October 26, 2006
This update went out via email to some of you blog-readers, along with a visual aid . . .
We returned from the last Cross Country race in the pouring rain, each girl emerging soaked to the bone and quite bespeckled with mud splatters and smears. But what I am most proud about is the fact that not only did all finish, but all finished with at least a minute of a faster time than her best race so far. I teased them as they moaned about the rain pre-race, saying that the rain would make them run faster. One new recruit, still naive about my occasional propensity for sarcasm, looked at me curiously and asked “Why’s that, Coach?” So I did not hesitate, post-race, to grin at her and say, “See? I told you rain makes you run faster!”
October 18, 2006
So today I met with the headmaster, to tell him about the strange new opportunity on my horizon. I trembled with fear of the unknown as I broached the subject, knowing that I could not go through with this unless he not only said it was ok to leave, but that I could see that he really meant that it was ok.
As I began to explain the background and current situation he stopped and got up to shut the door [his office door is usually left open]. He got tears in his eyes, and then proceeded to tell me several instances lately in which he had been especially thankful for my work there. He said that I would be an asset as long as I chose to stay at the school. And then he spoke of how clearly God speaks to us through our lives at times . . . and he told me that I had his blessing if I went ahead with this plan.
I guess that pretty much clenched it for me: I spent much of the day on the verge of happy, decided tears: sad at the prospect of leaving but increasingly confident that I must follow this “unknown” path before me.
Incidentally, I also spoke today with the man who trained me in my first library job. He was preparing for a 2-year mission abroad, and I was blessed to benefit from his tutelage before he left . . . And now he and his wife are back in the U.S. trying to figure out where to devote their work energies. For this semester he is teaching 2 classes at the school . . . and he said he would seriously consider taking over the library if I were to do this. I would end up [sheepishly] training him in the ways of my library, if so . . . Strange to realize that this would bring us full circle, in a sense–in a bizarre, God’s-sense-of-humor sort of way :-)
October 17, 2006
Africa has been pursuing me for as long as I can remember, but with a bit greater intensity for the past several years. I have not known if it is processing, writing, analyzing that is required or if it is a nudging towards something more active in nature. I have wondered if missions is in store, with a background that should presumably leave me prepared for it. But I always dismiss it as impractical for now– But then again, I am wondering, perhaps my single, as-of-yet un-settled status makes it time to think about it after all. After spending time in France, China, Peru, Jamaica, Mexico, and other countries, my past several years of work as a teacher, writer, and school librarian have left me content and yet with a nudging in my heart towards overseas work that never quite leaves. I used to push it aside thinking that it would be more suited to once I was married. Now, however, in my late 20’s, I am realizing that it is a cop-out to push God’s voice to the background out of some sort of a fear of living an independently fruitful life . . .
So I wrote a few weeks ago. And tonight I am asking myself what I have gotten myself into . . . So what do I do when a dream is within reach and I, only I, can answer the question of whether or not I should take hold of that dream? Africa has been pursuing me . . . and this past week it caught up with me. Do I leave everything in my life at the moment in order to fill an immediate need for a teacher in Zambia? Because the need is there does it mean that I am the one who is meant to fill it? Is it right to change current commitments in order to answer an apparently more pressing need? So many questions . . . and so little time left now to answer them . . .
October 5, 2006
According to a story on NPR, October 5 is the most common birthday in the world. Strange to me, as I do not know that many people with this birthday. So when the most common day of birth combines with the least common personality type [according to Myers Briggs], you get . . . ?? ;-)
October 2, 2006
Tragedy has struck in the hills. But after extensive investigation city officials have concluded that the victim died of “natural causes and was not the victim of a dog or coyote attack as originally feared.” All the same, protective measures are now being taken to prevent harm being done to the others . . . guard donkeys, it seems, are the solutions. These are no ordinary donkeys; these ones “know how to deal with dogs or coyotes with a strong kick” So the newspaper reported this week. We mourn the loss of one of our appetite-endowed goats. But we have emerged wiser and more prepared for potential attacks in the future . . . and there will be a replacement goat, our goat farmer assures us, so that we can continue fully-forced in the battle against kudzu.