We are now in the USA. So much has already happened and the climate is so different that what happened just a few weeks ago in Niger seems so long ago and so far away. But it is time to take a short trip back in time and update you on Suzanne's graduation.
First, there was the junior/senior banquet. Because Sahel is such a small school, the banquet is for juniors, seniors, seniors' families, and school staff. It is a celebration of their accomplishments and a time to think about the future. There were ten in this year's graduating class...Sahel's largest graduating class ever! The banquet was held at a pretty nice hotel that overlooks the Niger River. In addition to lots of food, there was a program to honor the seniors. The juniors sang a song to them and had prophecies of what would happen in their lives. Suzanne's involved being a soccer player and marrying the coach and then being a missionary teacher. The parents also had a song....our last chance to embarrass our kids publicly. John put together a song to the tune of Gilligan's Island. Then each parent interjected a short song specifically about their kids at certain points in the song. Many of us wore some of our kids' clothes or something to do with their style of music. It was pretty funny.Then there was the graduation. It was held on the green at Sahel. It was pretty hot out, but at least there was a bit of a breeze. The graduates were really hot, though, with their robes and sashes.
Tam's dad opened the ceremony in prayer.
The worship team had a few songs.
A home-school student who grew up in eastern Niger graduated with the Sahel graduating class.
The seniors also sang a song...I Will Trust in You by Jeremy Camp.
Then one of the teachers gave a commendation to the students, saying something special and specific about each student. It was very moving.
Then each student gave a brief speech thanking certain people for their input into their lives and telling what they will be doing in the near future.
That was followed by a message about remaining in the vine. The speaker gave each graduate a key chain that is a representation of the Arbre de Tenere which was a tree that grew solitary in the desert but whose roots went way down deep to keep it alive (until a drunken motorist backed in to it and killed it!)
Finally, the long awaited moment came and each student received their diploma. Unfortuantely my batteries started to give out then and I didn't get a good picture of Suzanne.
The graduation was followed by a reception. It was a fun evening! And we now have two college students in the family!