Thursday, 6/12/14

Boy, the dragonflies are really active this morning.

As the team members are heading off to their 9 am class, I meet Shangazi and Karen for the ride into town to get the tear-gas-impeded water supply for the week and the food supplies for Saturday’s Serengeti trip. On the way we set up Karen’s Android as a mobile hotspot, and right there on the road I get the blog updated and email refreshed. I realize that’s no big deal to you smartphone users, but I still think it’s pretty cool. I don’t know what the coverage map looks like for Tanzania, but Kenya has had 100% cell-phone coverage for years, and you can be out in the middle of the bush, a 6- or 8-hour drive from any significant city, with a clear cell signal and thus web access. Remarkable.

Town is quiet today, so we get our few tasks done pretty quickly. Pick up 10 5-gallon jugs of drinking water for the week. The place is closed, but the owner is standing out front, trying to gauge whether he ought to open today. Since we’re here, he lets us in to get the water. Then to an ATM, then U-Turn, then put some air in the tyres (yep, British spelling), and we’re back at Tumaini well before lunch.

On the ride the ladies tell me that after we learned that we’d need to launder our own underwear, a couple of the boys showed up down at Karen and Rachelle’s house with some questions early on. Things like “Which water source can we use?” are to be expected, but I laughed when I learned that they asked, “How much detergent should I use?” You Mamas aren’t bringing your boys up to do laundry, I see. I’m surprised none of them tried to hire one of the girls to take care of the business for them.

Chili for lunch, with cilantro and shredded cheese—these folks are giving us far more cheese than is normal around here—and the reports from the morning are routine. After dishes are done, they get ready for their 3 pm class. I’m working on some things in the big house, and everything’s quiet. But I can tell class is over when I hear, in rapid succession, 1) Kaleigh telling a boy at least 6 times, “If you have any more Play-Doh, you need to put it back now”; 2) Matt, saying, loudly but matter-of-factly, “Let him go”; 3) Sarah S saying, “How does a child get a foot-long piece of rebar?”; 4) Sarah B saying, “What is with these kids putting their mouths on my water bottle?”; and 5) Asher, noting that after a child has chewed on a blue crayon for a while, he looks like he’s chewing tobacco and spitting blue. Ah, I love this place.

And Hannah walks into the house holding a small metal bottle that used to contain Paranex, a lice poison. The label says it should be handled with gloves, boots, and a mask, and “keep out of reach of children.” One of the kids had it.

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Supper, house devotions, team devotions. We set some time aside to pray for specific children by name. They need a work of grace in their hearts, and enlightenment in their minds.

We close the night with some ice cream and genuine Hershey’s chocolate syrup from U-Turn. Sometimes you just need that.

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Dan Olinger

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

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