Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Have Never Gone to Class on a Wooden Floor Before

May 5, 2007

It was a sobering Easter. We were enjoying being together, and it began to dawn on us that it was the last Easter we would be with JT for many years. Watching the twins find their eggs put us back in the spirit of the day.

After Easter, we took a train to the coast for our last vacation together. The way it is supposed to work is that the train would leave at 7 in the evening and you would arrive at 9am. They provided bedding, and it would be a fun way to get down to Mombassa. The way it was supposed to work didn’t; the train broke down in the middle of the night and we didn’t get to Mombassa until 2pm.

What was great was that the car that was supposed to pick us up at 9 had broken down and was still there, so we managed to push start it and get to our hotel. It was a sweet time, with lots of walks on the beach and just enjoying being together.

It got a bit old on the way back, when the train broke down again and instead of arriving at 9am we arrived at 3pm. When I asked someone on the train about it, he said `It could be worse; it was last week.’

JT has made his final decision on a college. He is going to Wake Forest, which was always one of his top choices. They have the highest pass rate of CPA’s of any college in the country, my sister and her husband are only a few hours away, and they gave him a wonderfully generous aid package. He also made the varsity rugby team here at RVA, which was a huge thrill for him.

I’m proud of my oldest son, but in some ways he has been a huge disappointment. When I was a little heathen kid, the only prayer I ever remember praying was that God would make a Spider-Man movie. Usually, movies arrive in Kenya after the DVD has come out. But, in an effort to combat piracy, the Spider-Man 3 opened on Friday in Nairobi, just the same as the states.

And JT says to me: `Dad, I really think I should wait until I’m done with my Calc and French AP on Wednesday.’

Blowing off Spider-Man to STUDY? This HAS to come from Nancy’s side.

The sixth computer center is done and we have moved into a new area. This is the poorest school we work with. It is completely Masai, a tribe that still lives in mud and dung huts, and so the contrast between the center and the school is striking:

(The newest center in Namunja)

(The kitchen in Namunja)

The contrast to how they live is even more striking:

(A nearby home)

When I told one of the teachers what we were planning to do, he just started laughing and saying `Here? Here?’ And he just laughed again.

It is the furthest school because the roads are non-existent, and I blow a tire every time I go. It is the furthest place from any civilization, as I understand civilization, that I have ever been. It isn’t to say that I don’t respect the Masai and love their culture, but it is so different than anything I know.

At all the other schools, none of the children had seen a computer before, but they all knew what they were. At this school, many of the students had no clue what a computer was.

School starts up on May 8th, and our teacher tells me that the students come everyday to peer inside and look in wonder at what they will learn. One student told me `I have never gone to class on a wooden floor before.’ All their classrooms have dirt floors.

This school has tripled in size because of the food you have provided, and now they are going to learn computers.

Thank you for the computer center, and for the wooden floor.

Your pal
Steve Peifer
Rift Valley Academy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thanks for posting this!