It has been one week since the bittersweet farewell at Tumaini. For those of you who know me well, you know it’s a rare moment that I actually have no words. The afternoon at school last Friday was one such rare occasion.
As I walked the familiar route to school, I wondered if my footprints were firmer in the red clay due to the weight of emotions I was experiencing. Note: in walking home I remember little of the journey so didn’t check. Upon arriving to school I was unable to actually say “Good bye,” rather I opted for a simple “See you,” selfishly trying to mentally concoct circumstances that might bring me back to Karatu very soon. FYI I’m still searching…
Shortly following lunch, and a few tearful hugs, the farewell ceremony began upon the beautiful multipurpose court. With dear friend Tom and the lovely Caroline and Angela by my side, we listened as the students shared poems, songs and dances. A special thanks to dear friends Annie and Susan for joining the festivities!! After the beautiful displays and heartfelt words, I was thankfully able to share some words of gratitude without tears (but boy did they come later!!)!
I was dressed in a beautiful khanga with printed words saying “Your kindness/love is forever treasured,” adorned with beautiful jewelry and received a stunning Ujamaa carving. The outpouring of love still keeps me speechless as I re-look at pictures and recall the many moments I’ve shared at Tumaini. As if the afternoon wasn’t fantastic enough, I was blessed to share tea with Tumaini’s principal Mr Allan and his wonderful wife, Janeth. Mr Jimmy joined the fun as we chatted with the newlyweds!
Here are some more glimpses of some of the warmest hospitality I’ve ever experienced…
After the ceremony the upper primary students enjoyed sodas and lollipops while the pre primary peanuts received lollipops. We did “Cheers” before enjoying sips of soda–I think I did about 600 of them!!
Following sodas, the photo opps began!! Felt like I was on the red carpet…suppose for all intensive purposes I was, well upon a red clay carpet!!