It's been a very busy and hectic week! Our house has been in a constant state of flux and construction. We have also had a lot of meetings, people coming over to help, and many long drives back and forth to town. Somehow in the midst of it all, I still was able to get a lot of work done for my upcoming classes.
But before I show you pictures of all of what has been going on this last week, let me give you a teaching update. I had meetings with staff here at the school and what I will be teaching is slightly different than what I told you before. Part of being a missionary is being flexible! But the staff were flexible with me as well. Overall, I am very happy with what we decided on together.
I will start teaching on August 8th, teaching modular classes of students, instead of September like I had planned. These are students who come just a few weeks at a time several times a year because their work schedules do not allow them to come on the regular terms. I will teach two classes I was already going to be teaching in September: Missions and Evangelism and Church History 1. But the class I was going to work hard to prepare for during August was Greek and now I don't have to as we've canceled it. Perhaps I can teach Greek next year after I've had more time to prepare. So that frees me up to begin teaching early in August. In September, when the regular semester starts, I will have Missions and Evangelism, Church History 1, and Systematic Theology 1. In the 2nd semester, I will have Church History 2, Apologetics, Homoletics, and Theology of Development. We agreed to switch me to Theology of Development instead of the African Philosophy class, which is good for now because I am much more prepared to teach the Development class. I can always add more classes in later years. I am happy about the changes, and am so grateful for your prayers as I start teaching real soon.
Some activities this past week have included laundry (we do it together by the way):
Our clothesline that is not yet fully finished. The men working on building our fence helped us put the posts up.
Our house continues to get more settled:
Sara is right now in the yard digging up the grass for where her garden will be. She is really excited to grow her own food. This upcoming week she will have more meetings with Anglican Development staff, World Renew staff, Berea Farm staff, and Berea College staff, to discuss in more detail the work she can do. She will not be bored. I imagine she will have to get used to saying "no" often in order to not get spread too thin! In later posts she can tell you more about her work. Also, in later posts we will give you more pictures of the college campus as well as pictures of people we work with.
Here is what our house looked like last week:
But then our yard became a construction zone with men from the college and farm helping to build our garage and a fence around the yard. They were very friendly and sacrificial in their work, asking only a small amount of payment for their labor.
Our new garage:
Our new fence (not for security, but to keep animals inside). When it was complete yesterday Caleb was finally able to go free without being on a chain constantly. I have never seen such a happy dog, literally leaping for joy and running all over in circles.
The gate for the vehicle:
This week we have also enjoyed seeing chameleons in our yard again. I'm surprised to see them so often in such a cold place. The one we saw most recently fell (or jumped) out of a tree from like 20 feet high and landed right next to us and started walking across the ground. We also saw this slug, which seriously, before it got scared, was stretched out to a foot long.
We also have met some missionaries around town, and have enjoyed getting to know the Berea College Staff, some Anglican pastors, and Anglican development workers.
We finally were able to get internet set up at our house, and it's not bad. I initially despaired a bit that we wouldn't even be able to find an internet connection that would allow us to do email. We are in the hills, in a very rural area, and basically in a dead zone for internet. Even with our mobile phones, we barely get any signal inside our house. But we found an internet solution through a company in town, and now we are set to go. It was hard getting it installed with a lot of equipment delays and then when they were trying to get it set up the power went out. We had to use the college's generator to get the install finished.
Apparently they rarely have any issues with power and water here at the college, which is vastly different from our situation in Soroti, Uganda. But this week, the water pump broke for the college but it was fixed before things got too drastic, and the power has been going in and out regularly due to some issue that needs to be fixed. All of it, plus the stress of getting settled in, has tested our patience! But I'm happy to report that we are doing fine and I think we passed the test as we stayed calm, prayed through it, and just did what we could each day.
Here are some photos of where we walk/jog. Note my sweater. It's apparently the warmest part of the year right now, and is below 60 in the nights and mornings. It must be about 50 at night because it is 60 in our house even in the morning. This is a coffee field in the photo.
Coffee up close:
Berea Farm in the background (distinct business, separate from Berea Theological College):
Berea Theological College hidden in the trees on the left in the middle of the photo:
Path at the college next to the Dining Hall and some staff homes:
View from 2 feet outside our yard's fence of the college campus:
Other random photos from driving around. Like this guy's hat?
For some reason on our road, there are just a ton of donkeys. Some are wandering around (we saw a dead one that had been hit by a truck). But most are in these donkey carts used primarily for hauling water. I wish we had space at our house for me to have a donkey.