Life is Good!

October 27, 2008

The highlight of my weekend was a visit from my amazing sister! She and I spent an entire Saturday together, touring the campus, walking through Granville, eating ice-cream, browsing through books, talking and laughing, and taking lots of pictures.

Furthermore, I got to go to my first OPERA this weekend! It was The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet, and wow oh wow. It was everything I could have hoped for. Absolutely gorgeous music, and a very cultural experience.

And then, to top it all off, we had our first snow flurries today! Winter is a comin’, and I couldn’t be more delighted!


# 1

October 24, 2008

Just wanted to pass along the info that my team is now ranked number one in the state of Ohio for Division II Women’s Rugby- even though Denison is a D III school! Oh yeah!


I Should be Doing Homework…

October 21, 2008

… but who wants to do homework when they have pictures to put online?

So, a couple weeks ago Donald Miller came to campus. He had a great sense of humor, was very articulate and down-to-earth, AND he signed my copy of Blue Like Jazz. Yay!

The Denison Christian Community had a Photo Scavenger Hunt on Friday afternoon,  and we took some ridiculous pictures.

Kale, Whit, Betsy, and me in an elevator

On Saturday, the Women’s Rugby Team had our last home game against Ohio University. We won by 2 points! Afterwards, we had a social with their team, and more and more people kept squeezing into our pictures. I love these girls!

Saturday night was the Rugby Rave! Loud music, dancing, glow sticks, disco balls, black lights, strobe lights, and lots of crazy clothes.

Hope that gives you a picture into my life these days. And yes, the pun was completely intended.


Just a Phone Call Away

October 15, 2008

My Mom is the best. Every Wednesday, I can count on an email full of news from home- like Noah hiking off to Mt. Longonot despite the threat of a lion on the loose- and lots of happy pictures- like Daniel shaving! I smile at the picture of Mom sipping tea and reading my favorite stories to our small friends, and I feel connected again.

But sometimes I just need a phone call.

It’s a simple process, really.

1. Add sufficient money to phone card, and remember that the 1 cent/minute rate doesn’t apply to international calls.

2. Calculate timezone differences, and determine if 5:30 a.m. is really an acceptable time to call.

3. Plan enough homework to keep occupied until the timezones correlate well.

4. Locate phone away from sleeping/studying students. Preferably a phone with a cord long enough to reach a chair.

5. Punch in 41 digit phone number. (Almost got this one memorized)

6. Wait for connection to go through. If there is a busy signal, wait ten minutes and repeat process.

I gotta say: the sound of my Mom’s smile on the other end is worth it all.


Hiking!

October 12, 2008

On Saturday morning, Tom and Kamie Dixon picked me up for a hike at Black Hand Gorge with their delightful kids, Samantha, Jack, and Macie.

The trail was beautiful, looping through the woods, and following along the Licking River. The trees were changing into bright oranges and yellows and reds, there were all sorts of neat rock formations, and the air had that crisp, autumn quality.

Not to mention that the Dixons are great company. I met them at a campus Bible study, and we’ve had some neat conversations. This little outing with them was a fun treat!

Throwing rocks over the edge made for great splashing sounds


Bushels

October 12, 2008

The bottom of my laundry basket has a sticker that says, “1.25 Bushel Laundry Basket. Great Family Size!”

This set off a disturbing chain of thoughts for me, because, what does that label even mean? Who uses the word “bushel” anyway?

All I can think of is bushels of wheat, or “Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine…” Or was that, “Hide it under a bush? Hell no! …”

And the family size? Does that mean families could come in bushels? And why, oh why is it a decimal instead of nicely rounded off?

In any case, I’m going to start incoroporating that into my daily vocabulary. “This afternoon, I did a bushel (and a quarter) of laundry…”


A Question of National Idenitity

October 6, 2008

To be honest, it kind of caught me off guard.

Professor Suzuki pulled the final slide up on the screen, and the question was, “When did you learn your nationality? How? Through What?”

I know I’m an American and I’ve always been one, but we’ve been talking about national identity, and why we identify with one particular nation-state. I personally have not reached the point where I can pin my identity on just one nation.

The first notion of geography I can remember, was watching out one of the emergency exit windows as we flew over the Sahara desert on our way to Kenya when I was three years old. The vastness of the African desert is stunning.

Later on, around first grade, I filled in a coloring book about Pennsylvania. It had pictures of Benjamin Franklin and the Liberty Bell, and I learned that the Ruffed Grouse was “my” state bird. Also in first grade, President Daniel T. Arap Moi visited the school. I remember dressing up, and sitting on the grass with my class, waiting in eager anticipation to hear him speak. I was in awe that THE president had come to my school!

In second grade, we had Kenya week, and I put together a book about the provinces of Kenya, the animals, the flag, etc. Also in second grade, we learned about American coins, using plastic pennies and nickels and dimes.

And so it went, back and forth. In early elementary school, Mom put up a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance, which I tried to memorize, but didn’t really learn until 8th grade. Also at that time, I learned the Kenyan national anthem to sing at Friday flag-raising. Unfortunately, I still don’t have much of a handle on the Star Spangled Banner. I heard it on the radio when we first returned to the States, just before college, but I thought it was a Sousa march. Then, just the other day I was so embarrassed when I asked what a song was, and found out it was Jimi Hendrix playing “my” national anthem. oops.

I think the times I felt most patriotic towards America were when I was in Kenya. I was so proud of that flag waving about the U.S. embassy. On multicultural day, I cheered along with the rest of the Americans when they presented our flag, and on the 4th of July, it seemed like we always had hot dogs, and tried to remember to wear red, white, and blue.

But, here in Ohio, my wall is completely dominated by the Kenyan flag, my pictures of Kenya, and my map of Kenya. In my head, Africa is the centre of the world. When December 12 comes around I feel quite patriotic, and want to drink lots of chai, and greet everyone with “Happy Jamhuri Day.”

So, in answer to my professor’s question: I don’t think I have just one national identity. (Is that allowed?) I think when I was quite small, I knew that I was an American, and I’ve always known that, but my loyalties are definitely divided. I can’t really bring myself to pick one country over the other, because I know for sure that I love one, and I think I am quite possibly in the process of learning to love the other.