There Are So Many Orphans

December 12, 2008 by Steve Peifer

I like the word “yako.” In Swahili, it means yours, but being a creative sort, I have found it has a myriad of uses. Unlike my wife, who has managed to become fairly fluent in Swahili, I have found that my breathtaking pace of learning one new word of Swahili a year was not equipping me to interact in the community like I needed to. I began a new way of learning language, and I believe that it may revolutionize the entire...

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I Have Just Become So Happy!

November 24, 2008 by Steve Peifer

  Being the college counselor in Kenya is interesting in ways you don’t always expect.  The best counselor I know told me that most of her kids stayed in the northeast, so she didn’t get to know colleges outside of that region. I have had to learn the whole United States, and I’m starting to know Korean universities also. But sometimes you get kids that come up with interesting ideas on their own. I had a student last week who is Korean,...

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A Future and a Hope

October 24, 2008 by Steve Peifer

Before I went on my last trip, Matthew had a dilemma: Matthew: I really want to ask JoAnna to movie night. Me: That sounds great. Matthew: I just don’t know WHEN to ask. Me: Why don’t you ask her during play rehearsal? Matthew: I CAN’T ask her during rehearsals. Me: Why? Matthew: She plays my MOTHER in the play. Another time opened up, she accepted, and a fine time was had by all. And I thought it showed unusual brilliance in my son to realize that there are...

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Brilliant Actually: Rupert and the British Invasion

September 22, 2008 by Steve Peifer

When I got the opportunity to attend the first RVA student’s graduation from Harvard, I got to meet Sam’s family, and his brother Rupert. Rupert is 21 and doing a thesis on non- profit organizations, and he asked if he could write about the computer and food programs. We said yes, and he moved in the beginning of the month. He has fit in as part of the family; the twins get upset if they don’t get to say good...

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The End of Tears of Hunger

August 25, 2008 by Steve Peifer

My daughter is a ballerina. My daughter is a ballerina. That may not mean much to many, but when you gave up the dream of having a daughter, and 8000 miles away from home you find her, those things that weren’t possible become so important. There was a senior girl who volunteered to teach the small ones ballet, so for the first time in over 100 years, they had a ballet recital at RVA. Some things are better in theory. Jo worked so...

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Winning $71 Playing Poker in the Kuwait Embassy: Sixteen Days with the Holy Missionary in America

June 20, 2008 by Steve Peifer

Some trips start poorly; this one started great. The day before I left, I received an email from Harvard saying they were going to accept one of our students from their waitlist. I called Shannon, and I could tell that she hadn’t heard the news. I encouraged her to look at her email, and to call me if she wanted to talk later. Five minutes later, perhaps the most hysterical phone call I ever received was a wonderful prelude to...

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You are the first white man I have seen this year

May 20, 2008 by Steve Peifer

I’m sure that you all have been celebrating with me because of the number 1 selling CD in the US this week. When my brother let me know that the Cubs are in first place (and quoted the George Will line, “The Cubs are in their tenth decade of rebuilding”), I knew I was on a roll. I leave for the states on Friday to attend NAFSA in Washington DC, NACCAP in Boston and most importantly, to pick up Matthew...

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20 + 20 +20 = The Perfect Storm

May 4, 2008 by Steve Peifer

Once upon a time there was a prince and princess named Prince Thrash About and Princess Never Move Over. They were wonderful children, but like many children who had once been abandoned, they suffered from fairly frequent nightmares. When they called out in the night for the King or Queen to sleep with them, the King and Queen had problems. With the Prince, he was always accommodating and would let the King or Queen stay with him. As soon as the...

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