Saturday, February 09, 2008

For the second year, I am helping my friend Kayla coach the girls’ soccer team. She does most of the work, and I just stand around and cheer the team on. Last season we didn’t win a single game, and we didn’t even score until the very end of the season. We had our first game of the season on Thursday, and though we tied 1-1, I was thrilled that they had scored a goal in their first game!

This Saturday we played in our first tournament at a school called Brookhouse. If any of you have read the Harry Potter series or seen the movies, this school was designed after Hogwarts. Their main building is like a castle, drawbridge and all, and I felt like I should be walking around with a cape and a wand. I didn’t need any sort of magic, though, because the girls played so well. Out of 8 teams, they ended up getting second place. In the final game, the score was tied at 0 with 2 minutes left. The ref made a bad call, giving the other team a penalty kick. Our goalie blocked it, but then the ref let her shoot again since he hadn’t blown the whistle before she kicked it. The other team had kicked it too early, so for some reason, our team was penalized for it. So really, the other team won because of some crappy reffing. But the exciting thing is that our girls still got second place, worlds better than they would have done last season. Way to go West Nairobi School!

Awards ceremony - 2nd place!

See what I mean about Hogwarts?

Resting between matches

The girls resting before the semi-finals

Some of the boys came to cheer on the team.

My two favorite Australians - Anna and Kate Radkovic

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hello readers of my blog.

I understand if you have given up on me and lost all faith in this blog. I have callously neglected if as of late, and I apologize. The situation in the nation is not one where I should be staying out of touch, so let me fill you in on all the happenings in Nairobi.

Since the elections on December 27th, the nation of Kenya has been in an uproar. Politics in Kenya are heavily based on tribes. The candidate who won (Kibaki – part of the Kikuyu tribe) has been accused of rigging the votes, and the candidate who lost (Odinga– part of the Luo tribe) has encouraged the members of his political party to protest violently. Throughout the nation of Kenya, people are being killed, raped, and driven from their homes, all because of tribal lines. Some politicians are even paying young men to continue causing violence. Since many young Kenyan men are unemployed, this is a great opportunity for them to make some money.

School was delayed opening for about a week because of alleged rallies which didn’t really end up happening. We ended up opening school on January 21st. The first week went pretty well, though it was tiring knowing that at any moment, things might become unstable, and we might all be sent home. Things felt normal at school, but that didn’t reflect the situation in the rest of the nation.

Last week (January 28 – February 1) felt like an eternity. One of the MPs was assassinated, and we had to leave school early in order to get everyone home safely in case rallies started. Two days later another MP was shot, and I had to send my chemistry class home 5 minutes into the lab that I had spent 2 hours preparing. I think I cried. None of the students or teachers have been harmed, but the whole situation is harrowing. You never know when something will break out, and we will all be sent home. Some students have had to leave town for a while because of threats to their family or tribe. Please keep them in your prayers.

The situation in Kenya continues to be unstable. The U.S. ambassador says that American citizens have no reason to worry about being targeted in this violence, but it may be months before things go back to normal. The media makes it sound like Kenya is going through something similar to the Rwandan genocide. Please do not believe these reports. I live in a safe area, and most of the violence is happening either in the slums or in western Kenya. Please continue to pray for the people of Kenya. There are a lot of heartbreaking things going on lately, and I find myself feeling heavy and burdened.

I am still keeping busy at school with teaching science, math, and Bible. Just like last year, I am the assistant coach of the girls’ soccer team, and we have our first game on Thursday. I have also begun helping the 8th grade class put on fund raisers for their end-of-the year rafting trip. Please pray for me as I have plenty of things on my plate and live in a country with much bigger burdens than these.