yup – that’s what we did

It feels like there are frequently times in our lives here where we have to stop and almost double-check if something just happened

There is the more surreal: “Did we just drive across the country during a military coup d’état and we didn’t know it?”

There is the bizarre: “Did someone just knock on our door and hand us a live rooster?”

There is the funny “Did I just confuse two Kirundi verbs and end up saying something highly inappropriate?”

Then there are the things we do, that make us question our own choices, if not our sanity.

“Did we really just send our kids to boarding school in another country in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century?”

yes.

Yes we did.

(our teamate Jess wrote about her experience leaving their daughter for the first time )

The school has been incredibly proactive, organised, and agressive in their approach to controlling the pandemic. Our kids have been living in increasingly large cohorts, as the school cautiously allows more interaction among the students and staff present. The result is actually shocking. The fact that they have no active cases or anyone in isolation due to exposure despite having 100’s of people fly in from all over the world is amazing.

But that’s just the unique part about this drop off. All the other bits that are normally there – still require to be faced.

The feeling that you are being robbed of years with your kids that others don’t have to give up.

The knowledge that you’re going to miss out on events, activities, milestones.

etc

etc

etc

in front of the Buffalo statue – the Class Gift to the school from Jonah’s graduating class

In some ways I hesitate to say ‘it gets easier’ – because it’s so hard, it’s hard to imagine it being harder. But, then I recall the first few drop-off’s. When neither us nor our kids had any idea what to imagine. When we didn’t have the solid network of friends and colleagues there to support out kids. When we didn’t know what the school was like, how it worked, what to expect.

starting to question whether he really is going to pull this off…

Then we look back – and see how God has been faithful to our kids and us as a family over the past five years. There have been many, many hard things – but there have been so many good things.

Kibuye kids – normally inseparable for more than a few hours – having not seen each other for months

Our kids have grown in so many ways – that would never have happened otherwise. They have made friendships that could only be forged in a situation like that. They have experienced so much. They have been challenged, really truly challenged – spiritually, emotionally, socially, academically.

ahhhh….that seems under control

It almost feels as though HARD BUT GOOD is a theme that I’m supposed to be understanding.

Hopefully I’ll get it eventually.

Signs of COVID

For almost a year various health agencies around the world have struggled to communicate to the public at large, what needs to be done to help reduce the spread of this virus.

Of course, this task has been made harder by individuals and groups who for reasons incomprehensible to me, seem to ignore, minimize, or even fight against them. Not wearing masks, doing only the bare minimum legally required, or even shredding conspiracy theories, or false information about the fairly obvious ways masks reduce the spread of an airborne virus.

But what I’ve found interestng is the the localization of the standard “2m/6ft” and other asscocated guidances to local contexts.

When we were back in Alberta, this is the official notice from the ministry of health that was posted everywhere. They decided to use a shorthand for 2m that clearly demonstrates at the same time a little bit of humor, and a lot of self-awareness.

This probably didn’t seem too strange to many, but having not lived in Alberta a lot in the past while these things stuck out to us. When we took a few days hiking in the Rockies, we saw some more very local examples of 2m in the vernacular. Ski poles and mountain bikes…

When the airport here opened after almost 7 months of closure there were new signs indicating how to keep physically distant. Feet here are often bare – so it seems reasonable that the indicators at the international airport use this as the outline.

{just last week the government here started passing rules regarding the wearing of masks. All of a sudden starting are people wearing masks. Maybe we’ll refer to it here as COVID-21}

When we flew through Ethiopia, this was the sign that was placed throughout the terminal. Interestingly they feel the need to prohibit “spitting everywhere” inside the international airport – due to the presence of COVID.

and…this one I have not seen in the wild, but it was sent to me. A classic French approach, using something as common to French Alpine residents as a mountain bike is to Canadian mountain people…

Team blog updates

if you don’t regularly read our team blog – — you should.

There’s a couple recent posts I wanted to point to

Our friend/neighbor/teammate Jess just wrote on the harsh realities of sending our kids to school. There are several sentences that I feel reflect my thoughts so much they could have been written by me. (also – if you are a parent, perhaps read in a room by yourself – otherwise, you’ll have to explain how you were ‘just chopping onions before you read it…”)

I also just put up a post there on How the Body Suffers – based on a reflection that came to me as I was slowly running through the hills here in Burundi