The Week(s) That Was(Were).

by Chris Kamalski

I know you see the Sea Monster....

I know you see the Sea Monster....

(Originally written for Monday, February 9th, 2009.  S.O. to MARKO for post idea).

The Week(s!) That W(ere): Whew! From Obama’s innaguration on January 20th to frantically packing all day and the next morning, to trying to sort any and all things in my life (and never finishing), took an overnight flight to London on the 21st and stayed with my friends Rob and Laura Sturgess (and their ridiculously cute pig-tailed daughter Esme, and newborn son Sam) in Hackney (East London). Met them this summer at Pangani, chilled around London, LOVED the Portobello Road Market and Travel Bookshop of Notting Hill fame. Met key people from CRM UK (Tom Middleton) and visited St. Mary’s church. Fascinated by the Tate Modern. Great time becoming friends with the Sturgesses. Headed to Aberdeen, Scotland on Monday, Jan 26th, home of ancient universities, highlands, oil companies headquarters in the North Sea, and the current residence of my friends Kyle and Kelli Strobel. Kyle is finishing his dissertation on Jonathan Edwards and is ridiculously smart. We went to Loch Ness in Inverness, saw funky Scottish castles and cathedrals, took photos on the famous bridge of St. Andrews’ Old Course 18th hole (the place golf was invented), drank tons of coffee, and took the coldest walk by ocean I have ever had (North Sea baby!). Headed to Pretoria on an overnight flight arriving Saturday, January 31st. This past week has been a blur of jet lag, orientation week 1 into NieuCommunities South Africa, life in this culture and country, and getting to know our new apprentices. We’ve done team building exercises, gone to church, went to a local cricket match (super chill and family oriented with a dj mixing tunes!), headed out to the local township Soshanguve for spatlu (township burgers), and gotten our bearings within Pretoria North (home of Pangani, a bed and breakfast where we stay) and downtown Pretoria. And probably a million other things.
Where I Am At The Moment: Hiding away in my room (Room 5) at Pangani, writing blog posts and waiting to try and call my folks on Skype (A Masters graduate incorrectly subtracted 10 hours time difference this morning and called at the wrong time! DOH!) 🙂
On My To-Do List This Week: Oh, a million things. Week 2 of Orientation is crammed full this week (LUKE AND JOSH GIES: We are played Mao on Tuesday night!!!). Need to get thank you cards out to donors. Buy a watch. Cut my increasingly-shaggy hair. Learn to drive stick-shift on the right (wrong) side of the road-a la, the left side of the road.
Procrastinating About: See above. Mostly catching up on reading though (I’m behind on the books we were supposed to read before coming here).
Books I’m In The Midst Of: For fun (what category is this again?) I am reading Malcolm Gladwell’s newest, OUTLIERS. It’s the story behind why people are successful in culture–and as always, it’s FASCINATING. More on this later. For NCSA, THE CELTIC WAY OF EVANGELISM (George Hunter III) is absolutely rocking my world and possibly future dreams and visions. It is that profound. MUCH MORE on this later–this book will define much of what I do for years to come, and is central to why CRM and NieuCommunities are what they ware.
On The Current iTunes Playlist: The wonderful Matt Kersh and Kyle Strobel HOOKED me up with new music recs recently. Been digging Explosions In the Sky (where have I been) and Newton Faulkner, an incredible Irish folk dude.
I’m Thinking About: The craziness that is the fact that I am now living in South Africa for this year?!?!
Next Trip: All around Pretoria, Soshanguve, etc. this week. Tomorrow we visit Luc Kabongo and the InnerChange crew out in Soshanguve (they are a sister ministry with CRM living in the township we work in).
South African Word Of The Week:”ISIT?” Quoting from Elizabeth, or resident Pretorian who put together a list of South African vocabulary for us: “Derived from the two words ‘is’ and ‘it,’ it can be used when you have nothing to contribute if someone tells you something.’ Seems to be a filler word that I’m already picking up.
How I’m Feeling About This Week: Hmm. Mix of emotions defines life right now. Stoked to be here. Anticipating the future. Struggling a bit to dive in and choose this new community (I’m weary of opening up AGAIN), yet know I need and want to.
Prayer Request: Last line above.