Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: YEAR (05/17/18)
TITLE: A Moonlit Year
By Rachel Rudd
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The plane began to liven up as people prepared for descent. The flight attendant smiled at her and asked her to straighten her seat.
If only I could straighten my thoughts as easily. A year in this country could be the experience of a lifetime. But it could also be more than she could handle.
Her best friend, Mary, couldn’t figure it out, “Why Kenya? Wait, aren’t you sponsoring a child over there?”
Liz’s eyes lit up like a lightning bug in the darkness of summer. “Yes! I started that back when I met this sweet couple who started an orphanage and school. Their love for these children was written all over their faces. You know I just finished my teaching degree...I think I can make a difference by teaching there.”
“But Lizzy, you wiill be gone for such a long time!”
“Just 365 days.”
“But that’s almost a whole year!”
Lizzy burst out laughing. “How many days are in a year, Mary? I’m glad you’re not the math teacher!”
‘Well, either way. It’s still a long time.”
“Hey, you could make a countdown calendar like we did when we’re going to graduate. Remember?”
“Yeah, that thing beeped every day in history class.”
“Mr. Robinson thought we were texting. He just didn’t know we were waiting to get away from his class!”
“It’ll be just like that. I’ll text all 366 days and make sure you know I’m coming home soon.”
“I forgot it’s a leap year!”
Lizzy smiled at the memory. As the plane landed, she noticed the desert like areas surrounding the airport. How dry it is!
Can I handle being here for a whole year? The dryness seemed to permeate the land swallowing the spires of life. She knew the rainy season should start soon, but floods could consume the land just like the dust had done before.
Can I reach these students...my teaching is so differentf? Rote memory was the preferred method here for teaching a class of fifty-plus students. All her training, though, pointed to interactive, hands-on learning.
Will the children even respond to me? Will they be scared of me? Lizzy, trust him!
Passing through the airport a poster caught her eye. A brilliant moon brightened last year’s calendar and faded into darkness for the coming year. She didn’t have much time, but she snapped a quick picture for later.
A couple in bright colors greeted her on the other side of customs, “Welcome to Kenya, Elizabeth. We are so glad you came.”
“Thank you. Please call me Lizzy. All my friends do.”
“Well, ok...our van is out here...Lizzy.”
Everything caught her attention as they started driving. A zebra and its foal appeared by the roadside right next to the airport.
“Wow, y’all sure know to welcome people!”
“Yes, that’s Nairobi National Park...many animals.”
“Wow.” Her eyes were glued to her surroundings for the next hour.
“So, do we have to go up the road a ways?”
“How long is the drive?”
“We should reach Nakuru before darkness sets in.”
“Okay...darkness....hey, I saw this poster in the airport with a strange slogan. She took out her phone. “See, the past years are in moonlight, the years to come are in darkness. What does that mean?”
“Oh, that’s a saying here. It means that you can understand the past better than the future....the future is still in darkness.”
“Just like my year...”
“Oh, I was just thinking how I don’t know what this year will bring.”
“Well, the Bible says that the darkness and the light are both alike to God, so he must know.”
“True...there’s that trust again.”
Six hours later she pulled into a compound fenced in by brick and wire. She had seen pictures of the place, but this was entirely different!
A small hand reached up to her seconds after she stepped into the dusty courtyard, “Hello, mzungu. You see the moon?”
Lizzy smiled to herself knowing God had everything under control.
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