Back to School – 2019

{This should be the last of the MEA CULPA SERIES OF POSTS _ where I post things I should have written a long time ago… yeah…that’s on me.}

These years are strange. We have two kids who go to school about 20 meters from our front door, and two kids who go to school 2 countries away.

Two kids in Kenya

Jonah and Matea are back at RVA, a place they love. Which is great. It doesn’t make it easy on our family that they’re away, but it’s definitely easier. They have incredible support systems there – their dorm parents, teachers, friends, our Serge teammates, etc. It really is amazing -but it’s not here.

dropping them off at RVA

This year is Jonah’s last year at RVA, last year in high school, likely his last year in Africa (…for now). (There is so much in that last sentence that I can’t believe is true)

Dropping the kids off at school is honestly kind of an unexplainable experience. They’re surrounded by people who love and support them, in a place that allows them to thrive probably better than any other place I could think of anywhere. Their ‘strangeness’ as third-culture-kids / missionary kids / kids who don’t really belong anywhere – is the strong tie that gives them something meaningful in common with every other kid at their school.

there may be a lot of years between these two, but there’s a lot of love between them too

Matea is in her second year at RVA, 10th grade. She is thriving and growing and has a great group of friends.

I always said I’d never be the kid of Dad who would embarrass their teenage daughters in front of her friends…no… wait.
Scratch that.
I said I would do that at every opportunity available.
Yeah…that does sound more like me.

One of the great things this year is that our kids are not the only ones from Burundi at RVA this year. Ella and Anna from here in Kibuye joined them this year as did a friend from Bujumbura who our kids know quite well especially since we spent three months together when we evacuated to Rwanda when we first arrived.


Micah and Alma are back at the school here. The school we look at out our windows, that sits basically at the end of our yard, just across the vegetable garden. It’s a place where every teacher is either “Aunt” or “Uncle” and the classmates are this strange combination of friends/neighbors/surrogate-family

Micah is in 8th grade here, meaning this is his last year at this school, in theory he’ll be heading to RVA for the next school year (!)

Alma is in 3rd grade here in this, the only school she’s ever known. What’s odd is not just how unique the school is, but how our kids honestly believe it’s completely normal.

So that’s what back to school 2019 look(ed) like for us.