I’m taking a break from watching the monkeys play on the trees outside our kitchen window to write a bit about our crazy kids. This week we watched Coco as a family. The Spanish, the Spanglish, the painted concrete walls and big metal gates, the music, the way even the grandmother was drawn, with her apron and her tough square body type, made us all feel nostalgic for Peru, nostalgic for speaking Spanish and for our friends and our life in South America. Sarah reported the next morning that she had lain in bed “feeling very sad about missing Peru” afterward. Annie said watching the movie “made her feel like home.” We bought the soundtrack and sang along loudly in Spanish. A part of our hearts are with Latinos, and it made me remember again how important that has been and will be in our kids’ development.
Speaking of part of kids’ development, I’m teaching A Tale of Two Cities now, and as we discuss corrupt governments, wealthy people who don’t care, poverty, oppression, and worrying about providing food for your malnourished children, I see that most of my students understand. They have seen it firsthand. My students are, for the most part, grateful on a level that first world students will not experience. In a similar vein, Sarah had her birthday party last weekend and we played games with water, had chocolate cake and popcorn, and played some music for musical chairs. Her presents included a candy bar and a used stuffed animal. Every party participant expressed many thanks and enthusiasm for the simplest pleasures.
Annie’s birthday party, delayed a week because of Dad’s call schedule, was Friday night. Her friends came over to have pizza and outside games, but the rainy season may have arrived on March 1st, and it was raining like crazy. Annie and I went to the school gate to pick up her friends. On the way down, we saw many fluttering insects—I have heard them called flying termites—think dull brown, overgrown dragonflies. One girl squealed, “Ooh! The termites are here!” and squatted down to pick one up. Soon all six were holding a wriggling bug by the wings, watching it squirm. I smiled to myself, thinking “Only a group of missionary girls would react this way.” Then, one of the girls ate one. O.K. There you go. Wow. We got home and turned on some music while I finished preparing the pizza toppings. Every girl was dancing and singing unashamedly to Toby Mac. The third culture kid experience combined with a Christian family culture makes for a pretty awesome group of kids. We love getting to spend time with this unique group.
Peter spent last Saturday making a sword all day long. He left the house in the morning and headed to the local duka (Swahili for store) to buy a long piece of steel. Then he went up to Mr. Manning’s house which is actually the 8th grade dorm to use his metal working tools. He spent the rest of the morning until lunch, cutting, sharpening, and refining his blade. Then after lunch he went back in the afternoon and continued to work on the hilt as well as welding on the guard. He has already spent quite a bit of time making throwing knives at Mr.Manning’s dorm. In the process he has learned well how to use several power tools, and he basically does most of the work unsupervised. Sometimes Mr. Manning will help with a more complicated project, such as fashioning the hilt. Peter said it is almost more fun to make the sword than it is to have it when it is done. This is one of the blessings of living in Kenya and especially near Rift Valley Academy. The kids have the freedom to pursue their interests, and they have men and women who want to help them. God is good to us with the community he has given us.
This past Saturday morning the Titchies (grade schoolers) had their water play day on the upper field of the RVA campus. It was a blast!
While reading through the Rift Valley Academy’s weekly announcements we had a smile when we came to the lost and found.
Lost ‘n’ Found
Found – Come and claim at main office if yours: an NIV English-Korean Study Bible in a very nice reddish brown leather case with the engraving of a tree on the front.
Found: Some amount of money at AC building on the stairs come to the Main Office and claim it.
Lost: A throwing star last thrown next to a skinny tree outside the right gym door. If found return to Peter Caire.
Found: A watch at the gym. Come to the Main Office and claim it.
You need to understand that Peter is crazy about throwing weapons. He has made several metal throwing stars and knives. He is getting pretty good! You can check out some of his “craftsmanship” at the Instagram page “weapons.diy“
At Rift Valley Academy there are special weekends when the crowds swell with parents of boarding students visiting their kids and rival schools invading to compete in sporting events. On these weekends we have the awesome “Senior Store”. Senior Store is awesome because it starts with donuts delivered to your house on Friday evening. The Seniors are selling the donuts to raise money for their senior trip. Then during the Saturday festivities the Seniors sell breakfast and lunch to earn more money. The campus is full of people watching basketball or soccer or rugby. Local women come and sell their handicrafts, and we all load up on future birthday presents for friends and family. It is not quite a fair, but it sort of feels like one. You see your friends, you shake hands and give hugs. You get to laugh, eat in the shade, and cheer on the home team. This happens about 3 times a term. I hope my kids know how sweet it is!