Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Just 2 tutoring sessions this morning, to wrap up the effort. The children, as they were yesterday, are about out of gas, so we keep it light and end with smiles all around.

We’re headed to town right after lunch, about 1.30. I’d like to have a celebration for a good job completed; my thinking is that for this group celebrations can be pretty simple: coffee, the possibility of shopping, and a good meal.

So 6 of the team ride in with Katie on pikipikis and a daladala, and the 3 others—Olivia, Paige, and Liv—join Rachelle and the Gasses (minus Matt, who’s working with churches out of town) and me in Rachelle’s vehicle. We follow the bikes in; I like to do that so if one of them runs into any kind of trouble, we’ll find them on the way.

No trouble, so Rachelle drops us off at the Gold Crest Hotel, where we order in the coffee shop and hit the recliners in the lobby to wait for the others, who have to walk over from the daladala terminal. They come in soon, and I get them all something at the coffee shop as well. Cold is preferred over hot today, and I notice the espresso and mocha milkshakes are popular.

As we’re finishing up, we recall that Laura Gass suggested we go up on the roof. Don’t know what’s up there, but it can’t hurt, so we take the elevator to the highest floor, the 8th, which is a hotel floor, all right, but there are hardly any lights on, and no sign of the roof. I see another flight of stairs around the corner; up we go and see daylight—there’s a door that indeed goes out on the roof. Nobody around to ask permission of, so out we go. Hmm. Ought to make sure the door won’t lock behind us. Check that first, and then proceed.

They’re just storing old broken equipment up there, but there’s a great view of the town from all sides of the building. And it looks completely different from street level. There’s even a football field a block over, with a game going on. I didn’t even know it was there. We take a bunch of photos and videos before heading back down.

Free time for an hour before we need to be at the restaurant. I take them to the traffic circle with the fish fountain and show them the street to take, just to the right of the petrol station. Stay in groups of at least 2. Be at the restaurant on time at 5. See you there.

Jana and Janis are wanting to hit the gelato shop. Sounds good to me; I go with them. We take forever to pick 2 of the 6 flavors; I look at the counter person, shrug, and say “Wazungu!” (“White people!”). She laughs and shows no sign of hurry. Eventually we get lemon and strawberry in a cup, and 3 spoons. I take one bite and quit so they can have the rest. Just enough not to spoil our supper. Or dinner. Or whatever you call it where you’re from.

The two of them head off elsewhere; I run into 5 of the other 7 (all but Paige and Liv) back at the grocery store I visited on Monday. They want to get a bunch of stuff—especially tp to replace the case I donated to the roadside the other day—which we get, and then it’s time to walk down to the Tilapia Hotel. We’re not eating at the same restaurant where we ate the other day; this time it’s the teppanyaki joint out on the lake.

As we’re walking, we stop into a couple of the dukas we saw the other day, and a few girls buy some football jerseys and other stuff. While that’s going on, Paige and Liv come along, and we walk together to the hotel. Rachelle’s car is already there; we go out to the restaurant and have a seat—we’re the first ones there, so I figure Rachelle and Katie are up in the coffee shop chillin’. Might as well leave ‘em in peace.

This restaurant is a Japanese barbecue, where they cook right at your table. There are just 2 tables; we have the whole place. It’s a small pier—I guess that’s the correct term—out over the water, with a roof but open sides. The view is beautiful and relaxing, and the food is quite good and safe for Western microbiotic sensitivities. A win all around.

Soon Jana and Janis show up, then Rachelle and Katie—I was right, they were in the coffee shop—and finally Laura Gass and her 3 kids, who have spent the afternoon at a friend’s swimming pool. Soon the cook and 2 assistants begin bringing out the supplies. This cook is going to run both tables, so she’ll be busy.

The meal is unhurried, tasty, and ample. We start with small potato cakes, and then comes the meat, in course after course: prawns, tilapia filets, calamari with grilled onions, chicken breast with vegetable fried rice, and beef. And to finish it off, ice cream: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or tutti-frutti. I order the “Rooty, Tooty, Fresh and Fruity,” which term the waiter doesn’t seem to recognize; it’s vanilla with lots of small chunks of fruit in it, and very sweet. Rachelle asks what it tastes like, and the first thing that comes to mind is gummy bears.

By now it’s dark; there are dim lights around the small pier, and we’re pleasantly full.

Good.

Time to go home.

We hire a taxi for the pikipiki crew—it would be crazy to ride motorbikes out to Shadi in the dark—and head home in our 2 vehicles.

A brief meeting to ensure that we’re set for the camp rollout tomorrow—which won’t happen until 10—then prayer for the next 2 days of effort, and we shut down for the day.

Good tired.

 

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Dan Olinger

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

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