This week, we celebrate achievement in several ways. Primarily, and this is why we are back home at this time, because both our kids graduate from university. (Bear with me here, I’m a proud mom ☺)
Getting this far has been quite the challenge, especially since we homeschooled in the African bush for a good 8 years. I am no teacher, and we had no library, no science lab and few reference materials or resource people. There were days when I wondered if we would manage to get our kids successfully through school and “university-ready”. And so we did a lot of question asking and preparing and planning. And when that was all done, we tackled the work that was set out before us.
(Bush living provided science lessons of its own. Here, the kids admire a "stick bug".)
When the kids were 18 and 16, we returned to Canada with the plan that they would remain here to finish school and pursue their careers.
Russell had decided to take engineering so he had his work cut out for him from the get-go. Part of the process of applying for engineering involved an interview with one of the program counselors, I guess to help prepare the student for the hard work that was to come. During this interview, and in order to make his point, the counselor said, “If you’re sure this is the program for you, then you better draw a picture of the sun and of your parents now because once you get started, your head will be in the books so much you won’t see either for a very long time.”
When I heard about that afterwards, I was rather terrified for him. Would he be able to hold up under the pressure? When we asked him how he felt about that, he replied with, “Well, I’m a bit afraid. But I’m also excited about it.” That was five years ago.
At about the same time, Amanda had Grade 12 yet to finish. We decided that since schools were accessible for the first time in many years, she would finish her education at nearby school. She also had to go for an “interview”, with us, to see just where she would fit into the system.
At the time of the interview, she had already missed a valuable month of class time, but the vice principal thought she should register for classes immediately anyway and suggested something along these lines: “There’s no need to sit at home waiting for next semester. If you set your mind to it, you can catch up. Your classmates are ahead of you right now, so you will ‘eat dust’ initially. But if you work hard at it, you can do it.”
Again, I was a bit terrified. Amanda, on the other hand, was game for the task. Within a few months, not only had she caught up, she made the honor roll. That was 5 years ago.
Today, Amanda graduated with a B.Sc. Specialization in Biochemistry.
Tomorrow, Russell will graduate with a B.Sc. in Engineering. Both graduated with distinction. I guarantee you there was much ‘dust to eat’ with all that studying, but much was gained as well.
Well done, kids. Congratulations to you both!
Last week we (SAM Ministries) held a few days of strategic planning meetings. It was a great chance to review what has been achieved thus far and also to set goals for the coming years.
The team of student nurses from Prairie is currently in Mozambique and keeping very busy with a number of activities like community visits and health teaching. (Thanks for the photos, Keren.)
Click here to see more photos of the team's activities and to read about their experiences in Mozambique.
For now, I will close :) It's been a terribly busy time for us these past few weeks, and in a few short days we leave to go back to our home in Africa. We're sad to say goodbye again to our family, but at the same time, anxious for what is set before us.