Tuesday, Jan. 6
At home — Albany, NY

I hate saying goodbye and dread writing conclusions.

That’s the real reason why I haven’t ended the blog. I wanted to do it before Christmas, but I allowed myself to get distracted by everything that makes returning to the States wonderful: lovely company, tasty food and quality hygiene.

I’ve written half a dozen “last post” drafts, but none of them satisfied me. How do I sum up so much I’ve gained during the last six months?

Today, though, a reprieve arrived in my inbox: a note from Benoit Ndi Wamba, the son in my Cameroonian village family who helped me use money raised by readers of this blog to pay school fees for all the school-age children in his poor family.

Did I mention he was serious about school? Those who donated money can know it went to good use with Benoit at the wheel, that he’s keeping close tabs on his studying siblings: he sent grades earned by each child during the first three months of this year. A report card for the Ndi Wamba family!

The grades itself mean nothing since I don’t understand the system well (in general, higher is better). But that’s not what matters.

What matters is that because of this gift of school tuition and books — more than $1,000 donated — the Ndi Wamba kids not only get to go to school, they’re also being encouraged to do well. Their marks count for something. They’re being pushed to succeed.

So I’m not going to end the blog today. Instead, I’m sending along the Ndi Wamba report card, so you know what a difference you’ve made. Thank you.

This comes directly from Benoit!

Resultats: first trimestre
*Moyenne = average

1. Mbeuguia tsekeng, Jean. Classe: première. *Moyenne: 11,16.

2. Mbeuguia fofack, Sylvain. Classe: première. Moyenne: 10,92.

3. Mbeuguia dadem, Janvier. Classe: 6eme. Moyenne: 10,24.

4. Mbouadia kenfack, Regine. Classe: seconde. Moyenne: 08,63.

5. Mbouadia, Nathalie Alice. Classe: 5eme. Moyenne: 09,87.

6. Mbouadia djoumessi, Duplex. Classe: 4eme. Moyenne: 11,00.

7. Mbeuguia nguefack, Lydie. Classe: 6eme. Moyenne: 10,47 .

8. Mbouadia zonfack, Stéphane. Classe: élementaire first year. Moyenne: 11.02.

9. Temgoua mbeuguia, Maurice. Classe: premiere. Moyenne: 07,52.

10. Folefack, Jean Racel. Classe: terminal. Moyenne: 09,00.

11. Djoufack kenfack, Mirabelle. Classe: seconde. Moyenne: 09,00.

12. Alomo, Stéphanie Blanche. Classe: 4eme. Moyenne: 08,79.

13. Sonfack, Christelle Cédiane. Classe: 5eme. Moyenne: 08,00.

14. Soufac ngossa, Franklin. Classe: 6eme. Moyenne: 10,00.

15. Mbassibi wamba, Boniface. Classe: 6eme. Moyenne: 10,00.

16. Soufack tchoufack wamba, Canis. Classe: 3eme. Moyenne: 08,21.

17. For mine, we begin in February (Benoit).