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.:: The Daily Cowbell ::.

Friday, August 12, 2005

First day in Africa fairly calm

NAIROBI, KENYA - It was a pretty laid-back first day here at Maxwell for me. I bounced out of bed at about 8am, after staying up relatively late the night before. I figured I’d be ok, though, because I felt nice and awake, so I got in line for the shower after Elvin, my roommate. Elvin Ho is the IT guy here this year. He’s graduated (twice, with degrees in flying and multimedia), and he’s worked at some pretty high-profile multimedia. In fact, Mr. Thomas told me that he’d actually done graphics and video for the Super Bowl Halftime show. However, Hollywood is never all it’s cut out to be, so Elvin decided to step back and give some time to God. He’s a younger guy, but he’s considered “real” staff, not a student missionary. He’s a pretty cool guy, though.

While we were waiting for the shower to warm up (FACT: The biggest expense at the school is energy, so before you use the shower, you have to flip on the water heater and wait like an hour. Fun.), I decided to walk through the dorm. While I was there, I met the dean, Gary Ver Steeg. He’s a really nice guy, and he offered to give me the campus tour (while I was still in my PJs). I was awake and ready, so I eagerly took him up on it.

I was surprised how similar the dorm really looked to every other dorm I’ve been in. there are 25 rooms, and every guy gets a roommate. Girls’ dorm is the same size, so the academy tops out at 100 students (plus 1 village and 1 staff kid). Looking around the place, I was eerily reminded of Enterprise and our front lobby. The big difference is in the bathrooms, which aren’t as nice (yet) as the ones as home.

The tour continued on to the cafeteria, science building, and ad building. I got to meet Mr. Thomas’s wife, the registrar, and see a couple of classrooms. Also, I found out where the computer lab was, and my next priority was to get my email checked and blog updated. On our way back to the dorm, we swung past the church, a regular-looking church building, and the tour was over. I thanked Mr. Ver Steeg and ran inside the apartment to see if it was my shower time.

Anyway, at about 9, we headed over for the ad building, where we took part in our first staff meeting. Mr. Thomas introduced Valerie and me, and then the staff went on to introduce theirselves. I still don’t remember all the names and jobs of everyone, but I’m sure I’ll pick up on it sooner or later. We were handed school calendars (which I hope to upload soon) and went over a few small things, and the meeting was adjourned. It was back to unpacking and getting my humble abode set up.

My main issue is with the power outlets. In the states, we use 220v, but here, it’s 110v (I hope those aren’t switched!). It’s a completely different plug-in, which shouldn’t be a problem because I have a converter. Well, my converter (nicknamed “The Devil”) decides to die out on me about every 5 minutes, so it’s impossible for me to use the laptop plugged in and on the battery for more than 30 minutes! And my iPod and speakers really can’t be used for much more than 15 minutes before I have to unplug and switch outlets. To make matters worse, I left my power strip at home, although it probably would have only shortened how long I had before the Great Switcheroo. I should be allright, though, if I can get a 110v cord for the laptop (no problem, can get on my first town trip) and a transformer for my other outlets (if maintenance can get them to me).

At 12:30, I finally got to eat at my first potluck, a VERY welcomed meal. I hadn’t eaten too well since I’d left the states, so it was a super-appreciated meal. Afterwards, Valerie and I talked to Carol Hatrzell, the elementary school teacher, for probably close to an hour. She invited us over for supper, so we gladly accepted. Again, nice to help me feel welcomed and accepted into this new school family.

For the rest of the afternoon (or close to it), we hung out in the computer lab, sending out emails and updating blogs. Hopefully, we’ll get our connection in our room flowing first, but realistically, I should probably have power, first. Hmmm… anyway, that night we ate at the Hartzell’s, talked to them for a long time, looked at a bunch of pictures, and just hung out before bed. It was a nice, calm ending to a pretty cool day. Tommorow is Sabbath, and I can’t wait to have the day of rest that the Lord gave us.

Even though I haven’t been gone that long, I definitely miss my home and my friends and family. All of you are constantly in my prayers, and I’m sure I’m in yours. Keep reading the blog – I’ll post to it often (I hope), and take care. Love you all!



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