Letter to friends and family about year events and furlough plans -May 2013

Hello everyone,
This letter attached below was written a few months back and then forgotten. I added a bit here to help catch you up from the end of the letter to now.

We finally got a bunch of family photos on our wall as well as a wall hanging. Feels nice. It took so long in part because we have concrete walls and can’t just hammer a nail in any time we want, we have to ask the school to do it for us.

The Kenyan elections went quite smoothly, for which we are thankful.

Karen and I had a wonderful trip to Korea with her classmates in March/April. We posted about it on our family blog.

We have two weeks of school left in our second year at Rosslyn Academy. Time has gone quickly. This time of year is full of end of year activities. Anisa recently had a choral concert and Karen was involved in a band concert. Anisa has an eighth grade graduation in a week. We are gearing up for our trip back to the states as well. We leave Kenya to return to PA/VA on May 31, the day after school gets out here.
Now we only have one school day left!

Anisa had her eighth grade promotion yesterday. It was very nice and she looked beautiful. Wow, we now have a high schooler!

Karen played her saxophone today with the band for the high school graduation. I am proud of her being asked to participate.

Well, one last half day with the students tomorrow. Everything is off the walls, all student items have been sent home. Certainly has the feel of end of year times. 🙂

I am posting our tentative schedule below of our time in America this June and July. I know we have talked with some friends and family about doing things together, and then we never actually planned the event or time to be together. Please feel free to check in with us about a time that suits, and we will see what we can work out.

Glenda, for the family

Leonard Family Schedule

June 1-3 Arrive in States, spend time with Leonard parents/family
June 3-5 Time in Virginia with Swartz family
June 6-9 Time in PA with Kratz parents/family
June 10-12 Time in VA with Swartz family
June 13-15 Time in KY with family
June 15-17 Time in GA with friends
June 17-21 Time in FL with family
June 21-22 Time in GA with friends
June 22-30 Time in VA with Swartz family
? June 26-29 Time with family in PA

July 1-6 Time in VA and Pittsburg, PA
July 7-11 Time in VA with Swartz family – EMU basketball camp July 7-11
July 11-13 Time in PA with family
July 13-27 Time in VA with Swartz family – EMU soccer camp July 14-18
July 27 Leave for Kenya


Letter to family and friends 2012-2013

We began the year 2012 with a visit from Sherry and Katelyn Kratz last January. What a wonderful way to begin the year! (Keep in mind we love visitors, let us know when you would like to come.)

John, Anisa, and Karen are all involved in sports at school. John coaches the girls varsity basketball team during the first season of the school year and boys varsity basketball second season. This year the second season is cut short, only about two months instead of three, because the presidential elections are coming up and there is a possibility of unrest in the country. Please help us pray for peace these next few months.

Anisa and Karen were both involved in basketball during the first season and football, also known as soccer, during the second season. Both were important players in end of season tournaments as well. Karen made a foul shot at the end of the game to win the basketball tournament and Anisa made a penalty kick at the end of the soccer game to win the soccer tournament. (We were pumped!) Karen also participated in track first season. She ran the 50, 100, 200 meters, and then even tried a 400 relay, long jump, and high jump. This was a first for her and she did very well. Karen hopes to play volleyball in the third season.

Other things Anisa is involved in/enjoys are; the school choir, the BlueSky youth group, reading, her new iPad, Facebook, texting, photography, painting finger nails, making things, and spending time with friends.

Karen is also involved in/enjoys a number of things such as; school worship group, school band (saxophone), the BlueSky youth group, reading, crafts, horse riding, owning a horse farm on the internet site Howrse, caring for her fish, listening to music, and spending time with friends.

Anisa and Karen both played on a Kenyan girl’s basketball team in July. The team was for girls aged 16-24, and they were 12, but they did great!

Glenda enjoys doing things with family members such as; watching the various activities her other family members are participating in, playing card games, as well as, reading, cooking, baking, figuring out her new iPad, and spending time with friends.

The biggest difficulty this past year has been John’s health. We are thankful to say that he is recovering well from his back surgery in South Africa this past September. From time to time he still has difficulty with severe back pain, although it is not the same type of pain as before surgery. With physical therapy, John has been working hard to build back his body strength and is now able to exercise most weeks for a short bit every other day.

We have now lived in our house for a year and it feels more like home. We have planted flowers, green leafy things, and some fruit trees around the outside. We live right next to the main gate of our compound and hope that in time some of these plants may also give us a bit of privacy.

We celebrated Christmas Eve here with a church service and then a community pool side party, and yes, there was swimming involved since it was only around 70*. Christmas Day we celebrated by opening gifts, playing games, and having a meal with friends.

We have taken some trips as a family to Masai Mara National Game Reserve and to Malindi Beach on the northern coast of Kenya. We have also gone with friends to Nakuru National Game park, Nairobi National Game Park, Crescent Island at Lake Naivasha, and various places that have a house or cabins available for a few nights.

Two trips we have planned for this spring are during our spring break from school. Karen’s Korean class, along with other students in other Korean classes at Rosslyn, are going to Korea this April for a 10 day field trip. Glenda is going as well as a chaperone. John and Anisa are going for a week to the beach with a bunch of other friends from the Rosslyn community.

This past October we decided as a family to renew our contract here at Rosslyn for another two years. That means that we are coming home to America this June and July for a furlough, but then will be returning to Kenya for two more years, 2013-2015. In 2015 Anisa will be finishing tenth grade and Karen ninth grade.

God is very evident in our lives here in Kenya.

We are glad for safety as we walk and drive various places in the city of Nairobi and in the country side of Kenya. The roads are full of huge holes, especially during a rainy season, and drivers are unpredictable.

We are glad for doctors that are able to help us when we get sick, especially when we need surgery. We are thankful God helped us find the surgeon John needed and that God helped us navigate all the challenges that came along with that.

We are glad for friends, both in the states and here in Kenya. It takes time to build friendships in new places, we are thankful for being further along in the process and the patience God has given us as we continue in this process.

We are thankful God has blessed us in abundance, so much so, that we can share things with our friends here, particularly our Kenyan friends who don’t have as much as we do.

We are thankful that the bombings and outbreaks of violence in Nairobi and in other places of Kenya have not effected us personally. We are saddened by it, but have not been physically injured.

So there is a quick update on the Leonard family. We miss all of you and hope to be able to see many if you this next summer.
John, Glenda, Anisa, and Karen

Sent from my iPad

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