fits and starts.

six o clockish is such a nice time for a walk. the sun is doing its slanty thing and the whole campus washes over with wind and gold. right now it’s quiet here, the school breathing slow till the students arrive in two weeks, and we scrambling madly to prepare.


we’ve been at rva eleven days now, and we’re locating our groove between all the new staff meetings and tag-along drives to pick up laundry baskets and toothpaste from nairobi. yesterday morning the boys washed and hung three loads of laundry, then we walked a half mile to the snaking dirt road of kijabe town and bought vegetables and samosas.

bongo sign

the campus is teeming with ‘ohi’a trees and lilikoi and a ton of other plant life that makes me feel right at home. with the exception of eucalyptus, it’s hard for me to talk plants with anyone because they know the english or swahili names, and for the life of me i can’t think of what that should be. i’m all, you know, those short trees with the hairy red flowers, and they’re like, oh! you mean the bottle brush tree.

i do not understand their aversion to hawaiian names. 🙂

anyhow, meet our dorm:

bongo corner

bongo back

stairs to nowhere


we are the proud soon-to-be dorm parents of the twenty one freshman boys moving into bongo dorm. (when it’s not being a drum, a bongo is an antelope sort of creature with stripes and spiraled horns. a lot of the dorms here are named after kenyan animals.)


our apartment is the upstairs part, and the dorm is downstairs, comprised of four-man bedrooms, a lounge, a bathroom, and a smallish kitchen. it’s a lot of dark varnish and cinderblock–picture more camp and less dorm, and you’ll have the right idea. i’m really hoping i’ll get to paint a few walls and remake curtains before the boys arrive, just to make it all a bit sprucier and like home.

(our guys will also spend a good part of their free time in our apartment, we hope, though if our innate coolness is not enough of a draw, i’m not above bribing them with popcorn and chai.)


this week we have language courses every day, which is meant to jump-start us into swahili. when you think of us, please pray that God will loosen our tongues and wire our thinkers to have an affinity for language learning. once the school year starts we will have limited time to work on language, and we need every minute to stick.

the week after is three days of all-staff meetings, then the new students arrive, followed by the whole school. we’ll be in both dorm parent and teacher meetings, since todd is also teaching two periods of senior bible and i have a class of eighth grade art. (dear eighth graders: i apologize in advance for the pottery section, though hopefully you shall gain confidence by so brightly outshining your teacher.)


i have so, so much i want to tell you guys, but mostly i was walking the school grounds with lauren last night and i thought: just this. i wish i could just take a quiet walk with you all, one by one.

we miss you, and also we’re so glad for the chance to be here.

* * *

ps loved these words this morning:

we are the broken, You are the healer
Jesus, redeemer, mighty to save
You are the love song we’ll sing forever
bowing before You, blessing Your name

Author: nic

saved by grace.

16 thoughts

  1. oh, so glad you wrote this morning. helps put my change in perspective (took the older to college two days ago.) thanks for the tour. praying for you, art-teacher.


  2. beautiful, nic. i wish for a walk as well, but this peek around through pictures is just right. lovely dorm, and your classes sound great! praying for y’all and your students. most of all, thanks for sharing that last bit. those lyrics are fresh air. praise jesus.
    hugs to you!


  3. Missing you friend. Excited about what God is doing in your family and your grand adventure (which likely feels less grand then imagined right now). We will be praying for settling and growth and for everything there to feel like home. You have a bucket full of people here who love you! Use the dipper ANY time you need it. Praying!!!!


  4. Missing you but thankful for modern technology. Praying for you as you learn and adjust. Thank you for your words and pictures. Tell Todd and the kiddos hello.


  5. Thinking of you all and praying for you. I’m in awe of the sacrifice your kids are making with you. Tell them that some random woman who lives in Georgia (who is currently in a hotel room in Michigan – yay!) is inspired by their obedience to their Heavenly Father. So cool. 🙂


  6. I am impressed that the boys are washing and hanging laundry. There will come a day that their wives will be blown away by their eager and sweet willingness to use the washer and dryer.

    My pastor prayed for you in church, this morning, and truly I feel like I’m inhaling and exhaling prayers for you. I love how you make all of us feel as though you belong to us, and of course you do, as in Christ, we all belong to one another.

    Excited about the art class and all the rest. love you


  7. Oh Nic….the pics are beautiful! I can see you there. Yes..paint that Dorm and bring in some color. God bless you all and may you have the peace and joy of Christ in all the swirl of newness!! Love you.


  8. I shall dream a thousand dreams of you after seeing this place. This where you are. You probably know we served as cottage parents at a children’s home for five years. 8 teenage girls at a time, two little boys that our blood ran through. This is the advice I give: love them. all day. every day. do everything for them just the same as you would your own. popcorn for everyone, always. celebrate their day big. be nosy. ask lots of questions. they want you too, but they don’t know how to tell you. and they watch your every move. don’t get caught up on a language barrier. love speaks the loudest.

    love you so much friend. I am so excited about what’s to come!


  9. I so loved reading this and imagining where you are and how life is for you all! Sounds like things are falling into place! It looks beautiful there. We will be praying for your language training! Also, no matter how your pottery turns out, God is molding, shaping, and using you in marvelous ways to be in these children’s lives! I am sure you will do great with the class and the children will love:) I wish I could take a walk with you there and hear and see it all! Love you guys & keeping you in our prayers!


  10. so good to hear. the pictures and descriptions of your new home. i love the way you and your husband are already loving those students. a big hug from colorado.


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