Saturday, August 03, 2013

Summit and More

Summit and More

The morning started prior to  sunrise when the  alarm broke the silence of the night at 5:30 AM.  First things first. Plug  in Harvin’s coffee to brighten morning.  Gently waking the big kids from the deep slumber was bitter sweet.

After our morning drink (think malt o meal like) we assembled for our team with the aspiration of making it up to the top  of the summit of the mountain near our home. 

13 kids plus Harvin and I set off to make our dream a reality.

The early morning adventure happened before most of the kids in the neighborhood were up so it was really nice simply walk the 1st of the road with just our team and some of the adults walking to fetch water or off to work with a hoe on top of their head.

We began the climb with the rules that if Harvin or Donna can’t see you, you need to go to the back of the line. That was the best incentive we had to keep everyone together. The had a narrow path that requires single file for most, but not all of it.

Harvin has been teaching the boys how to be ‘gentlemen’ with very real life lessons as they come. Climbing the mountain presented another moment. Harvin is very sweet about helping me on some of the more rugged sections and wanted the boys to now trade off and do the same.  They were all very sweet.

Starting out at 5000 ft did require a few stops along the way to acclimate.

As we approached the top we found a great landing with  an amazing view of Lake Burera.  We (Harvin and Donna) had no idea there was such a big lake nearby.  One more leg to the climb and we summited together.

The view was spectacular.  We stopped to soak it in.  Erica has made some cookies for the kids to enjoy as a surprise. She has planned to do the climb with us but was unable to join us as she needed to go to Kigali.   We were surprised to see a lovely old woman working in a wheat field at the very top of the mountain.  With a hoe in hand and two small children standing at her side, they were surprised to see Harvin approach them and offer them some cookies too.  The kids who followed us up the mountain for the last leg were also delighted when he offered them some too.  It was the first time they had cookies in their lives. 

One of the local kids had knelt down at the top of the mountain and kissed the ground as he reached the top in thanksgiving, so Harvin thought a cookie celebration was worth it.

We sat together and said the 2 things we are thankful today.  Harvin captured the beautiful summary on his iphone.

I was the scout on the way down to continue our adventure back to the house on an alternate path.  Isaac, Sande and Lionel were my Directors to assess which way to go on each path choice.

At the end we celebrated our victory with a joyful return home to mama.

Next up was the endless task of inventorying kids clothes, shoes etc.  Rather than just getting current sizes we wanted to really assess what each child has. This required them to try on every piece of clothing to show us it fit and the group assessed if it fit or not with a thumbs up or down.  We started with the big boys who took hours to get through it.  Kayitesi (Peace) organized the girls to they would have their act together in advance. 

The review with the girls just about pushed Harvin over the edge to be amidst all the frilly clothing assessment.  The girls of course also want to keep the clothes that means the most to them from their sponsors we had some tears and pouting as we told them some things were too small. Esther had the hardest time with these decisions.  Harvin pushed through and we made great progress.

Early evening it was time to chill. That means some hoops, some trampoline time and some playing in the sand while Harvin got a lesson on doing his laundry in the bucket. 10 minutes of training yielded zero results so the kids joined them to complete the task.

Simultaneously I went to play on the tramp and while showing Lionel and Anna a new move I landed a trick badly and appear to have done a little damage to my knee in which a had a big injection before I left.  Drat.

We got smurf movie in just before dinner. We again projected it on the wall and people got to ease into the night in their pjs all cuddled up.  Ya, doesn’t’ get any better than that.

The night ended with Harvin cooking our (the two of us – not for the whole kids) dinner over a fire. The kids came and watched us like they were watching movie. I asked them which is better….watching a movie or watching us. We won with most of the audience J.

We took a vote on the day. On the scale of 1-10 …how would we rate the day.  The scores ranged from 1 to a Billion but the majority vote was around 99. 

I gave it the billion and held strong.
The kids were off to bed while Harvin and I stoked the fire and talked about our hopes and dreams for the kids until 1 am.

I gave the day – a billion  - and hold strong.

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