Tuesday, 6/17/14

Tuesday is Matt Gass’s going-into-town-to-run-errands-and-take-his-online-class day, so again I ask to ride along, because I have a whole bunch of photos to upload to the blog from the Serengeti trip, and I figure I may need the whole day to do it. I check in with the team before we leave to be sure everybody’s feeling well enough to teach, and they look OK, so at 9 Matt and I head into town. He’s still having trouble with the fuel injection in his diesel vehicle—we knew it wasn’t quite finished when we left the mechanic’s last Tuesday night, and they were planning to work on it some more today when he returned to town. But he can’t get it started at all, so we take a different vehicle, and Shilu will ride out on a motorbike late today to get it and bring it in for completion of service. I’m noticing that while missions work is extremely rewarding at times, there’s pretty much always something that isn’t working or adds another complication to your plans for the day.

We go to the Gold Crest Hotel coffee shop this time and set up shop. For about 3 bucks you get broadband wireless and AC power all day; we like to make it a better deal for them by buying a beverage or two and lunch as well.

I get to work on the uploading and email correspondence while Matt runs his errands. At lunch time he’s back and tells me they have a pretty nice African buffet upstairs for just 10 bucks, so I try it. There’s rice, red sauce, boiled greens (might be collards, but they’re delicious in any case), and 3 meats: braised lamb, roasted chicken, and fried fish. I get some of everything, and they officiously cover it and walk it downstairs to our booth in the coffee shop. Ah, the remnants of John Bull, right here in postcolonial Africa. The food is all delicious.

After lunch I get to thinking about the dessert case here in the coffee shop, and I ask Matt if I can interest him in some dessert. He considers it carefully for 0.00027 seconds and then agrees. We survey the goodies: several tortes, 2 or 3 cakes, and a bear claw or two. I ask him how the chocolate cake is. He says it tends to be dry. He says they have very good milkshakes here; I get to thinking that one of those would help a lot with dry chocolate cake. Then I come to my senses and decide to have 1 dessert, not 2, and order a mocha shake. He does the same. Boy, is that good.

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We spend the afternoon working online, and by the time his 4 pm class is done I have just a few things to wrap up while he hits some shops and then returns. We arrive back at Tumaini just at sundown, where again Laura has prepared some supper and invites me to join them since I’ve missed supper with the children. Two delicious meals in one day. But of course, all the meals here are delicious, so that’s no strange thing. 🙂

I head up to the house to join the team and ask how their day went. They’re really positive about the children—every time I leave, the children seem to straighten right up—except that during house devotions with the 5 little ones, one of the boys tore his clothes off and ran naked around the place until they corralled him. So nothing unusual. Spirits are generally high, even though everybody’s tired. We’ve canceled classes for tomorrow to give everybody a day of rest. I tell them to sleep as long as they need to, and while they’re welcome to play with the children, their first priority is to get enough rest that they’ll be able to play with the children for the next week and a half. They need the break, and they don’t need any convincing. We agree that the guys won’t show up at the girls’ house until chai at 10, and we head to bed.

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Dan Olinger

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

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