Today was the last day of the school year here in Kenya. Students are off until the beginning of January when they will start another grade level.
Johnny, Makena, Butterfly, Emma Caite, Eowyn, and I all spent SIX HOURS at the girls’ school today
enduring, um, enjoying their closing ceremony. Andrew stayed at home playing the Wii. Lucky fella.
I have to admit, it did have its high points. Several of our girls were in the top 3 students of their grade levels, so we were able to clap for them and take photos with them as they received awards, which included two plastic baskets, and a small cooking pot.
The pride on their faces as they recited their poems, songs, and dances as they scouted across the audience for a glance from us- their ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ was priceless. I guess it was worth the other 5 hours and 45 minutes of lectures from headmasters and teachers and potential flu catching (got it last year after the ceremony) from all the hacking of students and parents.
Hawkers were outside the building with their soggy ice cream and small trinkets waiting to prey upon parents’ pride. It was typical, but we made it through it all. Only half a day sitting, listening to preachers trying to convert the students, and ungifted singers singing louder than the microphone could handle. Ok. It was painful, but I’m holding on to the priceless moments…
So, tomorrow Ben will travel with four of our girls to Gem, a rural village where these girls were living with their old grandparents before coming to our home. Then over the course of the next week or so, we hope to send the girls to various friends and family for the holiday. It will give us some time to be a nucleus family and to reconnect and make sure our biological children are not getting lost in the shuffle, and it will give the girls a chance to impress their villages with how beautiful, healthy, and smart they are. (Each time they go, the village wants to send us ALL the orphans they know. They are quite impressed with our girls.)
I’ve scheduled a ‘day’ for each of my bio-kids in December to spend it alone (or with Eowyn, too) with me. We have an advent calendar we are putting together to count down until Christmas, and we are still planning a 4 1/2 day trip to Nairobi!! Whoo hoo!! I’ve been to Nairobi one night this entire year, and our kids haven’t left Nakuru in over a year. This will be good for them. The other holidays (April and August), the orphans-no-more all go off and visit family, whereas our bio-kids just keep doin’ their norm staying at home with us- not to mention they even go to school at home with us.... I hope we can pull this off. It’s much needed for all of us! I think it’ll be good. I’m a flexible chic, so if it doesn’t work out, I’m sure we’ll be creative and still have a good family time even here in at home.
*The photo shows some of our kids in their school uniforms.