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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Africa Based Orientation

As I write, we are in Machakos, Kenya at ABO.  ABO is held at Scott Christian University (formerly Scott Theological College).  Machakos is about an hour or so SE of Nairobi.  It’s held at this location because its both safe & rural – a good introduction to Africa.  It doesn’t have all of the conveniences a city like Nairobi offers, but it also isn’t so far in the bush that it takes days to find civilization!
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We are staying on the campus of the school in dorm rooms.  At first we thought that all five of us would be sharing one room, but as it turns out (and much to our delight) they gave us two rooms! So we’re sleeping the kids in one room and us in the other.  Everyone is sleeping great!  We’ve had no major sleep issues to report.  Praise the Lord :)
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This is what the dorm rooms look like…please note this is not what OUR dorm rooms currently look like – ours are much messier!  Below is our hallway, filled with young families.  You can imagine what bedtime sounds like; crazy!  For some reason they put all the families with older kids, couples without kids, and single folks in a completely different wing…can’t figure out why they would do that… ;)
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We are in class from 8:30am-12:30pm and again from 2pm-5:30pm with our three meals at 7:30am, 12:30pm, and 6:30pm.  The children are cared for while we are in class (again, Praise the Lord!).  Nate & Ethan have their own children’s class, where they are learning all about Africa – cultural differences & healthy living.  They’ve been busy doing crafts too! We are so thankful for a handful of energetic children’s workers, as there are about 16 or so kids in that 3yrs –10yrs age group.  There are also 5 baby girls, including Evelyn, who are being cared for in a less structured nursery-type setting.  It just so happens that four of the five are all around the same age as Evie and all blonde and all very cute – there have already been a few mix-ups with identification…but don’t worry, no harm done.  In addition to those childcare classes, the youth, ages 11-16, have a class run by a couple from RVA.  That being said, we are all kept very busy here at ABO. 
A few unique challenges include the electricity around here. Its not uncommon for the power to go out and stay out for 20 minutes… or for 4 hours. When it will go out (or come back on for that matter) seems completely unpredictable.  We’re slowly learning to carry a head lamp with us so we can be better prepared.  Likewise, the internet only works in certain parts of the campus and sometimes not at all.  Most of these blog posts are being written offline and then posted when we happen to be in the same place as the internet connection! 
As our crew all gets acclimated to the diet, water, and elevation (about 5000 feet above sea level here) of Africa, health has been another challenge.  Ethan and Nate have already gone through their first bought with sickness.  Ethan had a sore tummy for a day or so and Nate had a mild fever for two nights.  Courtney is just now fighting off something that her gastro-intestinal system is not a big fan of (we’ll spare you the details), while Dan and Evie have avoided all issues so far.  Several other members of the group have experienced similar things as our bodies continually ask, “Where am I and what is this stuff you’re putting into me?!?!”
Enough talk, here’s a few more pictures :)
DSCN4473Here’s a group of us in front of the dorm we’re staying in, getting ready for a hike on Saturday.  Only half of the building is shown, but you can see how nice it is.
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The old-school see-saw is a BIG hit with all the kids.
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Lots of friends to play with:  Anika, Ethan, and Josiah
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Tony, Nate, and Mark
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Swings too – you can see the water supply tower in the background.  And yes, that is corn.  Lots of houses are actually on the campus and many of them have gardens with corn that is pretty much ready for harvest.
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Don’t forget the goats.  Ethan and Nate enjoy simply walking outside and feeding many of the goats that are randomly tied up around the area. 
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More to come – thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. I love this glimpse of what's to come. Pack head lamp. Check. :) Been thinking of you and praying for you tons!! Great job keeping up with updates and pics on your blog. Keep it coming! :)

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