you wet enough to soap up. Then you dip the washcloth and wipe yourself down a couple more times to get most of the soap off, and the towel does the rest. I feel refreshingly clean, with only a liter of water used.

OK, is that too much information? 🙂

After chaichapati and tea—the second half of the team heads into town with Maiwe and Rachelle. Matt and I decide to do laundry. I mentioned before that we have hired a lady to do laundry. I neglected to mention that that does not include underwear; that’s considered too private for someone else to do. So we put our shirts, trousers (“pants” are underpants here), and sheets in the regular laundry, but we have to do our own “things,” as we’ve come to calling them. There’s a large laundry station next to the men’s dorm, between it and the citrus orchard, with concrete sinks with drains and flat concrete surfaces for scrubbing. But again, since this is underwear we’re talking about, we need to do it inside and hang it in our rooms on drying racks the folks here have provided. There are large round plastic tubs around that we can use as washbasins; I suppose they’re almost two feet across and a foot deep. They work well.

As you can imagine, it doesn’t take guys long to do their laundry; for guys, “laundry” means getting their clothes wet and then dry, not necessarily getting them clean. 🙂

We entertain ourselves for the rest of the morning; Beth has asked about starting a 4 pm game time this afternoon, and Matt has lots of ideas, so I turn that over to him to think about.

Lunch is on the Gasses’ porch. Laura has made some really good beef quesadillas with chapati, and Sarah S has made guacamole as our vegetable dish, so the two go together very nicely. Laura has also made some kachumbari, a salad—perhaps more like a salsa—made of chopped tomatoes, red onions, and cilantro, which is traditional here in East Africa. I have fond memories of it from previous trips to Kenya. Matt Gass is here for lunch—he can’t always make it—so it’s nice to have him along. I like being able to talk shop occasionally. 🙂

The afternoon is wide open, so I get some reading done and even nap briefly before we start game time at 4. We divide the whole group into the younger houses and the older houses; they’ll play separately so that no one gets hurt—that way, at least. Then Matt, Sarah B, and I work with the older kids while Caitlin, Sarah S, and Sarah M work with the younger. Both groups play several rounds of Red Rover and then several more of Spiders and Flies. The kids seem to have a great time at it, and nobody gets hurt, so that’s all good.

Just as we’re finishing up the games, the town group returns. They look beat—it’s a good thing we didn’t wait for them to start the games, because they probably would have been too tired to do anything anyway. We listen to their stories—they had a day similar to ours, even down to the same kinds of pizza. I note that Asher has bought some really spectacular-looking fabric; he tells me that he noticed that Rachelle has good taste, so he just followed her around and bought something similar. Bright man.

It’s ugali, beef chunks, and cabbage for supper, followed by getting the buckets filled for the girls’ house’s flush water. Then off to house devotions. At the boys’ house, I talk about the 9th and 10th commandments. Tomorrow night we’ll finish off the series by pointing to the commandments’ purpose of condemning us, followed by the gospel.

We pop down to Dan & Jana’s house tonight for two reasons. First, Matt wants to meet with us to talk about Sunday’s visit to a church on the other side of the inlet, where they’ll be installing a new pastor. It will be more remote, less exposed to Western ideas, and there will be some cultural things we need to give attention to. His prep seems very helpful. Second, Karen and Rachelle invited us to bring our team devotions down to their house for tonight. We can use their electronic keyboard, which Lois plays, so the singing seems much more energetic. It’s a beneficial time.

We adjourn to the girls’ house to conduct some team business, meanwhile carrying 3 buckets of well water up for the girls to use in bathing. Then just a few minutes of conversation before the magic hour of 10.

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Dan Olinger

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

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