Monday, November 30, 2009

Year Two, Term One

So this term I have really dropped the ball on blog updates. It's not that there is nothing going on; rather, it's been kind of a lot. However, my time has been spent a little differently. Last year, although I did a number of things, my time was generally speaking spent in class and doing school work. This term it was not.

I only took 12 hours this term: Systematic I, Homiletics, and Greek IV. Systematic and Homiletics were on Monday (from 8 - 5), and then Greek IV was Tues and Thur afternoons, 2 hours each day. That means I had no class Wed or Fri, and nothing every morning after Monday (except chapel). It was quite nice. I also had Swahili tutoring, 4 hours a week, which took a lot of my energy. I am getting a lot better but I still have a long ways to go. I moved from working in the IT office doing projects and support to working in the lab, which means I now work about 30 to 35 hours a month. I was also made a grace group leader (grace group is a small group of students, staff and faculty that meets Friday morning).

Student council work has also continued, but it has been significantly lighter this term than last year. Our council is only in office until February, so its only a few more weeks left. I am leaning against running again, but I am getting a lot of pressure to continue as the secretary. We'll see what happens.

Having transportation has made such a difference. I've been able to get out and visit people more often, and just going to the store is so much easier. I still need to develop my skills navigating in very heavy traffic, as I found out today. I went through Nairobi for the first time during the day (with a passenger), and it was rather challenging. But I have gotten so much more used to driving, and aside from really heavy traffic it's been a lot of fun.

I have also made several trips: to Mombasa, a village near Homa Bay (on the shore of Lake Victoria), and overnight trips closer to home. Last year I almost never left campus during term, so this has been really unusual. As far as papers, I only had one actual paper assigned this term, only six pages long. That is crazy. Greek IV was a really good class, and I learned (mostly) how to diagram sentences in Greek. I also found that my Greek is quite functional, which was a pleasant discovery.

The first few weeks of the term, I felt I wasn't making friends very well with the new students, but the last six weeks or so I have really come to appreciate them. Søren and I were able to find enough people to actually play games with us, for the first time ever (yeah Aaron and Anson)! I've reverted back to some of my Wheaton habits, like hanging out and having intense discussions until 1 or 2 am. Good times.

This past weekend I went on a retreat with Nairobi Chapel, and it was really good. I joined their small group that meets on campus this term, and we went through a discipleship book called Mizizi. It is probably the most comprehensive and intensive small group book I have seen. I didn't agree with everything, but overall I though it was quite good, and well suited to the Nairobi context. I think I'll finally consolidate my split loyalties and devote myself whole-heartedly to Chapel (instead of attending NPC Woodley but having most of my friends, connections, small group, and some ministry experiences at Nairobi Chapel). That would be good to resolve that, as its been an ongoing dilemma for me for a while now.

Tomorrow I am heading out on more travels. I'm traveling by bus through Uganda to Kigali, Rwanda (thats a 24 hour bus ride). I'll spend a few days there visiting friends and then stop by Uganda on the way back to visit some more people. I'm looking forward to it, and then I'll be on-campus (or around Nairobi) for the rest of the December break (with a possible trip to the coast as well). It will be sweet. Last year I was really excited to go back to America for Christmas, but this year I'm really happy to be here. It's a good feeling. Last year I wasn't a big fan of Nairobi, but it's been growing on me. When we were taking the bus back from Homa Bay a few weeks ago, as soon as I saw the lights of Nairobi I was really glad to be back. It felt like I was coming home.

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