Thursday, December 27, 2012
Seems like yesterday and seems like forever ago
That’s what it feels like to be in the arms of our kids. It’s like time stood still from our last embrace (ignore the fact they are all taller!) as the love is so overflowing. At the same time it feels like forever since I have been able to connect with them and ask how they are, what is good about their lives etc etc. While I visit every 4 months, it is so very hard to be away from them.
Unfortunately I had to go over solo today as Harvin seemed to have gotten a serious dose of food poisoning in route and spent the night worshipping the porcelain throne including sleeping on the floor in his bathroom. This morning he was a little better, but decided to stay home and sleep. By this evening he doing great. Should be rockin’ tomorrow.
Chantal drove me to the kids as my scooter did not make it from Kigali. She had me hide in the SUV. She greeted the kids and then eventually opened the door on my side. The kids squealed for joy and the endless greetings and hugs began. Chantal had made them cookies so they all sat down and enjoyed her homemade feast.
Sending her off to go back home, the girls all came to chat with me and ask me so many questions. How is Harvin? How is Kristen? When does she come? How is Holly Potter? Does Tina have a baby? How is Jennifer Wolf? What about Lisa? How is Rebecca? And DJ? And Liles? It went on endlessly. Then they asked about each of their sponsors. You simply can’t fully appreciate how top of mind you all are. They know so many of you are out there helping them.
After the little kids when down for their nap, we asked Mama if I could take the kids out for an adventure. They learned the word adventure last time. They now know it is when you go some place without knowing where you are going and believe that no matter what it will be fun. So off we went on our adventure.
We took my favorite trek from August. Down the dirt road by our home, cut through the grass near the prison then climb down a big hill with boulders, then cross through a ditch that requires us to make a human chain to get everyone from one side to the other and then…and only then…do we come to our favorite place of all. The stream.
The water was over the banks today and flowing rapidly. The good news is the water is only about a foot so I can safely manage watching 13 kids. At first they are timid just standing at the bank watching it flow. Then eventually, one by one they get in until they all splashing and laughing until their guts are about to split. The locals come out and watch us thinking we are a little nuts. But, that’s part of the adventure. While they played, others came to fill their water jugs for their long journey home and others came to do their wash, so it is indeed a community gathering.
Kids are kids, no matter where they live. Thus water, splashing and laughter are all universal.
The sky was looking increasingly like rain. I gave the kids the 15, 10 and 5 minute warning prior to departure. Then we had to decide which way home. The long way, hoping the rain would hold off or the more expedient route, the way we came.
They of course convinced me the rain would hold off so we could take the long way. Ya, ya. We set off to climb the big hill, then down the next, then over the board to cross the seriously rushing water. As we emerged, I said it smelled like rain. They asked me how I could smell water. Well, I said I can. 3 mins later the light rain began and then the massive downpour. When it rains in Rwanda. It rains. Heavy, like Hawaii.
The kids ran ahead as I tried to run while finding some way to wrap up my iphone in my Rwandan dress and someone else shorts that were damp but not soaked. As you can imagine, running in the rain with kids is about as fun as it gets, so the giggles filled the mountainside.
Arriving home, the kids quickly changed out of their clothes and I attempted to dry off, but it’s not that easy. Ahh… well you can get warm when you have a pile of kids sit on your lap and hug you. Thankfully, and frankly unbelieveably, the iphone survived.
We spent the afternoon talking. Most of it was answering endless questions about their sponsors.
I decided it was best to head home early to check on Harvin. Waving goodbye they all kept yelling “see you tomorrow, see you tomorrow.” Yes indeed my sweet ones…see you tomorrow and I will have a big surprise with me…Harvin.