Week 6: October Monthly Update

Hello friends,

First off, I am humbled and happy to announce that with the help of many loved ones, I have raised the $10,000 needed for my year of service in Kenya. So, a great big thank you to all of you who donated for: flying me over here (and back), paying for my food, lodging, monthly stipend, and everything else for a year. You all have taught me a great deal about giving and I hope that through this blog I am able to show you some of what your donation is doing. Also, if you have not donated and would still like to then please click here (click the word “here” literally, it’s blue). Now onto blogging…

In the words of Tom Petty, “You don’t know how it feels to be me.” Example below, yes, they’re serious…”mind your head.”

I am moved into my placement at African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) and am really enjoying myself thus far. AEE serves in many different areas in many ways, but I will mainly be working with the Foxfires. The Foxfires are a group of high school graduates who are sent by their churches to live on the AEE compound for a year and go to different high schools everyday for counseling. They talk with the students about sex, drugs, self-esteem, time management, and a lot of other teen issues. I have already sat in on some very interesting discussions in my one-week. The name, Foxfires, comes from Judges 15: 4, which is part of the story of Samson, it says, “So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails…” Therefore, the Foxfires are setting youth ablaze for Christ. I will let you know more about what I’m doing at AEE as I learn more about what I’m doing at AEE. The Foxfires must have an out of country experience before they graduate (Nov. 26th) so I will be joining them on that in the next week or two. The original plan was to go to the Congo, but it looks like that may not work out so we are working on a back up plan.

I will also be teaching English and Music every Tuesday at a boarding school called ByGrace. Last week, I was invited to the board meeting for ByGrace and it was very interesting to learn all about everything that goes into running a boarding school. The most interesting part of the day for everyone was when my host mother told me that I was driving the bus from AEE to ByGrace which is about a 45 minute drive. It was unusual to drive on the left side of the road and also to shift with my left hand, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. There are a lot more potholes and unmarked speed bumps here so that added to the fun and meant that every now and then I would yell “Yeehaw!” or “Yippee!” which made everybody laugh. It was fun and educational for everyone.

My new culture adjustment is the subtle way that people communicate differently. My boss, William, will raise his eyebrows as I talk to him after each sentence which means “yes, I understand, go on.” A lot of the Foxfires use their lips to point to things rather than their finger, which still makes me giggle. And finally, they use a lot more grunts or noises when they are talking to one another. The grunt or noise is to let them know “I understand what you’re saying, go on.” So, I have been talking to someone and they will stop talking and look at me and then I will finally realize I haven’t grunted so I’ll grunt, “oh” and then they’ll continue talking. Good times.

I have created a video tour of my room and around where I live for your viewing pleasure. I had to shrink it so it would only take a few hours to upload instead of days so sorry for the poor quality.

Today is also my 25th birthday. Quarter century! There are 3 birthdays in our group in a 9 day span, so we went out Friday night and had a birthday dinner at a very nice sea food restaurant. I had more Lobster than any human should.

Then Saturday we had a tea party with cake. I have never been to a real tea party, just fake ones, so that was a first and very nice.

In Kenya they have a tradition of “washing” people on their birthdays. This is where they store up a bucket of grossness and then dump it on your head. Therefore, I have been in “stealth mode” all day today with my running shoes on. I will let you know what happens. It reminds me of my time at Austin College where the tradition is to throw people in the fountain on their birthday. On my 20th birthday I wore my swimming trunks all day with the arm floaties little kids wear just in case. Nothing happened. Then that following weekend a hoard of my best friends came and picked me up over their heads and carried me to the fountain and tossed me in. It was funnier because as they carried me I was reaching in my pockets and throwing my wallet, cell phone, and other things randomly as they carried me. Therefore, I expect the same might occur this time around. Wait until I am least expecting it. The Kenyans keep telling me that they are fast, but I respond, “you’ve never seen an Oklahoman run have you?” This either scares them or bewilders them so much that they stop bothering me.

Welp, until next week! Jesus loves you and I do too!



12 Responses to “Week 6: October Monthly Update”

  1. Jason October 13, 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    >Oh, the electric shower. Fond memories… Thanks for being so communicative via the Internets! And good luck escaping the grossness for the rest of the day.

  2. lhamrick October 14, 2008 at 1:52 am #

    >It’s so good to see that your doing well and all settled…loved the video’s! Let us know about the stinky water fiasco. love.

  3. Rachel October 14, 2008 at 2:08 am #

    >Hello friend! It’s been great keeping up with you. I loved the video. I remember seeing pictures of Stephen when he was “washed” on his birthday. He got away with just water…but they DID catch him…or maybe he allowed himself to be caught.Keep up the posting!Peace

  4. Josh R. October 14, 2008 at 3:25 am #

    >The most amazing part of your video was when you reached over the partition. That’s why I never use a bathroom stall next to you. On that note, happy birthday!

  5. Anonymous October 14, 2008 at 12:26 pm #

    >I love your blog. It’s the next best thing to being there!! Happy, Happy Birthday! I’m so sorry you have no saddle to ride!

  6. Anonymous October 14, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    >ooops! I left off my name.Janara

  7. Sudie Niesen October 15, 2008 at 9:56 am #

    >Robert! I’m enjoying your blog and am glad to hear things are going well. Happy belated birthday . . . hope you’re avoiding the bucket of grossness.

  8. Grober October 15, 2008 at 4:04 pm #

    >LOVED the tour!!! Good luck with the electric shower. 🙂 Love you!

  9. shyla October 16, 2008 at 3:50 am #

    >Yay Robert!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for calling us it was so fun to hear your voice, we’ll be calling your skype number more often. That is a hillarious picture and a great reminder that we need to send you some Reeses soon to make sure you get the sugar and penut butter you so badly need to rush the oxygen to that head of yours which is so far away from your heart.

  10. Eric October 16, 2008 at 4:12 am #

    >HA HA I was signed in as Shyla, she loves you too.

  11. Robert Thomas Quiring October 24, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    >Jason – word. Electric shower is entertaining. Makes the day less predictable.Co-counselor – settled I am. Washed I am not. Thankful I am.Rachel – good to hear from you. I am still not washed, but I am not out of the woods yet…Josh – Good work on getting me to cough on my own spit from laughter. You have a gift, so you’re going to be a Dr. That’s funny.Janara – Thank you for reading! However, I cannot thank you for reminding me of the glory that is Texas Roadhouse. Can I schedule an appointment with the Bennetts there now?Sudie – I miss you. I’ve been reading your blog and sounds like India is good. I want to visit…Grober – Thanks and thanks. How’s Austin?Eric – Yes, send Reeses now! Thanks for chuckling at my pic. I saw someone taller than me today – 3 in 7 weeks not bad.Love,RTQ

  12. Wendy November 21, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    >Fantastic tour. Your house does kind of look like a greenhouse though.

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