Sunday, 6/15/14

And besides, we have to get up for church at 8. 🙂

Pretty much everybody feels refreshed in the morning; going to bed before 10 will do that for you. And I’m finding these little bucket baths more and more refreshing.

Church goes well. The singing is spirited, and choir and congregation do a couple of numbers without the sound system, which I find much more “authentically” African—though I realize that’s hardly accurate. Matt Gass preaches in Swahili, on Jonah. And that’s about all I can tell you about that. 🙂

After church and chai I start downloading everybody’s photo cards. This works really well for us; I provide a free hard drive backup for their cameras, and I get the pick of everybody’s photos for the blog. Win-win. In the meantime several team members decide to walk down to the duka to return the glass bottles from Friday.

Right about lunchtime, something spectacular happens: a genuine, out-and-out rainstorm. Water pours from the sky, and people pour from the buildings to dance in it. We sit in the kibanda, eating our ugali and beef and watching something we’ve never seen before. Well, the children have seen plenty of rain here, of course, but I’m always here during the dry season, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen more than just a sprinkle. It’s beautiful, and the air smells of ionization, and the pipes from the downspouts are gushing water into our 3,000-liter storage tanks. Then I look up and see the duka crew sauntering down the path, soaked, clearly having realized they were just going to get wet and enjoying it. They make quite a spectacle. When Matt arrives at the kibanda, he says, “This is the cleanest I’ve been in weeks!” I briefly consider running around in my underwear with a bar of soap but eventually decide that that might have repercussions on my ability to lead. Not to mention what with Nathanael having his camera and all.

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After lunch Maiwe is giving a demonstration of how to cook pilau. It’s a spiced rice usually served with some sort of meat. The spicing is fairly complicated; Maiwe says that everybody loves to eat pilau but hardly anybody knows how to cook it. So all the children and most of the team gather at the college quad to get a cooking demonstration. As you can imagine, with all the children running around it’s chaotic, but Maiwe seems to thrive on it. He shows how to peel the garlic and then asks them to help him. About 40 cloves of garlic go to 40 little kids who are vibrating like agitated neutrons, and the next thing you know the kids have peeled the cloves and have tossed them into the bowl. I’m witnessing a miracle, with my own 2 cessationist eyes. But not the gift of miracles, I hasten to add.

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Soon the recipe-making is done and the rice is cooking in a firepot on some coals, and everybody plays some more while they wait. We all get taste when it’s done, and it’s really good.

The rain has lowered the temperature and lifted everybody’s spirits; it’s a joyous afternoon. At suppertime we head down to Dan & Jana’s porch to eat; Rachelle has fixed beef stroganoff, with real mushrooms and everything. We make short work of it; Nathanael makes short work of 3 whole bowls of it, and there’s some left when we’re done.

After supper we sit in Dan & Jana’s living room and join Beth, Rachelle, and Karen for our devotional time. We have the electronic keyboard here, which Lois plays, so it sounds great when we sing. We have a significant answer to prayer; Beth’s residency permit for the next 2 years arrived today, 4 full days before her current one runs out. We finish up around 9 and head back to the girls’ house. There’s some Dutch Blitz going on, and several kids are working hard on planning for the mini-camp program next week. I fulfill my duties as the old man by heading to bed at 9:30.

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Dan Olinger

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

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