Friday, 6/20/14

Last day of fall here just south of the equator. In the tropics it’s typical to have just 2 real seasons, rainy and dry. Right now it’s the dry season here and the rainy season in Ghana. I assume that’s more a function of just-barely-northern hemisphere (Ghana) vs. just-barely-southern (here) than West Africa (Ghana) vs. East. At any rate, you shouldn’t picture golden oak leaves fluttering to the ground; it’s just dry everywhere, dusty and brown. I’m confident that the technical change to winter tomorrow won’t bring any changes, sudden or even gradual.

The extra sleep seems to have done everybody good; the sick ones are feeling marginally better, but everybody’s moving reasonably slowly first thing in the morning. Asher scrambles eggs on request, but he doesn’t have any green onions, bacon, or asiago cheese. Too bad.

Shangazi takes photos of all the classes with their tutors during the 9 am session. I’ll see if I can retrieve and post some of them eventually.

Chai is chapati and tea, since it was mandazi and uji yesterday. I have to say, I’ve grown sort of dependent on this mid-morning snack; I normally don’t eat anything until lunch (no lectures on breakfast being the most important meal of the day; God made people different, and vive la difference), but after a few weeks of this, I find I’m getting hungry at 10 am. I’m gonna miss the chapati.

After the 10:30 session we gather in the guest house, and several of the team are making plans for next week’s camp. We have 4 teams in place, with the rosters checked by Shangazi to ensure that they’re evenly matched. Each team will have 2 captains from our crew, and a name, and cheers. We’ll have competition in various areas, so they can get points for their team. We’re thinking so far of points for games, reading books, cleaning, memorizing verses, doing the cheers well, and picking up trash. (Practical, that.) Games will include a talent show, a scavenger hunt, and a bunch of camp standards. Lots of fine tuning to do, but I think the basic structure is shaping up pretty well.

Lunch, since it’s Friday, is on the Gasses’ porch. Laura has reprised a favorite meal from last year, drip beef. It’s moist and shredded and awesome. With potatoes au gratin—more cheese. We’re spoiled something terrible.

After the 3 pm session several of the kids want to go for a hike, so Asher takes 4 boys up the ridge, and when he gets back, Nathanael, Hannah, and Josalyn take several more. They pronounce it a rousing success; I guess when you bring back everybody you started off with, you can say that.

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Supper is ugali, beef, and cabbage. The kids seem a little hyper, bouncing around the kibanda and chattering for all they’re worth. Sarah B rebukes Dog Samuel for watching her intently, clearly begging for food, but then she gives him some, thereby insuring that he’ll do that every meal for the rest of our stay.

The girls sing well in house devotions, and Caitlin presents the creation story clearly and engagingly. It’s a good beginning to the 4-day cycle.

Team devotions is a little more subdued; here at the end of week 3 of tutoring, we’re all tired, though not cast down. 🙂 I expect the weekend to help restore strength, and the prospect of just 2 full days of teaching next week should help as well—though the 3 days of camp will be challenging.

Since it’s Friday night, we have a big treat planned—another tub of ice cream, Neapolitan this time. The scooping commences. And there’s Hershey’s syrup left over from the last time. Ah, bliss.

The guys head to their dorm a little before 10; when we get there, I realize I’ve forgotten my water bottle, which I’ll need in order to brush my teeth in the morning; so I head back over. As I approach the house, I hear the girls still playing games and generally enjoying themselves without fear. And you know what that means to a person of the male persuasion. So I turn off my flashlight and sidle quietly up to the screen door. With the light on inside, I know they can’t see me standing there, with just the screen between us. I lean up to the door, and in my raspiest voice, I say loudly, “Hodi!” The screams are strangely satisfying. A couple of the girls, sitting on the floor, shoot about a foot straight up into the air without any apparent muscle movement. To my great surprise, they actually let me in to get my water bottle. Nice kids.

Sleep well, everyone.

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Dan Olinger

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

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