Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Okay guys . . . walk away . . . just walk away from this story!
Many of you will remember that during my August trip home to Tumaini we had some visitors stay with us who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro . . . you might remember my “lost toenails” stories. In the photo below, note the blonde in the pink tshirt (Lauren who is my daughter Amanda’s best friend) and (John) in the back in red who are the main characters in this story. Girls you are going to LOVE John . . . Guys? Not so much . . .
(R-L) Jamie, Norma, Jason, John and my nephew Sean (he and Norma lost the toenails) departed for a one week climb of Kilimanjaro after meeting up with Norma’s son Rob who flew in at the last minute. Lauren and Kathy (front centre) stayed back and worked with our children. Now, the story of the climb is interesting enough on its’ own . . . five of the six summitted Uhuru Peak at 5895 meters (19,340 feet), the highest point in Africa but this gets even better!
John left Lauren with us for a week while he attempted his climb and on his return put together a slide show of his great adventure. We assembled the children, our staff and the balance of our volunteers who gathered around John’s computer to see his photos. Lauren is in the background taking photos of John sharing his tale.
At one point John explained to all of us that the next slide had a lot of words in it and asked Lauren to come up and read it. Check it out . . .
John dropped to his knees presented a VERY NICE DIAMOND (Lauren can share an hilarious story about John wanting to take separate customs clearing counters at each leg of their journey – to prevent her from seeing the ring he had in his pocket) and Lauren, who self-admittedly, “isn’t emotional” became, well, “emotional”! John had lost it on the way to one knee.
Our children didn’t understand much of what was going on until John and Lauren kissed and hugged at which point they understood the tears were “happy” and not sad. We all burst into applause, some of the guys, Sean and Jason, who are unmarried, jokingly cursed John out, remarking on how he expected them to top this and Rob, who IS married, laughed in what I interpret to be the “appreciation of experience”. Let’s leave it at that! The rest of us were moved beyond words to share such a special moment with the happy couple and Oddo summed it up beautifully when he thanked John for wanting to share his special day with Tumaini and how our invitation to witness their engagement was a special blessing for Tumaini, the children, all of us. Thank you John for sharing and Lauren for accepting! It would have lacked something had you declined!
Sooooooo, guys, have we got a destination engagement location for you or what? The children were so happy to share the day because John had us arrange for music and soda and popcorn and treats and we danced the afternoon away!
Congratulations Lauren and John on your engagement. We’ve got a handle on ring bearers and flower girls if the need arises!!