Thursday, July 16, 2009

Trouble with the air con has me camping out

Yesterday evening disappeared in a blur, I'm afraid. It was a busy day and I think I was feeling tired. So here we are - Thursday and that's almost over (at least for me!)

Today opened with torrential rain turning travel round Colombo into chaos. So lots of students were late and dripping when they did get here. But one had stopped off to buy me fruit - how sweet is that? people here are like that.

It was the day of the class photo which was a wonderfully shambolic affair with one of the college handy men standing on a chair taking three pictures on each of about ten different types of digital cameras. Not surprisingly, it took an age to get through - prolonged by lots of fooling around and gales of laughter from all round the room - and no one felt like being photographed by the end.

The rain affected the air conditioning in my room which means I can't sleep in it tonight as it's stiflingly hot. So I am camping out in the faculty office where the air con is so fierce I might need to sleep in a coat! Unlikely. It just makes it very much more comfortable.

So, my nightly routine will be a bit different tonight. But it will end as it has most evenings this week with the final few tracks of Leonard Cohen’s wonderfully uplifting live at the O2 album. It has become my lights out music – two prayers, great playing, the Webb sisters and his voice like angel wings brushing against granite filling the darkness with a sublime wonder. You can't ask for more really!

Tomorrow I'll be catching up with an old Sri Lankan friend and seeing his new office which will be great fun. It's also the last day of lectures with this group - though I discovered that one of them, a Swiss guy who's studying over here, is coming to Kandy to do my course next week. Now he is some glutton for punishment! I'll be sorry to see them go - though I have their assignments to look forward to - because they've been a good group, lively, engaging, wanting to talk, full of questions, keen to learn and aching to be useful to God.

One guy - who really struggles with his English and was deeply apologetic about that - works in the East of the island with displaced people, bringing them aid and the gospel. He spends three months at a time literally camping out, with no air con or creature comforts, sharing God's love and what practical support he can with the people worst affected by the war, those who've lost absolutely everything. He's the reason I'm here. If I can encourage him half as much as hearing his story has encouraged me, then that's worth the air fare - and camping out in the faculty office.

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