Monday, May 30, 2011

East Africa Day 16 (Sun May 29): God is never late. He is always on time.

After breakfast Pamela and I walked along the perimter of the fence that circles campus. If you vere off course a little bit and head up a path, then you’ll come to a private home with a fenced in backyard containing chickens (and a little black kitten) and a house that has only one small window on one side. Walk up to that window, and a woman inside the house will pull back the grate that covers the window and sell you Coca Cola. When you have consumed the beverage then the customer returns the bottle to her – either on the spot I would imagine, or at a later date. This morning Pamela and I returned two empty Coca Cola bottles, that had been previously purchased by Pamela and Sue. It would have been inappropriate to take a photo to show you what it looked like, but it was a lot of fun!

At breakfast one of the students invited me to join the Protestant students’ services this AM. After returning to campus from the Coca Cola outing I slipped into the classroom where the services are held. I was just in time to hear one of the students – the same student who dragged me onto the “dance floor” last night – give a sermon/testimony. She repeated the phrase “God is never late. He is always on time.” She told the students not to judge themselves for their backgrounds, their family situations, or the challenges that they have had to overcome. She said that the students cannot change their parents’ situations, but they can make sure that their husbands and their own children have good opportunities.

The student used her own story to illustrate her points. When she was in primary school, about to take the KCPE exam (taken at the end of 8th grade, to see which secondary school you will go to, if any) her father was injured on his work site. He had to have surgery, and was in the hospital for at least 4 months. The student was still able to focus, and took her KCPE exam, scoring 10th in her class. Though because her father was sick, there was no one to make arrangements for her, for secondary school. So she had to repeat 8th grade. Her friends deserted her because they could not help her, and even those with lesser KCPE scores than hers went on to secondary school. At the end of her second year of 8th grade, this student re-took the KCPE, and scored even higher on the exam than she had the first time. Someone told the student’s father that he should have his student apply for admission to Daraja. She applied … and here she is.

God is never late. He is always on time. I was crying by the time she’d finished speaking. I wasn’t the only one – I heard and saw, out of the corner of my eye, that a good number of the students in the room were crying, too. After the presenter returned to her desk, another student went to the front of the classroom and led everyone in my favorite song that I’ve heard on campus thus far – “The way to be happy is to make someone happy, and to have a little Heaven down here.” :) That got everyone smiling again!

This afternoon I sat in on two of Sue’s classes in which she taught the students how to describe themselves in six words. First, she taught the Form 2’s (sophomores), and then she taught the same class for the Form 1’s (freshmen). The first time I took Sue’s class, I did my own six words statement:

I of course had to snap group photos of both of the classes with their six word statements.

photo: Sue with the Form 1 (freshmen) students holding up their "six words" statements.

photo: Form 2 (sophomores).

I am just about done with TheRough Guide to Kenya. This afternoon I started “They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky”, a book I’ve been intending to read for a while. It just happened to be in the Daraja library. No doubt left behind by a former volunteer. Perfect!

photo: that's the classroom quad behind me. sitting under a tree. beautiful day!

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