Thursday, November 26, 2015

Graduation Preparations

Well, we have come to the end of another school year.  Graduation wil be this Sunday.  The classes have been over for a week and lots of prepartaion is going on.

Some of the highlights:

1) approval for graduation and "going vica".  At the end of the year the faculty makes final approval of students to graduate and those that will go out on their Vicarage (Internship).  We were relieved that all theYia 5 students (Seniors) passed their final test and were approved.  Some years it has been a close call, but not this year.  However, only one completed the extra research paper to get the Diploma of Theology (rather than the Certificate the others get).  There were more problems with students wanting to go out on vicarage.  All were doing fine academically, but there were behavioral issues.  Three were not approved, though all were given the chance to return at a later time.  They are sent back to their home districts and can return when the leaders of the district say the behavior has been corrected.  Some of the issues are things we would ignore in the US (like having too many overnight guests in your house without permission) but others (like infidelity) would be a problem both places.  I had been the advisor of Dickson, who had been put on probation due to his lack of speaking and preaching  skills.  Fortunatley his hard work payed off and he was approved.

2) Physical labor - in getting the campus ready all the students put in a lot of physical labor.  The guys spent up to 5 hours on Monday walking up and down the road cutting the grass on the side with their bush knife (like a machete).  Most Americans would have wilted after half an hour or so.  The women did a lot of weeding, raking and wall washing.  Since it is the hot season work starts at 5:30 a.m.  Morning devotions are held in the evening.

3) Family arrival - the family members of the graduating students have started arriving.  They stay with the students (motels etc are not availabe or affordable).  Since the houses are very small, some of the students have built bamboo shelter for family members to stay in. They also have been growing extra food in their gardens and collecting extra firewood.  We pray the electricity stays good because that is neccesary for a water system to work.

4) Buying gifts at the Bookstore - This is a busy time for the little on campus bookstore that I run.  Some finaly members buy as a gift some expensive book the student has wanted (such as a study Bible).  Others have come from isolated areas so like buying Bibles, hymnals, church calendars etc. while they can.

OK< back to work.  Hope you all are having a good Thanksgiving Day in the US. 

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