All the girls

 I am sitting in Mere’s old school waiting for her release papers to go to the school back in her village.  Like so many things here, I’m waiting.  I’ve been waiting for 30 minutes and it doesn’t seem like I will get out of here soon.  I don’t know why I forget these things happen when I walk in to get stuff.  I am always reminded in the moment that things just take TIME here.   It didn’t work out for Mere at the school we sent her to.  I wish it did.  She’s decided to go back to school in her old village and live with her neighbor.  I have many big feelings about all of it, but it’s her story, not mine….so I won’t share it all here.   I don’t even know if I can label all of the emotions anyway.  Isa summarizes it all well. 

I do know that this has been a really rough week.   I have felt so sick about our departure.   My stomach has been in knots and I haven’t been sleeping well.   I love our life here and I just cannot believe we are leaving it.   I found out this week that most likely the girls won’t have gymnastics or swimming in Mada.  I found this out on the same day that Andie told me that she wants to keep her swimming “career” going as long as possible.   My girls have found two sports they are passionate about and it doesn’t look as if they will be able to practice it there.  This hurts me.  I’ve had a few conversations in the last week about how hard life will be there.   I know that it will be hard.  I know that the language barrier is going to be a huge obstacle in our daily lives.  I know that not seeing the ocean every day is going to be killer. I am going to miss my friends SO much.   I will just miss this place-  the good, the bad, all of it. 

I spoke to Margot this week.  It helped.  She explained to me that she could never choose a favorite country that she’s lived in (and she’s lived in many) because they are all a part of her.  Comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges.  What is great in one country is not the same as what is great in another.  Yes, the girls may not have their sports (gulp) but they will have something else and we don’t even know what that is right now.  Their life will be enriched in different ways and they will be more resilient for it.  It’s all true and I know that….I just need to focus on it.  I know it will be a bumpy road but I hope that when we leave Mada it will be as hard to depart as it is here – for different reasons.

I also found out that the classes are very small and there is an assistant in each class.  I discovered there is no placement testing and girls will be placed according to their age.   I have felt a lot of stress about what grade the girls will go into and whether they can handle it, but all of this info helped.

Now I am sitting at Andie’s swim comp.  Today, tomorrow, and Sunday are all day national club swimming comps.   In the first weekend of June is the school national comp.   Seems a shame in some ways to spend all this time at the pool on the weekends when our weekends are so limited.   But then again, it seems right for the girls since this may be the end of it all.  

Andie has swum her heart out so far.  She has had two personal bests and her relay team came in third (I think).   I am so impressed by her!  Zoё will also swim tomorrow.  More pics after...

stayed at the pool until after dark
relay teams

The team has it's own massage therapist!
relay teams

This morning Zoё got the principled award at school . So proud of that girl always doing the right thing (at school anyway!)

And, a few extra pics of the week:

The guy I get coconuts from after the gym.  He always call me "sista"

Poor Zoё always waiting for everyone else to get ready.