Friday, December 16, 2005

December 16

It’s been almost two weeks since I last wrote. A team from my church in Iowa had been here until today, and my time had been spent with them. They have since left, so I’m spending the afternoon at an Internet café in Nairobi, trying to catch up on work and e-mail.

I’m flying home (to South Africa) tomorrow afternoon, but I know that much of my time in South Africa will be spent doing work. At least, I’ll be in a very nice environment—with my family—while working. Things I’m looking forward to most:

  • hot showers
  • my mom’s cooking
  • baking cookies with my nieces
  • possibly scuba diving (My parents live at the Indian Ocean, but where they live, the water is very cold. I got my scuba certification in their town, and on my first deep-sea dive, there were penguins bobbing in the water alongside the boat…)

What I’ll be working on while at home:

  • writing the December newsletter for the orphanage
  • designing templates for all the other newsletters
  • preparing to teach a course on Academic Writing in Ethiopia in January

Ethiopia? Teaching?
This is an opportunity that was presented to me when I passed through California in November. Azusa Pacific University (APU) offers a degree in Organizational Leadership (the program I graduated from), but the same program is offered overseas as a program called Operation Impact (OI). OI was originally intended for missionaries and expats who desired to continue their studies but due to living overseas, weren’t always able to do so. A few years ago, APU started offering the OI program in Ethiopia, and it has been VERY popular with government officials in that country.

I was asked to teach one course in Nazret (Nazareth), Ethiopia, in January. (That’s close to Addis Ababa.) The course I’ll be teaching is called Academic Writing, and is offered to help with all the other coursework students will be doing. The course is just one week long, so it’ll be quite an intense week. I’ll be teaching for three consecutive weeks, starting on January 9th until the 27th. Empowering Lives has a longstanding relationship with APU, so the leaders here were happy for us to be able to give back to APU by letting me teach for those three weeks.

Other Updates

I had written long updates on the team blog about what the team did while here. I was part of the team's activities, doing mostly VBS (vacation Bible school) and assisting in any other ways that I could. Please do read the updates.

As for the progress on my home: I am not sure how much has been done this past week while I was gone. They were supposed to lay the foundation and start with the actual construction. I am told that the work will be done sometime in January. I do not want to rush the process since I do not want the contractors (referred to here as fundi) to paint the place before the cement is fully dry.

As soon as I am back from South Africa, we'll be getting satellite Internet access at our center. That is a HUGE blessing, since right now, we still have to make the trek to town to access any e-mail. (That's anywhere from half an hour to 45 minutes' drive during the dry season, and up to two hours during the rainy season!) As you can imagine, just having to go and send a simple message ends up being a very long excursion. I am very thankful that we'll be moving to satellite Internet access, which will make our jobs much easier.

That's all for now. Please do e-mail me when you have time.



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