Nov 29, 2010

In Which the Author Reminesces of 2nd Grade and Divulges His Christmas Plans

It's hard to believe that this term is almost over. Tomorrow I give four exams to my students, of my nine total exams. Next week Wednesday is the last day of school for this term.

As some of you know, I'm going to Senegal and the Gambia over Christmas break this year. And guess what? I've still not purchased my ticket. And I'm leaving in a week and a half. Ga-hah *picture my chest caving in with the frustration of not yet having a ticket for something so close* That's a bit much for me.

I'll be visiting a friend there that I've known since second grade - Steve Turnbull. He's one of those friends where I remember exactly where I was when I met him and I remember knowing then that we would be friends. We played in his thawing front yard while our parents chatted and got to know each other. We splashed in the puddles and I'm sure we played some ridiculous game that required copious amounts of imagination.

This Christmas, my first away from my family (or Minnesota, for that matter), will be hard. But having an old friend to splash in puddles in Africa will help make up for it. My roommate from college and coworker this year, Kyle Kemp, will also be joining us. He doesn't know Steve (or French), but I'm sure we'll have a great time together.

"Warren, what are some things you're looking forward to most about your trip?" you may ask. Good question. I'm most looking forward to frolicking among the giant dunes of a tiny desert, to kayaking among the mangroves along the coast, to visiting Dakar (the "Paris" of Africa), to visiting a "culture forest" in the Gambia (not much idea what exactly this is, but it is listed in a few places as one of the best locations to visit in West Africa, so it should be fun), to watching giraffes and rhinos and monkeys in a game park, to having Christmas down in Africa (Straight No Chaser, anyone? anyone?), to lounging around on the beach.

Only a week and a half of mega-stress left. . .

Nov 24, 2010

Of Thanksgiving, Unthanksgiving, and Thanksgiving Again

Before my principal left for the United States, she took my computer to get it fixed and promised to pick up a package from my parents including some things that I forgot, or found that needed once here. She got the computer fixed at the Mac store(the rubber bottom had begun peeling away from the metal. Very frustrating) and brought back an array of delicious and wonderful treats from my family (including markers, vanilla, several types of candy, several flavors of hot cocoa, some apple cider packets, a card, and a very scenty bunch of balsam. My family knows me well.) So one of the things I'm thankful for is that a) my family loves me a lot, and b) my principal was willing to help me out with these things.

Before my principal left for the United States, she told everyone that we would be having a big Thanksgiving celebration where she brought back a turkey from the US, then we would have a traditional Thanksgiving celebration on Thanksgiving Day with the South Africans and a few other Americans. She promised that it would be one of the better Thanksgivings here. We found out today that she not only did not bring back a turkey (which isn't the worst thing in the world), but she also denied ever promising to have Thanksgiving together. She and the South Africans are going to the beach in Lagos for the weekend. Tomorrow is Sports Daze (read "hellishly hot day when students are forced to give up studying for their exams which are next week and instead waste their time and energy on a track and field day which claims to be from 9-12, but we all know will be from 10-5 because they've scheduled so many freaking events) slash Thanksgiving, but we'll not be celebrating. One of the things I am not thankful for is my principal's constant poor communication skills.

However, even though we just found out that Thanksgiving has been canceled, we have a new plan. Sunday (ok, not Thanksgiving, but close enough when we have "school" on the day of) Kyle, Deborah and I will be getting together with Leah (the other American), her Nigerian husband Newton, and their 3 month old daughter, Alafia. We will be doing a Thanksgiving complete with cranberries, mashed potatoes, turkey, pumpkin pie, homemade rolls, sweet potatoes, stuffing, hot apple cider, mulled wine, and other fall vegetables. It might even be better than the promised best Thanksgiving in Nigeria. So one of the things I am thankful for is that we are still able to have Thanksgiving even though it's a few days late.

Nov 8, 2010

Of Blasts (or small rumblings) from the (not-so-distant) Past

I was recently (read just a minute ago) browsing Facebook during a correcting break, and I found that I really am horrible at keeping tabs on people who have been close to me.

My freshman year of college was incredible, and I made some fantastic friends. Unfortunately, I have also lost some fantastic friends. One such friend (whom I was insanely close with) is now living in New York with a great photography business and some amazing pictures. And yet I can find the same type of thing looking back just two or three years. One of my roommates for three years is soon going to be a father, a friend from choir is now living in China and doing amazing things for God there. It's funny how fast life can move and you don't even realize it.

I hate (and love a little bit) to think what will happen thirty years from now. Life will be very different, and I'm sure I'll have a longer list of people with whom I wish I did a better job of staying in touch. I guess that's life, though.