Monday, September 30, 2013

Eh... I don't know.


            I was dropped off this morning by the rest of the group. I was glad to spend some great, quality time with them. Linda, Kathy, Kris, and Tracey are really cool people, each with their own special thing about them. It was a great way to start of my time here.
            The principal showed me around the school grounds. There are only 42 students here at Blesco Boys HS, equivalent to 9-11th grade. He asked me what I wanted to teach, and all I was thinking about was how I didn’t want to be in charge of anything of that nature. He asked about biology, computers, and I was like, I guess I could teach that. Then I was looking through the Form 3 (11th grade) computer book, and it was talking about binary and junk. Uhhhh yeah… I didn’t quite get that far in computers. I got to the point of how to find good Youtube videos. And then I looked through the biology book, and that last time I saw the word “organelle” was 10th grade. Or did I take biology in college? I forget. Anyhow, all I was thinking was, “What am I doing here?” and that I don’t like this feeling in my stomach of not belonging somewhere.  Uggh. But I kept on thinking, God has me, God has me. So I’m just rolling with the punches. I’m gonna go to town on Monday and talk to Kamotho about helping him and Harun Waititu, partially cuz I don’t want to teach and come up with tests and all that, but mostly cuz I want to be with them and what they’re doing. Scapegoat?...perhaps. I was talking to the teachers (there are about seven of them) most of them aren’t done with college yet. One is 19 yrs old and the other is 20 yrs old. They don’t even want to be teachers. It’s kinda just a job for them I guess. The 19 yr old is studying biology at a university and is teaching bio, business, and something else here at the school. (Sidenote: I am currently listening to The Moldau by Bedrich Smetana. Very nice and soothing).  The start time for universities (different from college) is really weird. I asked one of the teachers when he’s going back to school, and he said he wasn’t sure. He has to wait for it to be announced and he’d find out from the radio or tv. Whaaaat?!? Yeah, I don’t know. He seems like a nice, smart guy. He’s teaching physics and math, and is studying to be a mechanical engineer. I’m a bit befuddled.
            Anyways, got to talk with the guys a bit here. I’m really looking forward to just being around and getting to know them. They seem like some cool cats.
            Looks like it’s gonna be some great terrain for running, nice big hill, flat stuff. Hopefully I’ll be able to go out in a couple days. They’re schedule is absolutely jam packed from 4:30 wake up time till they go to bed at 10pm. There is pretty much no free time. Honestly, it’s really bad in my opinion. I asked them real quick about it, and they said it’s too much. They get done with school at 4:50, then have some sort of mandatory thing, tonight was Christian Union. Other days are games or something else. I’ll be finding out more. Then at 5:45-6:30 is dinner. 6:30-9pm is “preps” where they have to study on their own in the classroom. 9-10pm is discussion groups (whatever that is) then bed at 10. No time for absolutely anything for creativity or relaxation. Did I mention that they have, depending on day and grade, 8-11 subjects? Mmhmmm. All this structure is not who I am. I like to run and workout at random times during the day, usually in the afternoon. Mr Maina, the principal, said that mornings (remember they start at butt crack dawn) are best for that. I despise working out in the morning. So, I think I might have to be a bit stubborn and potentially step on some Kenyan toes to make sure I don’t go insane and keep from sleepwalking throughout the day.
            The area around here is absolutely beautiful! The backside is against a hill/cliff with acacia trees and other forest looking stuff. And out in front is so much space reaching out into the Rift Valley. Fields of corn, patches of acacia trees, and mountains way out in the distance is my view from my balcony. So amazing. The house I’m in is pretty stinking big and echoes, like, a lot. Good thing I’m here all by myself (potentially creepy/scary). It’s right next to the school and the sleeping area for the boys inside the compound. Should be an interesting next 10 weeks. God is good.
            Can I just say how awesome my mom is. I’m so thankful for her and sacrificing so much for me, and the rest of us. I don’t make that known to her enough. Love her.


            Sat in on a couple classes, business and geography for the Form 1 (9th grade) students. They were engaged for the most part and many raised their hands to answer or ask questions.
            Thunder clouds rolled in about 2:30, blasted the sky for a while, then the rain started coming down hard about 7 minutes after that started. The rain lasted about 40 minutes then stopped. Looking at the sky and the view is absolutely amazing. It’s a good reminder of who God is.
            Played soccer with a bunch of them. No broken bones! The place is kinda secluded. There are people around out near the road. They’re usually doing something in the cornfield. Most of them are elderly, hunched over working their hands into calluses. The wrinkles on their faces show the work they have done for decades with little payback. Farming is a hard life. Thank God for the rain. I am grateful.


            Went for my first run. Woowee! Combination of not running and being at altitude certainly made that 27 min feel like a 6 mile tempo run.
            Picked weeds out in the soon to be soccer field with everybody. We pulled the crab grass in part of the school and planted in that field. We’ll see how it look in about a year. So far my time hear has not been…efficient. I’m trying to find my place, trying to make my floundering not look so noticeable. What does that look like? I have no idea. The time I’ve spent with the boys have been good, but it has been little.


            What is the purpose to living? Is it to be productive and change the world and make a difference? If it is, I’m failing miserably. I could be doing way more stuff at home, making money, coaching, Young Life, going about my regular home business. But I don’t think that is THE purpose. What if the purpose of my life, your life, is to be refined so meticulously that you can be used by God without even taking a second notice? What if THE purpose for my/your life is to know God, have a friendship with him, and have him be your master? If that is the case, then I’m not failing. Am I missing the mark at times? Yup. But for me being here, I need to constantly remind myself that’s it’s not about me and my comfort. So here is my prayer this morning, that God will be my peace, comfort, guide and master. Keep my eyes open to opportunities, and that I will have the courage to take them.
            I’ll keep my workout stuff to myself, but I found a nice sized rock to get me back on track.
            The weather is wacky. It starts nice out, then gets hot, then pours down rain, then stops then gets chilly. I kinda like it.
            I wonder if half the people who go to my church in Fremont would still go to church if they had to walk a mile around mud puddles getting their shoes dirty on the dirt roads, sit in not so comfortable pews in the heat, have no special sound system in a big room with nothing very inviting about it. How many American “Christians” go to church because of the entertainment and comfort level? How many go to church because they want to eat the only food that will truly satisfy the soul and worship God because he saved their life? Church service here was far from great. It was all in Swahili, so I can’t comment about the message, but the hymns and children singing and dancing would have been fantastic. Except they had a terrible keyboard with beats going and piano playing off beat in a horrible screeching. Sometimes simple is so much better. I couldn’t help but laugh when about 30 out of the 42 boys were sleeping, or at least had their eyes closed for the majority of the message. Sometimes shorter is better, especially when these guys are getting an average of 6 hrs of sleep and spend the majority of their days sitting at a desk absorbing information. In the words of Jim Rayburn, “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the Gospel.” 
            My prayer from earlier today was answered. I kinda feel like God is telling me to just be the vessel he made me to be, and let him do the filling up. And that’s kinda how it went today. We all ended up sitting in their room that was filled with bunk beds. High school boys/men are high school boys/men no matter where you go in the world. Girls became the topic of conversation. So funny. I’ll leave it at that. God is good.
            I’m reading a book by Tim Keller called The Reason For God. If you’re the type to question whether Christianity is legit or want to dig deeper into what this Jesus is all about, check it out.

            Still not quite sure what I’m doing here. Went to town and met with Kamotho and Harun. They have a bit for me to do. Looks like I’ll be going to town M, W, F. And I got a internet modem. So here I am sitting in my room on the world wide web. Strangely comforting. I hope the days to come will be better than today. 


Kathy Ellis said...

Thanks for being so transparent, Ben!

philip vose said...

dooooood Beeeen!!! mom informed me that i missed your phone call 3x's :-( i was so stink'n bummed it wasn't even funny. believe it or not i think i was vacuuming the house when you called and i didn't have my phone on me.

miss you a lot though. it's quite comforting to hear more your thoughts, joys, doings, and struggles. and you bring up some really interesting points as usual. makes me want to draw them a lot. keep doing your thing even though i know it's a bit unnerving and kinda sickening to be unsure about your use there. you are Ben freak'n Vose with a lot to offer even in the most subtle and unnoticeable ways. Kathy Ellis is right..thanks for being so transparent.

Cats and fish are good, but your fern isn't getting any healthier looking :-/