So, the last little bit of ABO went well. There were a lot of sniffles going around, and the kids were passing an ear infection around amongst themselves, but we had some doctors and nurses in the program to pull us through. Bless Nate Cook—he was doing checkups every morning at breakfast. We all managed to power through to the end.
On our last Sunday, my church group got shuffled around. The church we were supposed to attend had some sort of business meeting, so they portioned us off to other groups. Caleb the shepherd and I ended up going with my roommate Kelly and another family to a very rural, much less Western church. It was a lot of fun. Kelly and the other couple had been there two weeks in a row, so they had a relationship going, and the church was delighted to have two more of us along. Erica and Kelly were going to be teaching Sunday School, while Byron was going to preach. Caleb and I were going to help out in the Sunday School lesson. ‘Help’ being the key word there—the two of us had nothing actually prepared, which will be important in a minute. After a bumpy ride uphill in the back of a Land Rover, we arrived, met the pastor, and got a tour of the collection of tin buildings that made up the church. The pastor was very pleased that Caleb and I had come along. You see, the one Sunday School class consisted of everyone under the age of about 15, but now that there were extra teachers, they could split into more age appropriate groups. Kelly and Erica would work with the older kids, and Caleb and myself were assigned to the younger children. Remember the part where neither of us had put together a lesson?
Fortunately for everyone involved, I found a three year old Sunday School lesson folded up in the back of my Bible. Caleb taught the kids a song to give me time to review it, and then we did David and Goliath. Teamwork. The moral of the story would seem to be never throw anything away.
The church service afterwards was a good one. There was a lot of singing and dancing, and we all got ‘invited’ up front to share a song. The fact that Byron and Caleb both play guitar saved us from being completely awkward. Everyone hung around chatting after the service for a while. The pastor’s 11 year-old daughter appointed herself caretaker of Erica’s baby, and promptly marched off with him to play. (For being the only white child in a sea of about 60 kids, he was kind of hard to track down later.) We took a group photo and then went off to a deacon’s house for lunch. The babysitting girl came too, although I don’t know if she was actually invited. Lunch was ugali (corn meal cooked like really thick grits), cabbage and some sort of meat that was either mutton or beef but was delicious either way. Our ride got lost trying to come and find us when it was over, so we had a nice time visiting with this family and getting a tour of their home. Everything takes longer here, because relationships are more important than business, and it’s a nice change of pace.
The rest of ABO was over pretty quickly, and then everyone was off to their islands, mountaintops, deserts and airplane hangars. It was sad to leave so many friends, but it was nice to get to where we were going. I am now officially at RVA and more or less moved in. Someone had to move out of my apartment before I could move in, and we’ve had some new staff orientation which cut into settling in time, but I’m almost there. I’ll be ready before my girls get here. Which is Saturday, by the way. Term is about to start. I’m excited and nervous all at once. That actually segues nicely into my prayer request, because the majority of that nervousness stems from the fact that along with being a dorm mom, I am going to be teaching Jr. High computer class as well. There was a kind of staff crunch/people going back to the States emergency sort of thing, and somehow it ended with me teaching Jr. highers how to make spreadsheets. I had thought there were already lesson plans, and today it turns out they’re more like lesson guidelines, so there’s some more prep work for me to do this week. Please, please pray for me. I am slightly terrified and I have no idea what I’m doing.
That panicked-sounding last paragraph aside, I really am excited for the term to start and to meet and start working with all these kids. There are still a lot of unknowns coming up, but I’m feeling pretty good about it, because this is where God wants me to be. So, here we go. First term. Bring it on.