Sunday, January 25, 2009

Welcome Week

The school year starts in January here, and the college opened this week. Last weekend the Welcome Week committee arrived on campus to prepare for the new students. I hosted a dinner for the 25 student committee members last Saturday night. It was another near disaster because, once again, the power was out for most of the afternoon as I was trying to prepare the meal. This time, however, the problem was only at our house. I took the rice over to Sheri Sears’s house for her to cook there, and David grilled the chicken outdoors, so we weren’t in too much trouble.

We did have to call in the electricians to fix the problem, though. The two guys arrived just before 6:00 and announced that they needed a ladder, and the ladder was missing from the maintenance department. David was busy cooking the chicken, so I loaded the electricians in our vehicle and we went on a ladder hunt. We traced it to the compound at Wasawange, about a mile from our house. There is no official road into the part of Wasawange where they thought the ladder was, so I carefully threaded the truck through the 4-foot tall grass on a foot path to get as close as I could. The electricians walked the rest of the way.

They came carrying a 20-foot ladder and we headed back to our house with the ladder sticking out the back of the pickup. It was now almost 6:30—the time the dinner was supposed to start—and the sky was turning black with storm clouds. I hurried around finishing up the meal as the electricians climbed the electric pole near the house. Most of the students had arrived when the storm hit. The thunder rolled, lightning flashed, and torrents of rain hit the veranda as we served the meal. The electricians managed to avoid the lightning, and before we finished eating, the power was back on.

Welcome Week turned out to be a success. The committee members formed teams and met the new students as they arrived to show them to their dorms. The teams worked on campus projects with the new students and offered informal orientation to campus life. We had special evening activities, including devotionals, Bible study, two movie nights, and a showcase for singing groups. One of the highlights for the students was the prize giveaway. I had collected an assortment of T-shirts, ball caps, stationery, chewing gum, and other assorted goodies to give away. We held drawings every morning after chapel and every evening at the group activity to give the items away. The students loved this and begged for more!

The photo above shows the Welcome Week Committee at their dinner last week. They loved having blue caps so that they could be easily identified as committee members.

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