Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The alarm rooster is particularly feisty this morning. Sometimes I wonder what they think they’re accomplishing. Fine, greet the morning, announce your existence and personal pride. But you’re saying the same thing over and over, dude. What, is your brain the size of a pea or something?

The equinox is about now; it’s on either the 20th or the 21st, depending on where on the planet you happen to be at the moment. (Theological footnote: has it ever occurred to you that at any given time, it’s 2 different days on portions of the earth? Except for the split second at noon Greenwich. If for no other reason, that’s why we shouldn’t try to predict the day Christ will return. It’s a hopeless cause.) Here near the equator the equinox makes very little difference; the days are of nearly equal length all year long. It’s just you more polar tribes who are affected by it.

The house is buzzing when I arrive—or more accurately, the people in the house are buzzing. (I suppose that if the house were buzzing, we’d need to investigate.) They’re ready for their last day of classes. I ask, “Remember how you felt on the last day of classes at BJU in April? Well, that’s how your kids feel today.” Fortunately, our expectations are reasonable—just engage them with something. Worst case, turn ‘em loose and let ‘em play football.

All the shower boys are in class on time; Abeli, Ferdinand’s assistant, and I shut down the shower rooms in both houses. After rounds I do the dishes and then some writing. I packed all my stuff this morning and moved it to the other apartment; now it’s just a case of waiting for a third bed to show up.

Chai is chapati. I’m gonna miss that fat tortilla.

Second session is spotty, but we get through it. Done with tutoring.

Lunch is a good chicken soup, with chapati chips and salsa, and fresh papaya. We run the day camp plans by Beth and Rachelle, and they all look good, with a small exception. We were planning to take the children down to the incinerator after house devotions tonight for the lighting of the Olympic Trash—we thought it would look better after dark—but Matt suggested that it might tend to misimpression, especially in the village when they heard a lot of noise coming out of the compound after dark. Apparently nothing good happens after dark here. So we’ll do it right after supper, at dusk, before house devotions, and we’ll explain what we’re doing. That’ll work.

They’ve moved a bed into the guys’ apartment for me. I get it set up and made, and I’m officially moved in for the last 4 nights. Living with a couple of college guys. Again. After all these years. The sacrifices I make for the Kingdom.

Jonathan has his last choir practice with the children, and they sound pretty good to me, though he says their hearts really aren’t in it. Now they need to keep the songs in their heads until sherehe in August. All of the sherehe groups have something to show for their efforts; The Crew has done well at getting them organized and reasonably productive. There’s cross-stitch, and pillows, and drawings, and of course the choir. It’s all good.

Jonathan has a little vocabulary mishap with the children. He tells them to go somewhere (toka), but he gets the vowels switched (tako). There’s that word for buttocks again. The children think it’s very funny.

It’s been cloudy and cool all day. This is the dry season, as it always is when the team is here, and I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve seen it rain here in my 4 visits. The locals aren’t hopeful; it can look for all the world like it’s going to rain, and then just not do it. But at 5:30 there are actual drops, and by 6 we have a bona fide rainstorm. A little girl from Shadi gets caught by it just outside our gate, and we welcome her into the kibanda to get some shelter. She speaks no English, but Lora has one of the girls translate for her and assures her she’s welcome to stay dry with us and watch the rain.

Supper is always served in the Big House, but hardly anybody eats in there; we traditionally pick up our food and then go out to the kibanda. But tonight it’s too rainy, and we crowd into the Big House. There’s a Disney video of Robin Hood playing, and the children are surprised that I know the songs: “Robin Hood and Little John, walkin’ through the forest …” I have fond memories of singing those songs with my children, back in the Dark Ages, when Robin Hood was current events.

So the Big House is crowded, and festive, and chaotic, and joyous. It’s a nice change to the typical supper routine, as enjoyable as that is.

Looks like our Olympic Bucket of Trash Lighting Ceremony is kaput, though.

We decide to have house devotions right in the Big House, all the children together, to give the rain a chance to stop. The children sing boisterously, and the acoustics make it sound even better than it is. Jojo shares the gospel story, and 2 of the children pray with Jojo closing.

Then we announce that the next 2 days will be The Tumaini Olympics. We’ll announce the specific teams tomorrow, but for now we tell them how they can get points, and they’re pretty excited.

And the best part of it all is that nothing starts until after chai at 10 am. What a great schedule.

After team devotions we work out some final details and do some thinking about skits for a Fun Time to close camp Thursday afternoon. I think this crew can do a fine job.

It’s after 10 when we finish. I suggest an IHOP run, and everybody groans.

Dad jokes.

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Dan Olinger

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

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