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Grad Banquet

Last night was the graduation banquet for the 2007 graduating class of Sahel Academy.

Amber, aka Coach, had done all the work of setting up the restaurant and organizing the menu. The juniors planned the program. And the dorm mom, Aunt Brenda, and I did the baking for the dessert, which was not included in the restaurant menu. I made a pineapple upside-down cake, an upside-down German chocolate cake, a white layer cake with chocolate frosting, and chocolate chip bars. The worst thing about all that baking was that the oven where we're staying is very small, so I could only bake one thing at a time. It also isn't very well-insulated and the whole apartment was HOT by the time I was finished!

The banquet was held at a Lebanese restaurant. It is in a clear plastic tent which sounds kind of weird, but it's cool because you can see out into the flower garden which is very beautiful. The school colors are yellow and black, with purple as an alternative for decorating. The restaurant had white tablecloths with gold cloths overlaid, so it was perfect for our colors. Miss Carriger and I decorated with graduation confetti, some little stand-up decorations and banners she had, and graduation napkins. I made cards with a photo of each graduate on it. These were passed around during the meal and people wrote notes to the grads in them. It didn't take much to do it, but it looked beautiful.

This is Daniel and his two dormies. Both of the other two young men are from South Korea. DK, the man on the left will be attending university in the USA. This will work well for him because he has done all his high school work in English. Our Daniel will be going to Cedarville University, as you know. David is going to be returning to South Korea for university. He is really scared about that. Even though he speaks Korean fluently, he has never had much experience in reading or writing in. Also, he does not know very many people there. For these graduates, they are not just changing schools when they go off to university, they are changing worlds. There will be a lot of adjustments. Anyway, I kind of consider these guys my three sons.

The juniors had made a really nice power point of pictures of the seniors. Then they had prophecies for the seniors. Daniel's was hilarious...all about how he would return to Tera as a missionary and be an archeologist work on a doctorate in American history on the side. There would be a DeValve Cup (soccer) in Tera named after him, but unlike his dad he would never be mistaken for Zidane. He and his wife would make their children dig zai holes for punishment. They gave him a little spade as a gift. Here we are enjoying the hilarity of the moment.

Then the parents had a chance to speak of and to their graduate. It was great to hear how much each parent loves their child and thinks the world of them. David's parents couldn't come from Cote d'Ivoire, so they sent a letter in Korean to be read to him. DK's parents read it and then gave an English translation. David was so surprised he was crying. It was very touching.
Also as part of the program, John sang Find Your Wings, a beautiful song about giving our kids roots, but helping them fly.

Meanwhile Suzanne and her partners in crime, Joe and Russ, were putting the confetti in their mouths and spitting it at each other. Of course, I had nothing to do with such immature behavior. By the way, the juniors and seniors sat together and John, Suzanne, and I sat together.

It was a great evening. And the pineapple upside-down cake and Aunt Brenda's carrot cake were the most popular if you have to bake for an event, start with one of those!