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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

Eating Soup with Chopsticks, Roasted Squid and Other Adventures in Korea

April 6, 2008 by Steve Peifer

Rift Valley Academy, the school where I am the college counselor, has a Korean population that is 15% of our student body. I’m probably like most Americans; I knew there was a war in Korea during the 50’s that killed many people, but besides that, I had never thought about the country much. But when an invitation came to speak at a university because of CNN (, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. With 80 Korean students,...

Continue Reading


March 3, 2008 by Steve Peifer

In my continuous quest to be hip, I actually have a recording of someone YODELING the William Tell Overture. I get to do the music for skate night, and I played it, and it is the FIRST time that someone actually REQUESTED Neil Diamond. There is an uneasy peace in Kenya right now which seems to threaten to break out into something heinous every few days. When I was in technology, there seem to be a fair amount of people who...

Continue Reading


February 1, 2008 by Steve Peifer

During a time of crisis, you look to someone who can raise morale. Who better than me? But it would take even more than my male model looks; it would take the ultimate. One of my best friends, Ray, gave me an iPod, and I had bought a little docking station so I could play it while I was working. Inspiration struck. I loaded 1.2 GIGS of nothing but Neil Diamond and told the staff they could come to my office and...

Continue Reading