Monday, September 21, 2009

Rugby, Fall Party, and a Sad Goodbye

1.) Rugby

Two weekends ago, there was a student-led rugby tournament that pitted each of the three boys' dorms against each other on a field in the nearby town of Holzen. All seven dorms were present with boys playing and girls cheering. Now, rugby is a sport that I haven't thought about for longer than five seconds at a time ever in my life. All I knew is that I should be ready to make a run to the hospital despite Tony's assurances that rugby was safe. Tony is one of our sophomores, and he has lived part of his life in the UK where rugby is quite popular, and he has played on a team before at his former school. This made him one of the very few who knew anything about the rules and gameplay so he attempted to teach rules and strategy to our guys before we left for the game on Saturday afternoon. With BFA being a place of great cultural diversity, students are always ready to embrace a new event or game despite their lack of knowledge about it. To me, having a big group of teenage guys sprinting around playing a game they don't understand and just trying to hit each other is a little scary. They were pressuring me to play, but since we had enough to form a team already, I labeled myself an "emergency reserve." After we played a few games, and my fears that the game would be a war of attrition were realized, I was forced into service for a few minutes at the end of our last game. Yes, we did have a couple injuries. Greg left early on to take Will to the hospital, and after the games were all over, I took Ross to the hospital. Don't worry - they are both ok now. Here are a couple pictures from the afternoon.

Here is everyone before the games getting ready to leave.

And here is a picture from one of the games. Greg titled this picture "sweet shoestring tackle" while I titled it "old man getting owned." I'm not sure exactly what's happening actually.

2.) Fall Party

Faithful blog readers and those familiar with BFA know that Fall Party is a big party that takes place on one of the first weekends of the year where everyone dresses up in a costume. Last year, the theme was "Black and White," and I, along with my co-RA Andrew, cleverly dressed up as gray issues. This year the theme was "Opposites," and the party took place last weekend. Here are some of the costumes this year:

David and Joseph were a businessman and a slacker.

Samuel and Han Gil were an angel and a demon.

Ross and Jeremiah were rich and poor.

Reece and a friend Josh were a Mac and a PC.

Anna and another RA Bonnie were Coke and Pepsi.

By this time, an exceptionally clever blog reader who is also my friend on facebook would realize where my current profile picture came from. This year I went along with fellow RA Chris dressed as war and peace. This is why I'm a bearded, tattooed, fur-wearing, war-mongering, giant-sword-wielding Viking. And why I'm accompanied by a friendly yet strong-willed hippie. I thought it was quite original and clever, but evidently a few more people thought the same and showed up with their own interpretation. Oh well, I liked ours the best. And it was the second year in a row I broke out my tattoo sleeves for Fall Party.

3.) Sad Goodbye

Don't worry, the sad goodbye was not for a student, a staff member, or even a human for that matter. The goodbye I'm referring to was for our beloved van SY 50.

We usually refer to our vans according to their license plates, which is why this van was known as SY 50. The LO at the beginning designates the district where the vehicle is from, which in this case is Lörrach, a larger town not far from here where almost all of our vans are from. This van belonged to HBR last year and actually has been here at this dorm for roughly the last twelve years. That's not a joke. So you can see how a strong connection has been made between the van and the dorm.

Let me describe the character of this van. It had no power steering. It had no power windows. It had no power locks. It had no power, period. It could barely get up a hill sometimes. It had no radio. The transmission was on its last legs. We had to double clutch in and out of second gear. After the engine was started, the key could be taken out of the ignition with no repercussions, and it often fell out on accident. In the winter, students were supposed to sit in the back of the van to help give it more weight and better grip. It made weird noises. The interior had torn upholstery, ripped up flooring, chunks missing from seats, and random pieces and handles missing. The outside of the van had various dents, scratches, scrapes, and rust spots. Don't get me wrong, the van was completely safe to drive, we never had any huge problems with it, and I loved driving the heck out of it. Everyone loved it.

Well, the van was sold this year and no longer resides anywhere at BFA. I felt like it was my duty to our guys and to anyone who has lived at HBR for the last decade to hold a memorial service for the van. If you are understanding me so far, then you know what I mean when I say I'm not sure if the service was supposed to be a joke or serious. It was a little of both. We definitely did not intend to mock the passing of people in our lives who have meant much to us. But we invited the students, especially the returning ones to meet outside at 7 o'clock in the evening on Sunday yesterday for this service and to dress nicely.

We met outside on the basketball court next to this tree.

I put together these pictures of the van from the past years. Some of the pictures were from years ago, and the guys really enjoyed looking at them.

I shared a little bit about SY 50's past and delivered a "eulogy," if you will. I shared some of my favorite memories. One time I was riding in the passenger seat last year as Andrew drove, and all of a sudden my right foot was soaking wet. I looked down and found that a puddle was forming after a hose had come undone and was spilling windshield fluid all over me. I couldn't believe it. Another time, I was taking a student to school, and it had just started snowing. I compared it to if you had just bought a brand new pair of the fuzziest socks you could find and then sprinted around on a freshly waxed floor. It was a little scary.

A lot of the students chipped in with memories of their own as well.

We took all of the pictures of the van and put them in this pot and burned them.

Then we headed down to the creek and spread the ashes and sang songs.

This time with the students remembering this van will be one of favorite memories I take from BFA when I leave. I'm glad that we did it.

Things continue to get a little easier in the dorm although it is nonstop busyness all the time. Greg and Danielle were off this weekend so it was just Anna and I, and we also had a couple come in as dorm subs. It felt like every day presented its own new crisis over the weekend. But everything is fine! Please pray as we continue to learn and take care of our responsibilities.

Please pray for Timmy, an RA at Maugenhard dorm who is here in his second year. His support is very low right now. At this point, it's not looking good for him to return for the second semester, and he might not even be able to make it through this semester. This would be really terrible if he had to leave. Please pray for the people who know him and his ministry, that their hearts would be softened and they would be willing to take hold of the opportunity to use the resources God has given them to support Timmy and his ministry. Thank you for praying! God bless!

In His Service,

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