Showers Between the Sun

I arrived home last night from my trip to the ICCTE conference at Letourneau University in Longview, Texas. My wife Debbie tells me that it has been all rain here in Newberg since I have been gone. It was in the 90s and sunny in Longview, though we did have some nice afternoon thunderstorms on several of the days. I forgot about lightening rods after all these years of living in Newberg.  I will returning to a sunny clime as I reach Kigali in a couple of days.

I leave later this morning on our trip to Rwanda. I hope that the Rwandan trip will be as meaningful as my time in Texas.The biennial conference of ICCTE is a highlight for me.  Go here to see photos of our meetings.  This group, about 20 years old, is an association of teacher educators who are primarily at Christian Institutions of Higher Education.  We had mostly faculty from American Universities at the conference with a few Canadians joining us as well.  This meeting was special as the group approved the formation of an official association by adopting bylaws presented to the membership by a steering committee which had been working on this task since our conference at Regent University four years ago.  The current name of the group, and officially adopted at the conference is The International Christian Community for Teacher Education.

Our purpose in traveling to Rwanda is substantially different, however, my past experience tells me that the time spent will be an adventure.  My colleague and friend, Ken Badley, in a session he and Kristin Dixon presented at the ICCTE Conference reminded us that each time we go to an international location we can adopt the attitude of a tourist, a traveler or an adventurer.  I really appreciate Ken’s insight on this.  He shared the root of the word traveler, from the French, to work.  He challenged me personally to reflect on my attitude and to steer my will toward that of the adventurer’s heart.  I want to discover how many hours on planes can be an adventure, as well as several days in a culture that is remarkably different than my own.

My difficulties in obtaining a ticket from Nairobi to Kigali (resolved on Tuesday of this week, after four weeks of trying), as well as the challenges that Linda Samek, my friend and colleague has had in arranging her lecture at the Kigali Institute of Education could both be viewed from the lens of frustration and disappointment, or acceptance and adventure.  I am choosing adventure this time.  In this regard, I think Debbie was hoping I would get to ride a bus from Nairobi to Kigali.  But, at 30 hours each way, that would not leave me much time on the ground in Rwanda.

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