Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School at RVA

Today was the first day of school at Rift Valley Academy for our family.  I took a photo of our kids as they went out the door grouped by the different divisions that they have here at RVA.  We have our high school group (grades 9-12), our junior high group (grades 7-8), and our Titchie Swot group (grades K-6).  It was fun to debrief the day around the dinner table tonight and hear the stories from the day.  Today proved to be a great start to the year.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Even with Shoes

Even with shoes you can get a thorn in the foot.  Ed is holding the thorn that we pulled out of her shoe today that went all the way through the sole.  (You can see the hole in the shoe inside of the white box.)  Despite thorns, hookworm, and rocks, I see many kids romping around campus barefoot.  I guess us newbies wearing shoes are just a bunch of tenderfoots.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

First Encounter with Safari Ants

Safari Ants, Pinching Ants, Army Ants, Flesh Eaters, Siafu. We have heard these ants called many different things. On our first morning here at Rift Valley Academy we passed by a column of them on the warpath and every day since we have simply stepped over a column of them whenever we walked by. Last night we were on our way to supper with some friends when we saw the end of a warpath of Safari Ants where they were disassembling one of these guys.

Then when we were at supper, the kids came running in yelling, “K.D. is getting bitten by ants!” We rushed outside to see him dancing about swatting at his pants. While he was eating dinner outside, some Safari Ants found him. Our host knew just what to do. He sent his son to go fetch a robe and had us strip K.D. down. We shook the ants out of his clothes, K.D. got dressed again, and we went on to have a wonderful evening. It is great that the ants don't sting you so that after you get them off, there is no itching or much ongoing pain – as long as you get them off before they remove too much of your flesh, that is. :-) You can read more about these fun little guys here on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Teen Life at ABO

The teens at Africa Based Orientation captured life there in a video that they made. They had a chance to show it to the whole group during the talent show on "Fun Night."

First Birthday in Kenya

Ed turned 15 last week while we were at our ABO training. We had brought some gifts from the states and added a few with local flair – like a hand-carved baby elephant. We found a few minutes between training sessions to have a family party in one of our dorm rooms. The ABO coordinators were thoughtful enough to plan brownies and ice cream for dessert after dinner and the people there signed a large poster with birthday wishes. It will be exciting to see what will transpire between now and when she celebrates her next birthday.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Reliable Systems

I am coming to appreciate how unreliable systems can lead to more reliable systems.  At the school I taught at in America, if the power went out, school was cancelled.  Here on the campus where I am currently attending training, things are not that way.  Since the power goes out frequently, they have a backup generator to keep school in session during outages.  So in some ways, power is more reliable here.

I found out the other day, though, that not everything runs on the generator - like the water pump that fills the tank for the building I am staying in.  It can be a real problem when you have 70 people staying in a building and there is no water to flush the toilets - at least it is a real problem in America.  Here in Africa when that happens, buckets of water to flush the toilets magically appear in all of the bathrooms.  It turns out that they have a backup system for that too.