We are counting down Donna’s last days in Kigali and trying to check as much off our list as possible. First on the agenda was getting some video of the kids singing and saying some greetings. Donna’s going to turn the best of our cuts into a New Hope Homes video. The problem is the kids are SO tired of being videotaped! And rightfully so. Abby and I have been following everyone around with 2 digital SLR cameras, a video camera, 2 point and shoots, and a digital voice recorder. So I did the ultimate no-no. I bribed them. As soon as I told the older kids that I’d give em candy if the video turned out, the grimaces and eye-rolls were replaced with a sudden sense of urgency to perform!! Imagine that.
Momma Chantel stopped by to say hi (more pictures and video). Even on just a stop by she’s busy settling disputes between children and makes sure each gets a hug before she leaves. Chantel took Sande and Kayatesie with her when she left because their older brother and sister had stopped by to visit. It was heartbreaking to watch the affect this had on Alice (7). I couldn’t tell if she was tired or sad, but she finally cuddled up to me and said, “they never come to visit me”. When I asked her who, she responded her aunt and uncle and proceeded to tell me a little bit about her family. It’s hard to know how to respond when a child is open about something so truly painful. These kids are generally so happy and well behaved, it’s easy to forget about the private battles they fight on the inside. Even for a 7 yr old, there is deep pain in being abandoned and forgotten, especially by family. These are strong kids to endure all this. Oh, and btw, Alice is still 1st in her class! She showed me her marks today. Way to go Alice!!
The day continued with lots of quality time with kids. Physical touch, affirmations, new games, music, etc. Donna and I got a good start organizing the bookshelf in the schoolroom. Admittedly, I’m a nerd and got distracted for a good 20 minutes by a book on the history of the alphabet. And then the kids went down for dinner. One of my new favorite times of day is the pre-bed-wind-down time with the older boys. Tonight we played some old school Monie Love and Lionel and Innocent showed off their hip-hop dance moves!! There’s a video somewhere, it’s unbelievable.
I just want to thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers as we continue with our time here in Kigali. It means a lot to have a community of support behind these kids and behind us as we are working here.