Thursday, August 9, 2012

Heading home

Spent the last morning shopping a bit, packing, organizing, getting papers in order and writing one lasst thing - a letter about the experience. They breezed through check-in and security at Logan and are on their way home ...

Last full day

A busy today as the kids ventured into  Boston again for a visit with Mrs. Hajdukiewicz and kids to the New England Aquarium, a feast of Chinese food (with chopsticks) on the 39th floor of a tower with beautiful views of Boston and the harbor, and a farewell BBQ with a number of Brooks folks the kids have come to know. More Aquarium pictures later, when I get them from Mrs. H.!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Plum Island tour

This evening we went back to Newburyport and enjoyed a ride with Prescott and Suki Smith out to Plum Island and around the harbor. We also got to sit and chat with Sarah Smith and her college roommate Lauren Calahan, founder of LEAP, who first introduced us all to each other. It's hard to believe the trip is winding down ....!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Conquering the wild river

This afternoon the family of Shannon and Molly Alvino took us on quite a kayak adventure down the Merrimack River from Newburyport. We were joined by Kenisha's family, and we were quite a motly group of 20, many first-timers and non-swimmers, paddling our way inland to enjoy the views of nature and the boat traffic from this unusual vantage point. Everyone worked hard, everyone enjoyed a swim (and some a jump off the rocks) at the halfway point, and everyone was proud of him/herself (and TIRED) at the end of the day. A well-earned feeling of satisfaction!

Still not sick of us, the Alvinos had us over for a BBQ, volleyball competition and swim after our kayak adventure!

Festival in Newburyport

After a quiet day of laundry, calling home, and reflective writing, we headed to the port town of Newburyport, where the kids took off to explore all of the happenings of Yankee Homecoming with their Brooks counterparts (Suki, Ani, Carolina, Sam and Jake) while Kenisha enjoyed a surprise visit from her extended family (just arrived from Guyana). The end-of-evening fireworks were spectacular, and we got to watch them from Suki's boat - a perfect view! We got to say a brief hello to Suki's mom Sarah, who has been integral in making all of this possible, and that was lovely, as well. No Patrick in these photos as he had a chance to go see a New England Revolution soccer match with Matt Myers and Ms. Salichs, and he took it. Though the Revs lost 1-0, it was a great game and Patrick was stunned to see a Sierra Leonean player he knew on the opposing team. Once again we see that the world is small.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Boston on a hot day

Of course our first trip to Boston landed on the hottest day in a while, but we took our time and made sure we had enough cool spots (Public Garden, Public Library) to keep us going. The kids got a good sense of the feel of the city without getting overwhelmed, and got to sit in an outdoor cafe like locals eating Mexican food and watching the world go by.

On the bridge in the Boston Public Garden.

Photo teacher Ms. Zatsky gave them the history of Trinity Church. 

Farmer's market at Copley Square.

Patrick chose the tortoise over the hare. Good choice!

The Leonean and the lion, at Boston Public Library.

These kids have angels behind them!

Cooling off (and fueling up) at an outdoor cafe.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Unexpected surprise

Today we were stunned by a visit from Carolina (one of the Brooks writers from the online collaboration during the school year), whose family delivered HP Netbooks for the kids to take home with them, "to continue their good work in school and to work hard on their writing," her mom said. We'll be getting to know these machines and getting them set up before everyone leaves - we're sure they'll be an incredible asset for these hard-working scholars. A thousand thanks to the Rosas family!!