It's hot here. The last few weeks have felt... hot. I wish I could think of a funny metaphor, but I'm too hot to come up with anything good. We don't have any air conditioning. It doesn't seem to be very popular over here in these parts although I can't imagine why not. Yes, since I've been here, the moments have been few and far between when I have been able to experience the magnificent gift of AC. Today was somewhere in the 90's. It's the kind of situation where you take a shower, and immediately you are in the same predicament you were in pre-shower. Sweaty and uncomfortable. It's a travesty. But I digress.
This was a pretty big weekend for the students. The soccer and track teams were away at their national tournaments from the middle of the week into the weekend. Both our boys' and girls' soccer teams were ranked as the one-seed entering the tournament! HBR sent six guys to participate in the track tournament and several of them came back with medals. And both of the soccer teams made it all the way to the championship. The girls won the tournament, but the boys had to settle for second place, which they were pretty bummed about. But they all performed really well. From what I hear, all of the other schools who compete in our conference really appreciate BFA for who we are and how we play the game. So as BFA progresses through the tournament, all of the other schools who are already out cheer for our kids. It's really incredible. Also, a lot of the other teams apparently buy us food to send with us because they know we don't have access to American food like the other schools located on army bases do. As our eleven students returned late Saturday night (actually Sunday morning at 2:15 - I picked them up), it was clear that they had a great experience at the tournaments and gave it their all.
We let the guys stay home from church today and made a brunch of pancakes for them at 10. At noon we started the annual event referred to as "Senior Appreciation." This is where we went through each of our eleven seniors one by one and opened the floor to everyone so that other students could tell each guy what they appreciate about him, recall fun memories, and let him know how much he means to them. It was really good for each student to be able to hear those things from so many people, and it was good for students to have a platform where they could vocalize those ideas to their friends. Laughs rang out, and tears were shed. We took a short break in the middle, but the whole thing went for close to five hours. Wow! We've got a lot of great seniors departing so I wasn't surprised. After we wrapped it up, we went downstairs for a delicious dinner of ribs that was being prepared as we talked. After dinner I dropped some guys off at the pool for about an hour, and then a group of us played ultimate frisbee for about another hour. It was a good day.
Being forced to process the year so that I could vocally encourage and affirm each of our seniors merely reinforced to me the fact that I love our students, and I love my job. Thank you for your part in helping me be a part of their lives this year. We have had a great year, but it isn't done yet. In a mere two weeks graduation will be taking place, and everyone will be leaving. Continue to lift the students up in prayer along with me to the very end and beyond. Thanks!