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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

First Day of School 2011

Today Caleb returned to his normal 11th grade classes after a month break (casual, no big deal, glad to be back, reconnecting with friends, more of a homecoming for him). And Jack and Julia spent their first day in 8th and 9th grade, actually their first day of a generally American school ever, except for a part-time preschool for Julia when she was 4. They came home chatty, encouraged about a lot of things (like the fact that they knew all the answers on the Geometry quiz, or the wild story their Biology teacher told of being accosted by bandits in a game park). The biggest stress was band for Julia, where she felt hopelessly behind as a beginner clarinet player, so we have to review that. Otherwise they are predictably tired, the strain of new place, new names, new people, new directions, new rules, new expectations, new food, new everything takes its toll. They miss Uganda, especially RMS. Keep them in your hearts as they move through their days, juggling text books and finding a locker and figuring out where to change for PE and what kind of paper the teacher wants homework assignments written on and all those things that will be second nature in a few weeks. Julia starts soccer practice tomorrow, too, she missed try-outs at the end of first term but we hope she'll be included in one of the teams.

Meanwhile our day consisted of Swahili study, laundry (a washing machine! and a dry high-altitude climate means the clothes dry on the line by noon!), cleaning, baking, Scott catching up on several issues as a FD, emails, searching on line for used cars, phone calls . . . and in the late afternoon, finally, the key became available to peek in the house we've been assigned. Like everything here it's old, and worn, cinderblock construction with "hospital-yellow" decade-old painted plaster inside, no furniture, no appliances, bare bones. It's not one of the larger or nicer houses here, but it IS one of the best locations for kids going back and forth to RVA activities. And we're all pretty excited about it, having our "own" place this soon in our stay is a huge gift. It will take a few weeks for some basic repairs and a repaint, but we're praying the hospital work crew is motivated, because after almost a year of slowly packing up, saying goodbyes, moving out of our home of 17 years, being in limbo, about six months now of suitcases and temporary stays . . the idea of moving INTO a house where we can stay for a few years is tantalizingly appealing.

To end the day well: notes for Jack and Julia from some of their beloved former teachers, bookends of their entire Uganda school experience, Miss Becky and Aunt JD and MIss Ashley and Miss Anna. Thanks for remembering their big transition today.


Suzanne said...

We're so happy for you getting your own place so soon, and one with such a good location for your needs. We so appreciate your pictures. It really helps to see for what and for whom we're praying. ;-)

Bethany said...

Can't believe they now have a photo wearing sweatshirts on the first day of school! Guess we're not in Kansas/Bundibugyo anymore. I'm so proud of Jack and Julia, and know they'll do great at RVA! Happy for you house too.

Anonymous said...

backpack swapping. you guys almost look kind of starting to grow uppp/

Anna said...

RMS misses you! And so do I SO much! Love both of you thinking of and praying for you too!