Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hmmm. I’m on page 104 of the Word file where I keep the blog. Over a hundred pages, and we’re not even in South Africa yet. Either we’re accomplishing and experiencing a lot, or I talk too much. As they say in Swahili, pole (sorry).

The hike happened this morning. Gershon left our room a little before 6, carrying plenty of light, and I reminded him that there are cacti on the ridge, which can ruin your whole day. It occurred to me after he left that the walk-in gate that’s the most convenient passage to the ridge is probably locked at this time of day, but they can probably walk down to the main gate. (He tells me later that Ferdinand happened by and unlocked the walk-in gate for them.) They spent about an hour up on the ridge, enjoying the view and especially the sunrise.

02 sunrise (1)  02 sunrise (3)  02 sunrise (5)

At 8:30 I drop by the house and find everyone there. Well, it certainly simplifies things not to have to send out a search party half an hour before tutoring sessions start.

The first session goes routinely. Abeli is pacing the grounds with his clipboard, taking attendance at each site and chasing down truants. He’s mastered a glowering expression that commands instant obedience from the miscreants.

Both sessions go relatively smoothly, with the occasional felonious intent. Gershon and Michaela combine their classes and do a planet walk out on the dirt road in front of the compound, starting with a coconut as the sun and measuring by scale out to each of the planets. Almost as good as a hike.

Over tortillas for lunch, we get some final questions answered for our camp plans. Beth will have the team rosters to us this afternoon, and we’ll be ready to announce the camp details to the kids after supper.

And so comes our last tutoring session. Which goes just fine.

And we’re done. We clean up the guest house headquarters, which has been littered with stacks of teaching materials. They all go back in the storage room down the path, and the place looks brand new.

Now to the final phase: camp. Beth gets us a list of teams that’s balanced among the children’s abilities, and we finalize the plans for this afternoon’s Big Announcement. Ferdinand blows the air horn that brings all the children running to the kibanda, and I formally announce the Third Annual BJU Team Camp. Gershon lays out the daily schedule for the next 3 days, and Jess explains the point system that will drive the competition. Then I introduce the team leaders and assistant leaders, to rousing cheers from all the team members. The children catch the spirit and begin to make a lot of noise as well. Then I call the names of the children on each team, and the teams assemble in different areas of the yard.

A key part of our effort is to get the older children, especially the boys, to buy in to the concept and generate some excitement among the younger kids. We’ll see how that goes.

Typical End of Day rituals. Rice and beans for supper, house devos with the children, an hour of web access, team devos, a little final detail planning for tomorrow, and then Gershon and I get out of the house so the girls can get ready for bed. All done by a whisker after 10. Not bad.

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Dan Olinger

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

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