When the rains finally came last week, the children danced, whooping and leaping and welcoming the end of the dry season. Already the grass is green and growing, and Moses, who tends my garden, is looking for his slasher. The graceful white egrets have returned. They are playing in my yard and nesting in the tree by the dam. And the frogs serenade us nightly.
Now, instead of dust, we have mud. Our houses will be sprayed against mosquitoes and the ants, I am glad to say, seem to have gone underground. The termites have swarmed and disappeared.
Our MEF social work students are completing their research projects and preparing for final exams. The lecturers are busy grading papers, composing examinations, and calculating grades. It is near the end of the semester everywhere here in Zambia. During the church service, all the 7th and 9th grade pupils, nearly a hundred of them, were called forward to be prayed for as they entered their national exam period. Zambian schools are modeled on the British system. Students must pass these exams to go on for secondary education. So it is a time of intense preparation all around.
It is also a time of transition on campus. Some of the Pan African students who have been in the Peace Building and Conflict Transformation Program are graduating December 3, and we will really miss them. Our Chaplain's term of service is over in December, and he is debating whether to renew after returning to the United Kingdom to spend some time home with family. The Interim Director of Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation, William Temu, will arrive in December from Tanzania and will stay for a year. All these changes leave us with some unsettled feelings as we celebrate, bid goodbye, and welcome the new.
About now, back home I would be starting to plan our extended family's big Thanksgiving dinner. That is something I will miss here. I wish all of you a
joyful holiday. Eat some pumpkin pie for me--and don't forget the whipped cream!