Last week before I arrived at work there was a gang-related assault. One kid smashed another kid in the head with a rock. The kid that was hit went to the hospital. The kid that threw the rock was arrested and will probably serve a minimum of 5 years in an adult prison. There had been a few others gang-rumblings throughout the site. Therefore, they put the whole site on a lockdown. All educational and vocational classes were canceled. The students had to stay in their living units all day, except for meals and running and exercise. They had to run twice each day, about 3 miles each run. They also had to do two sets of 18/20's, which is 20 reps each of 18 different exercises. None of the kids on our unit had anything to do with the gang stuff, though some of them are gang members. They were too excited about being locked-down. We the staff did much of the exercises with them, as a magnanimous gesture of fraternity. It was very tiring, especially since I get tired after 3 push-ups. Henceforth, last week lasted very long. It can be pretty boring sitting around in the same room for 8 hours a day, making sure the students are not talking, or getting out of their seat without permission, or breathing too deeply. The students actually acted pretty well, though the last few hours on Saturday they became pretty hyped up. They could be off the lock-down when I get to work today, but it is not guaranteed. I could be in for another challenging week.
I have had the chance to learn some things about some of the students in my group. Most of them have some serious issues in their lives. I am doing what I can to give them good, godly advice. Most of the kids though are pretty stubborn, and have a habit of acting out whenever life is not going their way. They do not know the best way to handle challenges, which is why they are in prison in the first place. Please pray they I can be a positive influence in at least one student's life.
Meanwhile, the kids and wife are doing well at home. The kids have learned to get every single one of their toys out and over the entire house in less than fifteen seconds. They have more toys than the entire population of sierra Leone. Jenni and I (I should say primarily Jenni and not I) have to clean the house about 7 times a day. Strangely enough, it never gets old, for me at least. We have experienced very high temperatures, as has the rest of the country. We are managing, however.
Hope to hear from some of you soon.
That is all.