On Monday of this week, I turned 34. I know, I know, I’m incredibly blessed to share a birthday (3/14) with the celebration of pi — though I’ve never observed Pi Day as it probably ought to be observed. 34’s not really a special age to me, though I suppose I am now officially in my mid-30s. Joy. [Aren’t I supposed to have a minivan by now?]
The month of March marks our family having been in Tanzania for two years. And March was also designated “team month” by our mission team here in Geita. We’ve had more meetings than usual, and have been assessing our time here so far while setting goals for the next year.
All this has got me thinking about my own goals. So here are some things I want to accomplish before I turn 35 (which is half-way to 70, you know):
- I will devote (much of) the month of April to writing a Swahili curriculum for teaching 3-column Bible studies. This curriculum will include at least one introductory sermon for use at existing churches, but will mostly be written for a 2ish-day seminar format. May, June, and July will be used for teaching these seminars in whatever groups I can — Christian or not. This will allow me to get a great deal of information out concerning obedience-based Bible study. And then I can focus my attention on those individuals who have taken seriously what they’ve learned.
- Before our furlough in August, I will complete research on the effects of Newcastle’s Disease among chickens in our area. This research will include information on chicken deaths, availability of the vaccine, willingness of locals to purchase said vaccine, and the current state of relations between villages and their government-assigned “Livestock Masters” (who are supposed to be providing information about this vaccination — and possibly vaccinations themselves).
- Before my 35th birthday, I will memorize the Sermon on the Mount. [I set this goal for 2010, but didn’t follow through with it — I only made it through the end of Matthew 5.]
- I want to run a 3:45 marathon before my 35th birthday. [This goal is largely dependent on whether or not I can find a marathon to enter that fits both my calendar and my budget.] I’ve run lots of marathons, but most were either just to finish or as training for Ironmans. As such, my fastest time is 3:56. I’m fairly confident that, with some discipline in my training regimen, I can run 3:45 this year. [I feel added pressure to meet this goal, because my friend Janie did it a month ago.]
- I will begin studying Sukuma language before the end of 2011. For all of our work here in Geita — and currently even in villages — we use Swahili, which I feel pretty good about. But over the next couple of years, Christie and I intend to transition to spending the bulk of our time in more rural areas. Sukuma will be needed for that.
- Provided the land is available to us, I will begin work on our demonstration farm immediately upon return from our furlough in November of this year. It is my goal to be planting just ahead of the March rains, 2012.
- I will take my wife on a romantic overnight date while we’re home on furlough. There’s a real shortage of romantic restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts, and the like here in Geita. But I know that in the U.S., not only do these places abound, but so do mothers and sisters who would love nothing more than to keep Baylor overnight.
- I will domesticate and keep as pets two wild baboons from the forest near our house. I will also learn to fly using wings made of papyrus and wood glue.
Are you working towards any goals these days? And do any of you know anything about caring for baboons?