Hello hello! There has been radio silence here for good reason: April was a busy month as I wrapped up things in Rwanda and left for America! I am sitting here now in Richmond, Virginia, which is where baby girl will be born in just a few short weeks (at this point, due to high blood pressure, it’s looking she’ll be born even sooner than anticipated! We’ll know for sure on Wednesday, but we are hoping and praying that we can work around when Will is already scheduled to get here – so, after May 21 – so we don’t have to change his plane tickets. Regardless, that will probably be a crazy week!).
Before we go full-on baby, I wanted to take a moment to capture some of the highlights of this Spring and these last few months in Rwanda.
Bits and pieces of highlights have been glimpsed in various previous posts: my mom visiting in February, Will’s good friend Rich visiting in March (and bringing us a rug for our nursery!), baby showers for friends, and getting to start being a regular contributor to Taking Route blog.
Beyond this, at the end of March, my friends Steph and Natasha hosted the sweetest baby shower for me. The décor they pulled together was beautiful (the banner in the picture below was hand painted by Natasha and hand lettered by Steph!), and what a sweet group of women gathered to celebrate baby Swartz!
I feel grateful that this is the community we’re bringing our baby back to at the end of the summer, and I’m excited to become part of this great group of moms here.
In April, we have Memorial Week off of school, and so we made a road trip to Uganda for the first time! Rwanda is such a small country that we made it to the border to the North with Uganda in less than two hours. The actual border crossing was fairly hassle-free although it took a while (there are just multiple steps and multiple windows and lines to go through, first on the Rwanda side then the Uganda side), and then we carried on about an hour into Uganda (now driving on the opposite side of the road!) to Lake Bunyoni.
We went with our friends and stayed on an island with a ropes course and it was a really nice time all around. It was fun to go somewhere new (a new country, even!) and to be on a lake and hanging out with friends.
Finally, my last weekend in Rwanda was Easter weekend, and we actually get both the Friday and Monday off for it! So Will and I snuck away for a 24-hour staycation at the Marriott, which is the nicest hotel in Kigali. It really is like walking into a different country when you get there! There’s a pool you can lounge around and the highlight is definitely the breakfast buffet spread that’s included in the morning, which features a ton of food and some things that are rare in Rwanda.
It was also fun to have a big potluck Easter lunch with our church family on Sunday.
The last week before I left was pretty stressful – there were just a lot of details to square away and finish up for 3+ weeks of sub plans for four classes, in addition to a normal week of teaching and trying to be all caught up on grading before I left! – but I was grateful to have restful, fun times stored up from earlier in the month to make it through.
And it was a bittersweet goodbye to my students, who have been very invested in and excited for Baby Swartz since they’ve known about her. On my last day of school, my American Lit class (a mix of 11th and 12th graders, many of whom also have Will for U.S. History!) brought in a cake and had a little goodbye party. It really has been a great school year with a fun group of students!
And now here I am in America, in this weird in-between place of waiting and being away from Will and trying to figure out what to do with myself in the meantime and looking ahead to baby coming sooner than anticipated! So, basically, standing on the precipice of everything being about to change forever. Here we go!