This is such a huge topic and there is noway that I’ll be able to express all of my thoughts regarding the topic of “Being Connected” in one blog post.  If I did, it would be an epic blogpost that only my hardcore readers would get to the bottom of, like my mom.
This taken with my iPhone...

I am one of the most guilty when it comes to being overly connected.  So, this post is not me necessarily pointing fingers at the younger, cooler, hipper generation coming through our schools today.  My thoughts apply to me first and foremost.  For goodness sake, the image above was not something I pulled from the Google while I was ‘on the line’, but was my computer, my iPad and the photo was taken with my my iPhone.  I’m pretty much a walking endorsement for Apple.  Any rich supporters out there want to send me an iWatch? (Just kidding, I really do not want or need that in my life…)   Read More…


The Worst Part of Missions

By far, hands down, the worst part about living the missionary life I find is asking people to give up some of their hard-earned money to me.  And, not only am I asking people to give me a one time gift, but I’m asking them to give repeatedly each month.  It is a brash thing for me to do.  However, before you think that I love asking, I want to assure you, I (and I think I speak for a lot of missionaries here) actually quite dread asking for money.  It is not fun to ask.  There are many reasons behind why I hate asking, and I’d like to highlight three of those reasons.  So without any further ado, I’d like to convey the 3 reasons why I, Ryan Dahlman, HATE asking for money.tired

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mt kenya 2

“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” -James Cameron

In March of 2012, I had the opportunity to climb Mt. Kenya.  I have never done anything so audacious in my life.  I was selected to be one of the leaders for RVA’s interim trip.  When I found out that I was selected to go, I has excited but very nervous.  I did not want to go and be the person who did not reach the top.  Sure the climb is great and you see a lot of pretty scenery but if you don’t make it to the top, you essentially lost.  That is the goal, to make it to the pinnacle.  That is the first question anybody ever asks when they find out you attempted to ascend a mountain.  “Did you make it?” “How was the view from the top?”  I found out in November of 2011 that I would be doing this and I realized that I needed to make some adjustments in my daily life habits if I wanted to achieve my mountain top experience goal.  So, I changed two things:

  1. No soda (pop).  As someone who likes soda and consumes more than his fair share, this was asking a lot.  But other than one foul up (I had dinner at someones house and it was all ready on the table when I got there and, of course, I didn’t want to be rude) I did it.
  2. No Tuesday lunches at the RVA Cafo.  If you don’t know much about RVA I should inform you that Tuesday lunches at RVA are always hamburgers and fries.  Always the same spread of hockey puck sized burgers, the fixins’ and mouthwatering oil-slathered potatoes.  They start the cooking the fries around 10am and the tasty aromas waft through the halls of RVA much like the angel of death during passover.  That might be an innapropriate simile but I’m sure you have a mental image now of how intoxicating the French Fry smell is.  It is a serious struggle to resist their allure come lunch time.  But… I did it!

Long story short (too late), I made it to the top of Mt. Kenya.  Honestly, I think I probably could have done it even if I had drank some soda and visited RVA’s heart-attack inducing meal a few times, but I like to think in my mind that since I had taken the necessary steps that somehow directly related to me succeeding in climbing Mt. Kenya.  Hooray!

mt kenya

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Biking for Jesus

Bikes Sunset

Sweat. Dirt. Blood. Tears. Smiles. Frowns. Exhaustion. Cramps. Courage. Bravery. Perseverance. Thrill.

These words sum up the experience of 13 students and 3 leaders who e Biking Interim 2015.  What is this ‘interim’, you may ask? Interim is a program that RVA runs for it’s juniors and seniors at the end of our 2nd term.  The program breaks these two classes into groups of 10-20 to go out and experience something new.  It is intentionally designed to immerse our students to the surrounding cultures they are surrounded by, interact with local people and be exposed to contemporary issues that African’s deal with and… wait, what was that last component…. hmmm… Oh yeah, HAVE FUN!   Read More…

God Guerrier

When I was in college I loved to watch Minnesota Twins baseball games.  The Twins boasted some of the best players (at that time) in the league: Mauer, Morneau, Santana, Liriano, Nathan and Hunter to name a few (Jacque Jones, anyone?).  Although I liked most of these players, there was a middle-relief pitcher who became one of my favorites.  His name is, wait for it, Matt Guerrier.

 Matt Guerrier


You see, I have this thing where I end up liking ‘under the radar’ kind of guys.  My favorite basketball player ever was Fred Hoiberg while other favorite Twins include non-top guys like Kyle Lohse, Luis Rivas, Dougie Baseball and Gene Larkin (<– even though he had a pretty ‘top’ moment for the club…)

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I love a good vacation.  I time to unwind, decompress, reflect and maybe do a little traveling.  I’m sure most of the human population is like me in this regard of loving vacation.  Vacation also allows me the time to BLOG (which I am so horrible at doing during the term, obviously)!

A common question I have been fielding at the beginning is what my plans for this break are going to be.  For maybe the first vacation since being on staff at RVA, I do not have any MAJOR trips planned.  Later this weekend, I’ll be camping with some friends for a few nights, maybe a couple of day trips into Nairobi to ‘eat out’, but other than that, nothing.  I like to tell myself that I’ll be spending some time in the classroom preparing for next year (and this still might happen), but it has not happened yet.

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Term 2 at RVA….. A Whirlwind!

Second term is considered by most RVA staff and students to be the toughest.  The doldrums of academia, AP classes are getting more intense, there are many extra-curricular activities that pull in many directions and many out-of-the-classroom activities happen.  A list of things that took place during this time that garnered my attention this term included: teaching (obviously), prepping a course for third term to teach, Model United Nations, Banquet, coaching soccer and interim among many other activities.  I want to give a brief description of each of these events in order to give the reader a glimpse into what it is that I do during a typical 2nd term.   Read More…