Tresor’s graduation

2019-05-tresor-graduation-1.jpg

Arriving at the campus, my eyes could not believe this mountain making way for the Wells Fargo Arena where the graduation for Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, was to take place. We have mountains and hills in Rwanda, but this one in the middle of the campus took my breath away.

2019-05-tresor-graduation-2.jpg

Touring the campus with Tresor, this sign caught my attention. I am so proud of Tresor and his academic achievement at Arizona State University. This young man in our Urukundo family did not start his education until he was 12 years old. He is truly an example of what one can do with determination, dedication and a will to succeed.

Congratulations, brother!

Your brothers and sisters at Urukundo Home for Children.

Congratulations, my son.

Your Mom

2019-05-tresor-graduation-3.jpg

Tresor honors the flag of his country, Rwanda.

2019-05-tresor-graduation-5.jpg
2019-05-tresor-graduation-4.jpg
2019-05-tresor-graduation-6.jpg

Dr. Dick Rickmeyer and his wife Jan have been Tresor’s off-campus parents for the last four years. Urukundo/Hope Made Real is so appreciative of their love and family support. Knowing Tresor was in good hands while away from home made it easier for me to let go.

Balloons marked the end of the celebration.

2019-05-tresor-graduation-7.jpg
2019-05-tresor-graduation-8.jpg
2019-05-tresor-graduation-9.jpg

The grand hall where thousands came to witness the ceremony. It was indeed a celebration.

Yep, we were at the right graduation. T-shirts worn by the ushers and guards say so. With so many graduates, it was hard to get a photo of your special grad. It was just such an honor for me to see my son Tresor honored with his peers.

2019-05-tresor-graduation-10.jpg

The time comes for me to return to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Parting from Tresor is hard, but he has much to do -- three more graduation events and preparing to move to California to serve a three-month internship in software development with Esri in Redlands, California. Tresor’s degree is in software engineering

2019-05-tresor-graduation-11.jpg

Jan is chief cook and bottle washer. Jan is wearing her new apron made by the Urukundo Sewing Center.

Developments at Urukundo

Donations received on this trip allowed for the now-in-progress expansion of the library. Pierce and Katie Keating presented the gift for the library expansion. Thanks to the Keating family, Diane Mastrull and other Philadelphia area friends for helping to raise money for Urukundo. If you have not read the article written by Diane in the Philadelphia inquirer published May 1, please check it out on the web.


2019-05-library-expansion-1.jpg

Large annex added.

2019-05-library-expansion-2.jpg

Special event for Urukundo

Auntie Delphine’s wedding was indeed a special event. So sorry I missed it. Delphine was the first Urukundo employee in 2006.

A bridal shower was given by her coworkers at Urukundo Village.

2019-05-delphine-wedding-1.jpg

After a surprise, you shed tears. Tradition, I think.

2019-05-delphine-wedding-2.jpg

The wedding was followed by dancing and singing.

Then food.

2019-05-delphine-wedding-3.jpg

The food was served by the Urukundo kitchen staff. Looks good.

2019-05-delphine-wedding-4.jpg

The wedding attendants and Diescor. Not quite sure how he got in the bride’s photo. Delphine is rather special to our kids, and Diescor has been under her wing since 2007.

2019-05-delphine-wedding-5.jpg

Not the best photo, but our kids and staff presented the bride and groom with a gift. Jean Marie is handing the large pease basket filled with I-am-not-sure-what. It is never empty to Auntie Delphine in the photo.

2019-05-delphine-wedding-6.jpg

Beautiful bride and wedding attendants.

2019-05-delphine-wedding-7.jpg

Best wishes for a long and happy marriage.

Thanks to friends and family

I will miss so many when I return to Rwanda.

Rick and Jan Reckmeyer in Arizona

Rick and Jan Reckmeyer in Arizona

My daughter-in-law Janet, who took such good care of me and my erratic schedule.

My daughter-in-law Janet, who took such good care of me and my erratic schedule.

2019-05-friends-family-3.jpg

My son Jerry’s family who traveled from Williamsport to Pittsburgh to be present at the special fund-raising event in April.

My dear friend, John Guiswite. John and his late wife Sally physically helped to build the boys’ home in the village. John taught me about plumb lines in construction.

2019-05-friends-family-4.jpg

John and Sally’s son, Mike Guiswite, and Mike’s wife who arranged for me to visit John during my brief visit to Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania.

2019-05-friends-family-5.jpg

There are so many others who made my stay in the USA wonderful. Too many to mention, but I love them all and will miss them. Many thanks to all.

See you all again in two years when I come home to celebrate my 90th year on planet Earth.

Rwanda, here I come!

Mama

April 2019 Newsletter

Visit to the USA

What a wonderful welcome I have received!

First off, I was treated to a pedicure, manicure and a new hairdo. A gift from my daughter, Patricia, and her husband, Dale Bauman.

2019-04-pennsylvania-family-friends-1.jpg

What do you think? A bit different. Should it stay?

2019-04-pennsylvania-family-friends-2.jpg

I saw many special people in my first month and a half in the USA. Here are some of them in some kind of order by location.

Early in my travels, I was hosted by the Waverly Presbyterian Church mission team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Early in my travels, I was hosted by the Waverly Presbyterian Church mission team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

What a wonderful evening I spent bringing them up to date on Urukundo and the Urukundo kids!

In State College, Pennsylvania, I saw Carol Falke, president of the Hope Made Real International Board.

Carol and Mama and the ice cream challenge. How awesome, and mine is vanilla, my favorite.

Carol and Mama and the ice cream challenge. How awesome, and mine is vanilla, my favorite.

The creamery at the Penn State University campus has the best ice cream ever. What a treat after Carol and her husband Steve gave me a personal tour of the campus! My first time ever.

More friends for Urukundo kids were at an open house at Carol’s home.

Joan Zimmer and Janet Madore in State College

Joan Zimmer and Janet Madore in State College

Jerry Brown of South Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Jerry Brown of South Williamsport, Pennsylvania

My son Jerry. He was such a reliable source of transport and lodging during my time in the Williamsport area. Jerry also serves Urukundo as the chair of Hope Made Real International Board.

Jeanne Willis of Hughesville, Pennsylvania

Jeanne Willis of Hughesville, Pennsylvania

My children in Rwanda remember Jeanne Willis. Jeanne has been a volunteer at Urukundo Village and is loved by the children.

Sherry Sechrist of Quiggleville, Pennsylvania

Sherry Sechrist of Quiggleville, Pennsylvania

My youngest sister. It was so good to touch base and spend a little time with her.

Darrel Bietz of West Chester, Pennsylvania

Darrel Bietz of West Chester, Pennsylvania

My nephew, Darrel Bietz. It was a pleasant surprise to see and spend a short time with him.

More of my family, this time in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Great-granddaughter Haleigh Moore, daughter Barbara Downs and great-grandson Nate Moore.

Great-granddaughter Haleigh Moore, daughter Barbara Downs and great-grandson Nate Moore.

I then traveled to the Philadelphia area where I was hosted and toasted by Diane Mastrull, reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a good friend to Urukundo.

2019-04-pennsylvania-family-friends-11.jpg

This is Pierce Keating. He has promised to visit Urukundo in the future. Holding you to that promise, my friend.

2019-04-pennsylvania-family-friends-12.jpg

Katie Keating, who is Pierce’s wife, is the mom in this great family. Really Katie is a powerhouse full of love and compassion. Katie and her daughter Katrina have been volunteers at Urukundo.

2019-04-pennsylvania-family-friends-13.jpg

What an awesome couple and lovely family!