On Monday, I travelled to an animal orphanage with some of the students from the center. The orphanage is located at the entrance to Nairobi National Park, and is a place of safety for, you guessed it, orphaned animals. The orphanage doesn't boast a large number of animals like zoos that I have been to in the past but what they had was good. I have found that when you visit a zoo in the states it almost always seems that the animals that you most want to see (lions, tigers, bears, etc.) are always hidden. Here they had cheetahs, lions, hyenas, and a leopard, all of which were in clear view. One of the more interesting aspects of the orphanage was the baboons that freely scampered around the grounds. Now if you've ever seen a baboon or know anything about them you know that they can be aggressive and somewhat dangerous. One look at their teeth and you can tell that if they got a hold of you they could dice you up pretty good. Because of this, I did my best to steer clear of any them that began to approach me. There was a group of young school children there as well and at one point the baboons began to get a little feisty towards them. Naturally, this had a fairly traumatic affect on some of the youngsters. Cries of fear and terror could be heard as the kids scrambled away from the unfriendly beasts. Thankfully no one was hurt. The best part of the whole day was the opportunity to interact with the students outside of class. They are a great group, who really like to joke around and have a good time. After getting our fill of the animals we had a picnic lunch and then headed home.
The rest of the week was normal as far as my daily routine was concerned. I found out that I will not be getting "my" bike until the end of the month, which is later than I had hoped but I guess I can be patient. I accepted the middle school boys basketball coaching job at Rosslyn Academy and will begin there the week after next.
Switching gears, this week was probably my most difficult since arriving here. This doesn't mean that I have been super depressed or desperately wishing that I wasn't here. I just seemed to find myself missing my family more and realizing that I won't be able to see them for another six months. I realize that this isn't an extremely long amount of time, but at times it feels that way. I miss wrestling, playing ball, and just spending time with my nieces and nephews. I miss hearing little Kaci Dawn exclaim, "Uncle D" with a great big smile every time she sees me. It is during these times that I am reminded of how great a family I have and I thank God every day for them. It is really nice to have a family that I can indeed miss spending time with. I've also found myself missing my home area in general and the openness and freedoms that are available there. The open spaces and the freedom to simply go out whenever and wherever I want is something not as readily available here. The tragic events that have transpired at Penn State over the last week have also been extremely hard to swallow even though I am thousands of miles away from there. It has been hard not to think about what is happening there and how dramatically it is affecting so many peoples lives. It is stunning to think that this has happened at an institution and to a coach that I have always held in such high regard.
Despite having somewhat of a down week, I will not allow the emotions that I'm feeling to overshadow what I know to be true. And what is true is that God is good and faithful beyond comprehension. I am very thankful that I am here and for what God is teaching me. I know that God still has many things that He wants to teach me and do through me and for that all I can simply do is praise His name.