This has been the real first week of planning for the Africa trip this summer. First of all, my passport photo was rejected because, although I felt I looked really good, apparently my facial bruises were way too evident in the picture. The letter stated that "facial decorations are not allowed unless worn all the time." Seriously? Someone thought those were decorations? But not wanting to waste a moment, I raced to CVS, took another photo and mailed it in immediately.
And this next paragraph is dedicated to Brenda, my nephew's wife who from now on is officially my niece (by my declaration). She has worked so hard on this trip and certainly isn't through yet, but has impressed me immeasurably. We're going to meet up in Amsterdam and then fly together to Kilimanjaro (I had to check the map to ensure the airport wasn't near the Mount). At that point we'll be picked up by a tour for a four-day, three-night safari through the Serengeti. And just viewing the pictures of where we'll be staying makes my tummy flip every time I look at them. And they will take us directly to Bunda where Charles, Karen, and John live. Based on the work Brenda has done so far, I can safely say I never could have attempted this on my own. God bless her!
And now the only downside of my week... I tutored Alaeldin (pronounced Aladeen) yesterday and had a long conversation with his dad afterwards. I explained to him, again, that this is my first experience with autism and I just can't be sure that he's learning anything because he doesn't seem to remember anything from week to week. And then the dad asked, "Well, what should we do?" My heart literally hurt when he said it because the expression on his face was filled with despair. And at that moment I realized that he and his wife are as lost as I am. I do know that Alaeldin knows his multiplication tables through the fives, so by golly I can, at the very least, teach him the rest. We left it with he will talk to the teacher and maybe we will try 30 minute sessions two or three times a week during the summer.
Well, I seem to have be rambling, so will stop now and see you next week. Bye.