Celebrations

February, the love month

It seems each month has its own rewards and challenges. February is no exception. Cramming into 28 days what usually takes 31 has not been easy.

Love is what it is all about.

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We share our love with Centre Marembo in Kigali by supplying free dental care for their girls.

Love is shared with Benjamin, our maintenance manager, on the birth of his baby girl. Benj has two boys. Now a little girl. How awesome! Congratulations, Papa Benj.

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Love is sharing a cookie in worship Sunday morning.

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Love is a teacher caring for his student with tenderness.

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Love is hugging a little girl and her butterfly.

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Love is sharing with Sandy Narayanan and Laurien Sibomana as they work for the welfare of young people with diabetes in Rwanda.

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Share your love. Make every day a special day for at least one person. Blessings flow.

Visitors day at secondary school

First visit to Claude and Luki in secondary school. Visitation is allowed the second Sunday in the month. The St. Bernadette Secondary School is a half hour from Urukundo Village and easy to get to.

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Students wait for family and friends.

This month, Luki hurt his shoulder playing sports, and we were able to bring him home for a few days. If he were in a school several hours away, this would not have been possible. His shoulder was only bruised, and he returned to school after three days.

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Our boys are growing up.

Big brother Diescor, our medical student, home for a break, visited with the boys.

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Solange becomes a US citizen

Solange Nirere came to Urukundo in 2006. She was 12 years old. One of the first of my girls. She moved to McAllen, Texas, in 2012 for health reasons (asthma), finished high school and graduated from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She is currently enrolled in its graduate program in political science. She expects to earn her master’s in political science in 2020. She is now 25 years old.

On Jan. 9, Solange took an oath and became an American citizen.

Solange and her best friend and lawyer, Ana Villegas, celebrate this momentous occasion.

Solange and her best friend and lawyer, Ana Villegas, celebrate this momentous occasion.

So proud Solange is now an American.

Birthday surprise

My 88th birthday turned out to be a total surprise. Who would ever expect a party at 6 am in the morning. When called to the living room that early in the morning I expected one of the children was sick so I quickly put on a cover dress did not comb my hair etc. Imagine this wonderful greeting.

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Not just the children, but teachers and staff were there to sing happy birthday to me.

Sure I cried. Tears of joy. Olive brought my housecoat so I would not be cold, and we toasted my special day with coffee, tea and African donuts

The kids presented me with a lovely card and lots of love.

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My gift from the staff was a new party dress.

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It is beautiful. Too early in the morning for modeling.

Birthday thanks

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to the many friends and family members who sent me birthday wishes on Facebook and especially email (my favorite way of communicating).

To those of you who cared and were willing to help fund my trip home in March, I am so grateful.

My ultimate goal is still living until I am 110 + years. God in charge. A lot to ask, I know.

It will take that many years to be sure the foundation laid here is solid and the children are the unique people God intends them to be.

Community Christmas on Dec. 21

Christmas for community children was a bit overwhelming. We knew it would be more than last year, but the over 600 who attended was more than we expected.

Kids arrived early, waiting for doors to open at 1:30 p.m.

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Seating plan went well.

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Hope House is full and runneth over.

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Overflow. On outside retaining wall and steps.

All children were served inside and outside.

We decided that we could not use chairs this year. Mats were placed on the floor in Hope House. Benches were along the far wall for teens. Chairs on platform were for mamas with babies.

Ok now we are ready. We think.

Boxed milk, meat sumbosa and juice for those who cannot tolerate milk were the treats for the day.

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Entertaining so many children, it was necessary to have not only a system to serve refreshments but also to give gifts and have an exit setup so that there was crowd control. Interesting!!

Plan A. Give refreshments, collect trash. Girls line up for Door No. 1.

Boys line up for Door No. 2.

Receive gift, exit building. It worked.

Didn’t need Plan B.

Door No. 1 girls.

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Door No. 2 boys.

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Executive secretary Eric and Johnny.

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Claude, Luki, Aline, David, Soso and John helped serve the kids and did the outside cleanup after the finish. They did a great job. Thanks, guys.

Ready for Christmas

Claude, Aline, Luki, Claudine, Egide, John, David, Diane and Soso

Claude, Aline, Luki, Claudine, Egide, John, David, Diane and Soso