When my parents arrived last weekend, I told them, "Prepare yourself for the busiest week of the year at New Day!" Um, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that was an understatement! In a nutshell, we have had my parents arrival, a team's arrival, a ministroke by Wes and emergency travel to South Africa, a 60th birthday and anniversary, a VBS with 200+ village kids, and a chief's inauguration. We also have our monthly birthday parties today, but I figured I better blog before I get overwhelmed! ;)
I tried to put these pictures in some kind of order, but it's Saturday morning and I have to finish laundry and clean my house before the birthday party and VBS, so I'm in a hurry!
First, some pictures of Mom & Dad's first week at New Day! They got to celebrate their 43rd anniversary at the chief's ceremony!
Checking out Happy Hollow's sunset from the back porch!
Enjoying the wifi and keeping up with Shade's funny face swap posts!
They are SO much more high tech than us - they have perfected the selfie!
It was so great to be with Mom on her 60th birthday! She is in full-on teacher mode as she prepares to take over Laurie's class and teaches Cambree's 5th grade Language Arts!
Speaking of teaching, we had a fun Thursday in 5th grade Math doing perimeter, area, and volume with legos and blocks!
Dad has had a good time getting to know the New Day boys!
Matching New Day shirts!
For Mom's 60th birthday, I "kidnapped" a bunch of old cross-stitch frames that had special meaning to her and snuck them to New Day! They were going in the garage sale and she was very sad about this, so I intervened without her knowing it! :)
Erin has been a great extra pair of hands to have around, especially during VBS!
The team from FBC Crosbyton has 4 teachers on it and a crafty teenager - time for a new bulletin board at New Day! They decided to separate it into 4 sections and do the 4 days of VBS!
Day 1 of VBS had 218 kids, and Day 2 there were 158 (due to chief's ceremony and a funeral). The kids are rotating between Bible story/Music, Crafts, and Recreation!
On Friday, all 65 of us (kids, staff, team, etc) headed to Chief Mapanza's Inauguration. The former Chief died about 3 years ago, and there has been discord among family members over who will be selected next. They finally made the selection, and it was time to inaugurate Chief Mapanza the Seventh, a lawyer from Lusaka. We packed 65 lunches, dressed the kids in their school uniforms and the adults in New Day shirts, and loaded up the bus for 2 trips (about 20 minutes away). When we got there, we were surprised to find a new road that had been grated and police directing traffic - it was a HUGE deal! There were around 2000 people in attendance, and of course they wanted "New Day people" to sit in the "important people section!" So we sent the team and some staff there and the rest of us sat in the dirt with the kids. We couldn't see much, but it was fun to stand and clap as each of the dignitaries came in. Blu had driven Wes & Laurie to Livingstone, so he called me just as Chief Mapanza was about to come in saying he was there, but he had been swallowed up in a mob of people who told him, "Come! Let's go get the chief!" Somehow, that led to Blu holding a spear and dancing in front of the chief in front of 2000 people. (Is anyone surprised???) It was the highlight for sure for all of the kids! After that, there was a Catholic Mass, and the priest did a wonderful job speaking. We snuck out after this, knowing there were still hours left in the program and we had to get back for VBS. After a quick picnic lunch, we loaded up and went back to New Day!
The backseat of the truck was a little crowded!
Cambree & Emma, who felt so special in her "uniform!"
It was hard to get a good picture of the huge crowd!
This old lady kept going to the front to dance!
Watching and waiting..
Phillip & Cason
Picnic lunch - the team helped so much with making sandwiches!
The Catholic priest
And, finally, Papa Wes. When he was leading a team tour on Thursday, he dropped his phone and couldn't pick it back up. He then began slurring, and those around him knew he was having stroke-like symptoms. Blu rushed them to Macha Hospital to our closest American doctor (30 minutes) who said it appeared to be a TIA, but there was nothing that could be done for that in Zambia. Once he returned to New Day and continued slurring, the decision was made to fly to South Africa and seek better health care. Wes & Laurie are there now, with Wes in the hospital undergoing testing. He seems to be improving, and we are all ready to get some answers. Please lift up Wes & Laurie in your prayers! On Thursday night, all of the New Day kids headed to their house to tell them bye. Here are the Tidwell kids with their Papa Wes.
And that catches you up on the last 5 days of our life! Birthday party & VBS are next!