Wednesday. 6/25/14

Day 1 of camp. This should be interesting.

We have 1 tutoring session today, at 10:30. So we sleep in and gather at chai to see how it looks. The children were, frankly, behaviorally problematic yesterday, so we’re interested to see whether that continues. It’s not uncommon for them to start to misbehave as a team’s time with them draws toward the end; whether they’re trying to punish us for leaving or just acting out some sort of separation dance is hard to say. Or maybe they’re just sinners. 🙂

During chai we do the first cabin inspection; we know who sleeps in each bed, so we give their team points if things look good: bed made, mosquito net tucked up, generally clean-looking.

Our theme is the World Cup; we have 4 teams: Korea, UK, Brazil, and Ghana. We have a big chart that we’ll indicate points on with rubber stamps; we thought about using stickers, but we figured the kids might try to peel them off of other teams’ columns.

We survive the tutoring session and then do some last-minute camp planning before lunch. Just for old time’s sake, lunch is Stacky-Uppies; then the ladies head into town, while a few team members walk down to the duka for some Cokes™ to get primed for camp.

We start off the 1st day of games with a scavenger hunt. We’ve written some rhyming clues that will send the teams off to various locations around the campus, where one of us will be waiting with a task for them to do, and the clue to their next location. Matt assigns me to the church, where I decide to have each team give me 6 things they appreciate about Shangazi. Nobody has any trouble with that. 🙂

When the winner is announced after everyone returns to the kibanda, they don’t seem to know they ought to cheer; but the second-place winners do, so that seems a little odd. We’ll get them oriented to camp ways before long.

In connection with the theme for this camp—the World Cup—Matt and Sarah S, who are kind of emceeing things, have engineered some headwear. Matt has used duct tape to strap a small rubber ball decorated as a globe to the top of his hat; he calls himself “Mr. World.” And Sarah has taped a cup to the top of her hat; she’s “Mrs. Cup.” Cheesy, I know, but the kids seem to like it.


The game time ends with dodge ball and musical chairs, and the leaders are exhausted, so we call that the end of game time. It’s just after 4. 🙂 Then there’s time for verse recitation, reading with a tutor, or whatever else they feel like doing. A little glitch here and there, but overall a successful first day of camp. Tomorrow there will be a talent contest . . .


After supper, my group moves into the 5 little ones’ group for house devotions. Caitlin covers Creation, and it goes well—which is something of a relief, because 5 minutes before devotions started, one of the boys had appeared on his porch stark naked, smiling and dancing. (They have their baths just before devotions.)

So I have to give you a little vocabulary lesson here. When we have tortillas stuffed with meat and vegetables, we can’t call them tacos, because tako is the Swahili word for “buttock.” So at the sight of the little dancing munchkin, I made some comment about a dancing chocolate taco. Seemed descriptive at the time. And that’s quite a mental image.

We close the day with devotions and prayer, and then a little practice for tomorrow’s skits. Boy, are we tired. But we have just 2 active days and then 2 relatively inactive ones, so I think we can do this.

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Dan Olinger

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

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