It's great to be back in Malawi. Though we had a great time at home in California this summer, it's good to be back at the work here that God has for us. A couple nights ago, Becca asked me "We've been back two weeks now, but doesn't it seem longer?" I had to agree. It seems like we've been back in Malawi for much longer than 17 days. I think part of the reason is that our first week and a half of work was incredibly intense. We jumped into work at school the morning after we arrived and didn't raelly stop for a break until Sunday for a brief respite. The few days before school and the first week are always quite busy, but this year seemed to be exceptional. We've now settled into a bit of normalcy, for which we are very grateful.
It's been a very good start to school with our upper school staff team. We've got a few new teachers, Jen Jackson for science, Jeff White for history, Mike Ammentorp for language arts and Joy Mwanza for French. We have returners too, Katie Dinwiddie for math, Titus Lloyd for computers, and Mwizaso Khonje for Bible. I'm teaching language arts for ninth grade again and it's a really fun group of kids. Right now we're reading Bruchko by a missionary named Bruce Olson who served and lived with the Motline Indians in South America. I tell my students that this guy was a little bit crazy for God. He endured things that make me cringe including disease, capture, and lots of lonely days/nights in the jungle. God blessed his faithfulness and perseverence, and brought many of the Motilone people to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
We have a new headmaster, Brian Carlisle. He's teaching a world history class to the high school kids as well as Bible for my Northstar group doing their work online with teachers in the USA. I've really enjoyed him thus far and appreciate his experience and wisdom. He has his Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Covenant College in Georgia. He has a deep understanding of a Christian philosophy of education and it's been nice to talk about it as well as think about how we can integrate Christ into the middle of everything we do as a school. He'll be around a few years so we look forward to his continued leadership and mission-minded approach.
We've been hanging out a lot with Jeff and Carson White, a new couple from Texas. Jeff is teaching at the academy and college, while Carson is working at the clinic as a nurse. Jeff and I have been working out together the past couple of week and we've already had three rousing games of "Settlers of Catan" in the past week. We've got them hooked. Jeff's got a pretty cool Texan accent and even wears cowboy boots to school. He's a fellow college soccer player so I definitely like him. Becca really enjoys talking with Carson, their most recent time being at a staff-student volleyball game where Nacho decided to take a wee on the gym floor! Thankfully I was wearing two shirts, the one underneath doubling as a rag. Gotta' do what you gotta' do.
It is great to be back with Nacho too. He's as loving and friendly as ever and we're glad that he stayed well over the summer. Thanks to the Trumbles taking care of him!