Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sackets Harbor, NY

We visited our friends at their campground in NY. They took the kids for a boat ride and Mikaylah caught her first fish!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

trip to Paris

Here we are off to Canada via Paris.

Mikaylah and Jayson weigh in at the airport in Niamey

Here we are on the plane to Paris. Since we had an eight hour lay-over in Paris, we told Mikaylah we would go see the Eiffel Tower.

Mikaylah and Jayson both loved the moving sidewalks. By the time we got out of the airport and on the the train we figured we would have 15-20 minutes at the Eiffel tower before we had to take the train back to the airport to catch our flight to Toronto.

Jayson enjoyed the train ride.

Jayson loved traveling with Sharlene. We thought we were getting off the train at the Eiffel Tower, but when we came up above ground we were three kilometers away from the tower and right outside the Cathedral Notre Dame.

Notre Dame

Jayson and Mikaylah posing in front of Notre Dame.  We didn't have time or money to get back on the train and go all the way to the tower...
Here it is, the Eiffel tower... three km away!!!  Can you see it on the horizon?  Actually I think we adults were more disappointed than the kids were!

On our plane to Toronto we got put up in the bubble. Mikaylah got a window seat. She was amazed how the clouds seemed to turn into mist as we flew threw them.

Mikaylah standing in front of our plane to Toronto, notice the bubble? That's where our seats were, up the staircase! It was so fun to see everything through their eyes.!
The cousins were at the airport to meet us!  We have been having a great time here in Canada!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Goodbye, I'm bluer than blue...2011

Learning how to do goodbyes is one thing. Teaching your children how to do goodbyes is a whole other ball of wax. Looking forward to our time in Canada this summer helps enormously. Now they can experience "the leaving" and not just "the being left behind". 
Jayson manages to just kiss and hug his way through. Mikaylah is more contemplative and perhaps she better understands the ache of missing those who are now absent. We lost five students this week, plus one alumni who appeared for seven days and is now gone again. They won't really realize the entire loss until they welcome the dorm kids back in August and figure out that Bethany, Josh, Hannah, Elisheva and Spencer are not coming back. 

We just finished the very busy grad week filled with exams, special dinners out, birthdays, year book signing, parties, a soccer game, a banquet, bush dancing, a reception, and a graduation ceremony, not to mention the flurry of cleaning, packing and deciding what to keep and what to discard. Now that the students have vacated the premises the let down begins.Here are a few photos from our busy and emotionally draining week: 

Our dorm assistant, Cindy's birthday was the last one to be celebrated this year, June 8th.
Asyncrite and Spencer's room.  Trying to sort, pack and study all at the same time.
Bush Dancing in the dining hall became a favourite pastime this year.
We took our two seniors, Elisheva and Spencer to the Indian restaurant to give them their special dinner out and their grad gifts.

Eli and Spencer were happy to receive their quilts to keep them warm in America.
Creating a bottle band was just one of the creative things Eli wanted to do before leaving Niger.

We took Beth, Josh and Hannah out for their farewell dinner.
Dressing up in funny clothes, hairstyles and make-up was also on the list! Eli and Melinda...Rufus graduated last year and has been studying pre-med at ORU.  He was on a mission trip in Togo for three weeks in May and instead of going back to the US he managed to take a bus up to Niamey for a week to enjoy the end of the year festivities and renew relationships.  He will resume his studies at ORU in August.
Elisheva and me at the grad banquet.  She will be studying at Seattle Pacific University in the fall.  This young woman has been a great example to me and an inspiration to me and many others as well.  We will really miss her joyful exuberance.
Spencer giving Jayson a squeeze at the grad reception.  He is going to Taylor University in Indiana.  So we will be able to see him during our home assignment.
After their whirl-wind trip around the world, the Sim family will return to Australia.

As a dorm family we prayed especially for those who were leaving us.  Rituals and words help us to cope with loving and leaving.  But this life of transition also reminds us that our home is in heaven, and when we finally arrive, there will be no more good-byes!