For the last two weeks our little fam had the immense pleasure of having our pal Lacey here visiting. If you've been following along for a while, you know that Lacey has been with us in Rwanda a few different times over the last 5 years. So have several of her family members. The last time Lace was with us was 2 years ago, as we were all just getting started on our journey together as a family; Angel and Ange (the big sisters) were both still at home, one boy was home, one at boarding school, two just moved in and were testing the waters while interning at No.41, and one was still yet to come.
Lacey has developed quite a reputation around here, with her zest for life that is virtually unmatched by anyone I have ever met. And we all couldn't wait to have her back! The 41 girls asked nearly every day when she would be here and when the day finally arrived, they were too excited to work and we all just sat outside on the front porch and waited for her bus. While we waited, to pass the time, each of the girls performed their best Lacey impressions, which all included lots of shouting and stomping, followed by roars of laughter. Finally, we saw a backpacked figured walking up the road, they all went running!
From the moment she arrived, the boys and I were constantly in stitches and Lacey, officially, claimed the title of "Auntie Lace". We cooked, we explored, we watched all the Harry Potter movies. She rode Mo's bike and drove JD's car, both with a flair and enthusiasm this little village has never seen before. She also took some family photos for us that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
|Innocent, Wizzy, Terry, Prince, Chazzo, Frank, Tara, Caroline, Moses, Bobby|
The whole thing was all very last minute. We had talked about it a bit, but made no real plans. As our time wound down, we were at the school one day eating lunch and decided this would be the only day it could happen.
Here's the thing, if you've ever heard anyone say "African Time", I want to tell you that.is.real. Please hear me smiling as you read this: it's not rude, just a matter of fact. African Time is not just about arriving at a time on the clock, it's the time it takes to accomplish what needs to happen, pending whatever may happen, before reaching said time on the clock. It's more of an attitude about time, in general, or a more laid back approach to reaching a point in time. On time. What I'm getting at is "hurry up" is a new (and funny) concept to this little crew. We wrangled the cats and begged them to all be home on time. The boys finish school at 4:40 and it's about a 45 minute (purposeful) walk home. We would have a very small window for them to change clothes and take photos before it got too dark around 6.
Lacey and I got to the house first. We raided rooms and picked out clothes that could all work together. Then we laid each outfit out on the backs of the couches and waited. And waited. And paced. And waited. Poor Mo accidentally came home early and was held against his (very strong) will. (Obvs, I can't speak for all Africans, but in my experience, with my Africans, forcing them to endure the wait on "African Time" is maddening.)
At 5:30, after I ran out onto the road and yelled, and waved, and mimed for them to "run!", they all shuffled into the house, happily put on their matching outfits, and wandered outside. And then it was all business. If there is one thing this family does well, it's picture taking...
The boys had a little solo shoot while I went to grab Caroline. They called out each new pose....
And tried to get Inn to smile.
I'm pretty sure I am being given the "where to and what for" by Terry in this photo. Look at those hands. And that eyebrow... I know the look well.
It's hard to fathom that we have ended up here. I don't think this anything any of us even knew to dream of, which makes me incredibly excited and hopeful for what's next (and we do have some things up our sleeves). It's been a ride, for sure, and it's certainly not perfect. But I think it's something better.
A few last things: One, would y'all join us in prayer for two of our next big steps that we aren't ready to talk about publicly yet? Prayers for patience, provision, and wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Two, some have asked about how they can help support our crew and we are so thankful. Sometimes I don't know how to ask for help, sometimes I don't know what to say, but I pretty much keep a running Amazon list, that we have only ever shared with Grandma, for things like Christmas and Birthdays and just to help me remember basic things we can't get here, so if you've got an itchy "add to cart" finger click here for our list. Thank you for following along and thank you for loving and supporting us so well.