Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Since we’ve been pretty active the past few days, it’s a good idea to slow down for a bit. There won’t be a VBS tonight because of Wednesday night prayer meeting, which is the only formal commitment on the schedule. On every team there are girls who want to get their hair braided African-style, and most of this group wants to get started on that today. Ivy has arranged for some hairdressers to come by mid-morning.

So. A day to sleep in. I lie in bed until 7. Feels good. When I get up, Cam’s still zonked out. I hit the bathroom for the usual prep, including a leisurely and thorough bucket shower, and when I emerge, Cam hasn’t budged. I check to make sure he’s breathing. Sure enough.

Out to the sitting area for the morning reading. It’s a spacious room, with 3 chairs, and a coffee table perfect for putting your feet up on. There’s a TV in the corner—we haven’t tried to use it, so we don’t know if it works or not—and a mini-fridge on the opposite side of the room. The room’s best feature is that its 2 external walls are entirely composed of louvered windows, so there’s plenty of light and plenty of breeze. It’s a great place to sit and read in the quiet of the morning. There are songbirds all around, announcing their delight at the new day, and you’ll occasionally hear a chicken or a sheep or a goat or four right outside.

When I get done, I check on Cam. Still zonked.

Guess I’ll walk the 50 yards or so to the chapel to get some wifi. Upload yesterday’s blog post and emails, download today’s emails, check the news, clear up the paperwork. Several of my students come by to use the data as well.

About 9.30 I drop back by the house. Zonked. Still.

Off to the girls’ house to see what they’re up to. They’re all up, waiting for the hairdresser to show up. She does, around 10, and says they all need to go to her shop—something about matching the hair color to the extensions. They actually weave together 2 or 3 colors of hair to match precisely the color of the client’s hair. I wouldn’t think that would work, but I see it happen every year.

So 5 of the 6 jump into Ivy’s car and head off to the shop. Mary’s working on lunch in the kitchen, but otherwise the place is quiet. Check the water and tp situation, then get some work done for class.

A few minutes later Cam walks in and goes straight for the coffee pot.

He’s been working hard, and he needs the sleep he’s gotten this morning. All the little children use him as a jungle gym, and he gets a physical workout every day. He’s a great help; we have an agreement that when I’m at the front of the group walking somewhere, which I usually am when we’re walking, he takes up the rear. It’s a good system.

Mary’s sauteeing onions. Oh boy.

Cam and I talk about life and discipleship while the girls are gone. He has no preaching experience but is interested in trying; he’s put a meditation together on Psalm 1 that is quite good for a first attempt, and I suggest a couple of changes that will increase its focus and effectiveness.

Just after 11 the girls return, armed with hair of the proper colors, and the hairdressers get to work. Flavia goes first, with 4 women working on her, and everyone else gathers around to watch. I dunno, watching a 3-hour mass hair-braiding session doesn’t strike me as riveting, but they seem to enjoy it. I suspect it’s more about the conversation that the visual stimulation.

Audrey and Lauren decide to mop the floor while they’re waiting—it could use it. Sitting at the kitchen table working through my PowerPoints, I’m in the way, so I retire to nice comfortable chair in the back bedroom—the one formerly used by Ruth—and settle in to finish the class prep. It’s a comfortable chair—have I said that? I keep dozing off and waking up finding that dozing with my finger on the Delete key was not a good idea. Get it wrapped up just before noon and wander out to see what’s up.

Lunch is ready—fried chicken and “potato chips,” as Mary calls them. Of course we would call them french fries. It’s all delicious, and we have enough to share with the hairdressers. Flavia’s in mid-session, with a couple of rows of braids across the front and a long way to go. After lunch, a rousing game of spoons helps the time pass. There’s not a person on this team who’s not competitive. I have the bruises to prove it.

About 3 they start on Brigitta, aka Client #2. Two of the ladies are still finishing up Flavia, and two more get underway with Brigitta. Cam’s taking a nap on the couch, and the rest of the girls are observing, discussing, maybe even still making final choices on design. After a bit Lauren begins her turn in the chair.

About 4 I head off to class; it doesn’t start until 5.30, but I want to take advantage of the wifi to get some business done. I catch up on reading and correspondence, and when it’s time to start, more than half the students are there. I opt to postpone the quiz until the second hour, when everyone will likely be present.

They do well on the quiz—apostolic fathers—and the class time moves rapidly as far as I’m concerned. 🙂 I’m pleased with their progress so far.

When I get back to the house, it’s completely dark, and the puppy is roaming around like, well, a little lost puppy. Oh, yeah—the kids aren’t back from Wednesday night prayer meeting yet. I do some grading until they come bursting in. Their energy level is high, and their comfort level as a team is high as well. Good signs.

As I expect, they munch on whatever’s available, make coffee or tea or hot chocolate, and sit around the kitchen table all talking at once. I have no idea what any of them says. Flavia and Brigitta both that their hair completed, except for the treatment of the tips with hot water to set the braids. Lauren’s a mid-session; they’ll finish her tomorrow, and they expect to do Audrey and Kait as well.

By the time we have devotional time, it’s 11 pm. They don’t seem ready to shut down yet—they’re college students, after all—but I am, so I say good night and head for home.

Here’s the thing. Water started running from the taps today. So the toilets automatically refill After Every Flush, and—here’s the really exciting news—if you turn on the water to the shower, it comes out of the top!

First overhead shower since we left Accra Friday. Boy, does that feel good.

Now to get some ascflgsdv njklnjb zzzzzzzzz …

Where’s that Delete key when you need it?

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Dan Olinger

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

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