Week 24 – Day 165 – Graduation

Wow. Today is actually a significant day. As much as I try and look at it as an event that just happened and passed, it’s so much more than that. Today I received my first piece of paper from an educational institute since leaving school. I have graduated from a course, I have 24 credit points towards a degree. Just for that reason, it’s significant. It’s also significant, because tonight already, I have said goodbye to some people, and they have left. Early in the morning, some more will leave. It’s a time of saying goodbye to the Family that I’ve known for the last 6 months. To many of my sisters, who have laughed with me, and just hung out with me. To my brothers, who have put up with living with me. In particular, to my Brother Steve, who has put up with me for the whole 6 months, and has shared a room with me for probably 22 1/2 weeks, always under the same room, only getting a separate room when staying at his parents place! I have formed strong friendships with some of my team mates, that will continue for years to come. I’m sure, while Steve and I probably won’t be able to talk every week, we will keep in regular contact. And probably with Kate too. I would love to say I’d keep in regular contact with Tierney and Nicki and others, but I know that it won’t be as regular as I like. One disadvantage I have, is that I am used to travelling, and like Steve, I’m good at saying good byes. Many tears were shed tonight, but none by me.

After Graduation this evening, we headed down to Cafe Kima, one of our local hang out spots. There we were, an Australia, a New Zealander, and a South African, having a drink together. Steve had his first beer in 6 months, and I had a nice Jack and Coke. I understand many jokes start off with an Australia, New Zealander and a South African in a pub, so we took a photo to remember the funny side of it. Most of the team still in JBay joined us at the cafe, although you could see the “groups” already starting to form. Those who’s boyfriends had come down, kinda just congregated together. Steve, Richard and I sat together, and were joined by some of the staff briefly. Then a table of just girls formed. It was a little sad to see the groups forming, as we got there first, and invited everyone to sit with us when they arrived. But fair enough, we are all going different ways, so it’s OK to sit apart.

While I would love to go to bed, the work isn’t finished yet. I now have the task of burning DVD’s full of photos. Our grad slide show of photos (for the Swazambique team) will be on the DVD, along with outreach photos. And probably lecture phase photos too if I get the time. It’s rather time consuming to shrink a couple thousand photos, and also go through them taking out the “junk” ones. I also wonder how many people will go through all the photos. I know that I’d start going through them with friends, but would never get through them all. I’m glad I made the slide show already, because it’s 5 minutes, and is actually a good representation of our outreach, so it’ll be good for sitting down with friends and showing them the video. On a little technical aside, the slide show was rather a work of art for me. I wrote my own software to take a directory of photos, shrink them down and put frames around them and then choose the best template for them, depending on how many portrait and landscape photos there are. It also allows for photos to be fullsize on a page. It then takes a background image, makes a title page, blurs the image for all the following pages and arranges the framed photos according to the template, while adding some randomness to make it look more like a photo album thats been thrown together, and not a template. I was rather impressed with it myself, and after combining all the “pages” into a video with just a simple fade effect between pages, it came out looking rather kiff. I had quite a few people comment on it after, about it looking professional, and something they hadn’t seen before (in particular, it wasn’t like lots of peoples power point shows). I will most likely release the code for it after some clean up. But before then, you’ll be able to download the video (a compressed version), sometime after I arrive back in Perth and upload it. So you’ll be able to comment yourself on the style!

Anyway, putting the aside, aside. Tomorrow Steve and I have to say goodbye. A strange thought, yet it shouldn’t be hard. A group of us will be at Bruce’s for our last breakfast, and then hopefully having waffles for lunch!! It’s going to be a quite weekend. Almost lonely. But I have lots I want to finish on the base before I leave, regarding the wireless internet, and the server. So I should be busy!

Anyway, that’s all for now. Thanks to everyone that has been supporting me through my DTS, in prayer, finances or even just chatting. It’s been much appreciated. My DTS has been a life changing experience, and I hope that you all see how I’ve been changed when you get a chance to see me again. I will write about where I feel God is leading me later, but for now I’m keeping that fairly much to myself and few close friends. So stay tuned, God has big plans for you, me and this world!

God Bless


DTS. 165 days. And everyone worth it! DTS = Discipleship Training School == Dying To Self