This week marks the end of holiday for Ugandan schools before the kids return next Monday for 2nd term. I usually have a long "to-do" list and hopes for what I will accomplish during the holiday. My wishes vary from academic pursuits with my own three kids to visiting relatives with our David Family kids to spending more time just talking to kids that live on site here at Kasana Children's Centre. And usually, at the end of the holiday, the list of what I actually accomplished looks very different from what I originally set out to do!!! (The dog, on the other hand, has a very short "to do" list and usually consists mainly of the above.)
This holiday season yielded very little academic time with my own three, though we still attempted school a couple days a week. Not only had I shortened our school day from finishing at 1 p.m. to finishing at 10:30 a.m., but many days the unexpected jumped in to take even that short amount of time. At the beginning of the holiday sicknesses and even the death of one of our primary school teachers took precedent over regular schedules for several days.
Two weeks ago was the youth camp here in which a number of our children who are now young adults, planned and executed a program for 140 youth! We hosted a dear friend and former staff member one night as he was a featured speaker the next day at the camp. The following days both Geoff and I spoke at different times. VERY ENJOYABLE, though it kept us busier than our usual schedules.
Geoff meets with some of the leaders of the youth camp. Though Geoff provided guidance and wisdom, the young men planned and executed the entire program.
Last week was pleasantly crammed full of visiting relatives. On Monday I went to visit with one of our daughters at her Aunt's home. Tuesday I spent all day (6 a.m. - 10 p.m.) away from home as I traveled with one of our daughters to Mulago Hospital for some medical tests. After we finished at the hospital she got to visit with one of her older brothers who works in town. Wednesday I spent most of the day being "house girl" in addition to my usual teacher and mom roles. The wonderful lady who helps in our house 4 days a week had been sick for a number of days which meant I was doing more than my usual share of the cooking, cleaning and housework, plus trying to keep up with what I normally try to check off my list for one day! On Thursday morning I went with yet another daughter to visit her grandmother. It was a great visit and we got some pictures which we'd been planning on taking for more than a year now. Grandma seems to be aging a bit quicker these days and a picture of her before she is gone is sooooooooooo important to this daughter! On Friday we were back at Mulago to finish up some tests we had started on Tuesday. Whew!
My main disappointment when I look back over these last 3 weeks is that I didn't get to accomplish all that I wanted to accomplish academically with Toby especially. Being that he is in the primary a few hours each day, I had planned to catch up on his history and math lessons, but as you can see from the above paragraphs, it didn't happen. It's comforting to know that he is ahead of his agemates, so not too many worries there. The positive of the sum of the holiday is that we've spent some good time with different ones in David Family. Some one on one time has happened in some cases and some good group times have also been a blessing.
Tonight we are starting a movie on the life of Mother Teresa. It is a LONG movie, so we'll split it into two nights of viewing. It will be great to have the kids crammed into our living room yet again!!!
On Friday night we will have a huge feast as we say farewell to Nancy Kirsch, our fellow David Family Associate. She will be on home assignment in the U.S. from this weekend through October. She has served faithfully and loved the kids for more than 12 years here at New Hope. It is a pleasure and an honor to send her off FULL of Ugandan food and love. :) It will be a great time for her to be in the states and we ask you to pray for her during this time of rest. She will be visiting family, friends and churches during the next few months and we desire that her time with others will rejuvenate and bless her. She is a joy to serve with here at New Hope!!!!!