I don’t know what to even say.
Graduation was today. It was beyond my expectations to say the least. There are 118 young adults (can’t call them kids anymore) who are going out into Rwanda to make it a better place.
We bagan the day with a memorial service for Sifa, a founder of ASYV who dies tragically two months ago. She had dreamed of this day for the kids… she was an angel today, watching over them, helping all to run smoothly. Of that I have no doubt.
The graduation was awesome. The folks at ASYV did an absolutely wonderful job planning and executing a stellar ceremony. And considering the extremely difficult logistics involved in hosting a president, including tons of military, guest lists, confiscated cell phones and scans and metal detectors, it was managed with skill and and great calm. I was freaking out, but I hid it well.
The ceremony was held in enormous tents set up on the football field. The kids were in green gowns, donated by the 10 year old daughter of one of our board members, who raised all the money to pay for them. The kids looked amazing. Smiles everywhere. Family, friends, dignitaries, board members… people everywhere, about 1000. You could feel the pride.
Anne asked me to sit in the VIP row as the representative board member to meet President Kigame. Yup, freaking out. I sat next to the Minister of Business, and a student who was chosen from ASYV. And I looked at this young boy, and he was familiar… and don’t you know it was my Henry from last year, 4 inches taller and with a thin mustache. He could not believe all the details I remembered about him, like his twin brothers name and that he wanted to be a Minister in government… I told him he made quite an impression on me. So it was extra special, and he told me we were both really lucky to get to meet the President… he was right.
I suppose I should mention my Rwandan dress. Super comfortable. Yup, that’s rally all I’m going to say about that. But I’m TOTALLY having an African themed party and wearing it. Just sayin’.
Everyone spoke beautifully, Anne was moving and wonderful as usual, and even managed her tears well. Performances were filled with smiles and talent. I wish you all were there with me because no matter what I write it won’t do it justice.
I’m drained. The kids are as well, you can tell. They danced and partied all afternoon.
They see far. They will go far.