Sunday, May 31, 2015

One Last Time

                 It's a girl!

Remy's wife had a girl after three boys!  He was very excited!  Remy has been our contact with the school district.  He and his wife built this house themselves.  He doesn't own a car , but he is an outstanding public servant.  He was there on Saturdays to help make sure the desks got delivered to the right schools.  We asked one teacher to sign for the desks she had received.  She said, "Well, I haven't received all of the 100 Remy promised, but I trust him and I know I will get them."
 He was at home on this day because the office was closed due to protests in the city.  

 Sometimes the last time sneaks up on you.   But sometimes you have a feeling this is it.  I felt that way when we drove away from Remy's house and I took a picture up the road.  I wanted to remember where it was and how it looked.  When I looked up the road, Remy was standing still in the gate watching us go.  I wondered if he felt it too.

 Its a boy!

 Claude's wife had number 11.  This is the yard where he built 825 desks for our last project and this one is for 650.

 The loo is the small tin shed on the left near the back and the kitchen is the shed on the right near the front.
 Living room and bedrooms are at the top of this ramp.
They are great people.

 Eight boys and three girls, all beautiful children.  I wanted to take a family portrait and have it printed up for them before I left.

 A truce was declared for a couple of days so  we went to visit the latrine sights.

If these two pictures were next to each other, you could see the bucket brigade that moved the cement from the mixing pile to the lid on the latrine pit.
Almost every other one was a woman hoisting buckets of cement all day.  The women were the ones who danced in between buckets.  They were singing as they worked.

 Here is a finished covered pit.  Now the walls go up.  We will have to depend on a site monitor to send pictures of the progress from now on.  We had hoped to be there to see it finished.

 That last day at the park as we were working with Terrance.  These women were working nearby.  They kept the weeds in check.  We had taken pictures of them one day and given them a few BIF for the privilege.  This day when David walked away for a minute, they all of a sudden started chattering to Terrance.  He chuckled and then told me they had said, "Terrance, he is walking away, didn't you tell him we are hungry?  Why did you let him walk away?"    They were very willing models. I am sure they will end up in a painting one day.

 Can't get enough of these gorgeous trees in the Jardin Public.

The timing was perfect to catch this high five from Bernard even though people were being shot in the streets, these people came to the park this day and made their regular rounds in good spirits.

And Terrance,  Oh my!  We didn't know it was the last time he would put us through our exercise routine and teach us French and give our feet and hands the best massage of all time.

Emeline, Terrance's wife, gave birth to a boy after two girls just a few days after we left.  We called to give our congratulations.  He said the very French thing to say.  "I have many nostalgias for you."

That is probably the best way to say it because to say we will miss him just isn't enough!

But I think that all of these new babies is one way the Lord sends hope to these people in these struggling places.  New hope for Burundi.

 On Tues we sent all of the young missionaries to new fields of labor.  They had been having a difficult time meeting people.  Many people were staying in their homes to avoid the problems and some days the missionaries themselves stayed home for security reasons.
Sister Ngui and Sister Randrianirina were really my daughters. 

This looks like one of those "last time" pictures.  Just before we took the girls to the airport, Remy posed with them.  He was so good to us.  He washed our truck every day, cleaned our floors and windows and played charades with us every day.  He could hear the truck coming a block away and the gates would open magically and close behind us.  He rarely missed.  That is why I called him "Mr. Magic" and Remy "clean" Nsengiumva.

This was on Tues.  By Saturday we had packed, moved to the Martha Hotel, talked on the phone to Pres. Thomas and church security multiple times and finally got the go ahead to drive out as the airport was closed and there was no other way.  A security company drove out first and checked road conditions, proved it to be safe and escorted us to the border.

 This is the border between Rwanda and Burundi.  The sign is so small on the Burundi side, you can barely see it.

The last sight of Burundi, a gate and a sign that reads "Republic of Burundi".  We were happy and sad to be on this side of that gate. 

The Lemigo Hotel in Kigali Rwanda was a very welcome sight.  
We took turns taking pictures as we went with Neeleys to the church there just around the corner from the hotel.  The church is the building just behind us down the steps.
 Kigali was a beautiful city and we would gladly have stayed there but we already had plane tickets for Johannesburg the next day. 

 In Joburg, they treated us like royalty.  We had dinner with President Ellis and his wife two nights and met with him and  Elder Hamilton as we talked about what to do with us.
The Area Presidency live in this old mansion on the same grounds as the temple. 

 We stayed for the last two weeks at the Sunnyside Park Hotel.  It is a long vacation!

 One last picture with Neeleys before they took a plane to America.  

"Saying goodbye doesn't mean anything.
 It's the time we spent together that matters, 
not how we left it."