Expectata dies aderat…
…nonamque serena. Auroram Phaenthonis equi iam luce vehebant (Virgil; Aenid V, 104 – 544)
Indeed, as Vigil wrote in the Aenid, ‘the long-awaited day arrived [expectata dies], with the dawn by Phaenton’s chariots [here Virgil uses ‘equi’, ----horses, but still means the sun which was supposed to be brought about by the God, Phaenthon] already lighting up the sky […iam luce vehebant, …literally translates as ‘already light has been brought about….’; Virgil, however, had a poet’s license that allowed him to mutilate the Latin language for the sake of prose and rhyme. Well, enough Latin lessons for the day.
On May 29, 2004, my oldest son, Tsekwi graduated from Morgantown High School in Morgantown, West Virginia. I would not have missed it for the world. I took the red eye out of Portland on Wednesday, 5/26 to DFW and then connected to Pittsburgh on the next morning. I picked up my rental car and drove deliberately to the boondocks of WVa. I had completely forgotten how green and verdant the east coast is in spring and summer. Out here in Oregon you can never have both: either the trees are green and the grass is brown, or the trees are bare and the grass is green. I stopped at a rest stop and took the
picture above. I really miss that deep, fecund and alluring green.
A graduation from High school is special, very special, and so there were lots of cheer leaders. Several people from his mother’s side had made the trek from Zimbabwe to witness this event: his mother’s brother and his wife; his mother’s sister as well as maternal grandmother. On my side, my brother and his wife made the trek from Zimbabwe. The night before Tsekwi’s graduation, the whole Simoyi contingent went out for Dinner (Outback Steak House…the selection by the ‘cause de celebre’). Below is a picture of the whole Simoyi team outside the steak house while waiting for our table to be available.
Tsekwi is the tallest thing on the picture. On the extreme left is his aunt and on the extreme right is his uncle (all the way from Zimbabwe!!!!!!!!!). The rest are his cousins David (and wife Jennifer) and Linda as well as his sisters Farai and Effie. Mazvita, the other cousin was behind the camera.
The dinner was GREAT, and Outback personnel were very good, and they received a substantial tip from Tsekwi’s father (the welfare man!!!)
After dinner we all trouped to Tsekwi’s mom’s place to greet ex-mother-in-law and brother in law. It was such a lovely evening.
Above in the center of the picture is Tsekwi’s octogenarian maternal grandmother. She is a great lady: raised ten (as in 10!!!!!!!!!!) children by herself. She has made the trek to Morgantown on several occasions. This time she did the journey in two stages by having a stop-over in London.
Just before the coronation (2 PM), after attending to business, I passed by my old golf course, Mountaneer Golf Course. I played golf at this course many, many, many, times. Above is a picture of the first hole of this golf course.
It is a short 340 yard-hole in which the approach shot is very crucial. The green slopes away from you and if you over-club, then you will roll down the hill on the other side and have to punch your way back… a triple-bogey.
The graduation was held in The Colesium, West Virginia University’s basketball arena. It sits about 13,000 people, and for the graduation, it was just over half-full. The graduants sit in the ‘pit’ area. Above is what it looked like before the graduates-to-be filed in. The MHS band played and serenaded the audience. Tsekwi’s sister, Effie, is in the school band (alto saxophone), but for today, she sat with the well-wishers for her brother.
In the second-to-last row, you can see Tsekwi (next to the girl in the red gown (girls wear red, boys wear blue).
All of Tsekwi’s supporters sat in the same section: the Mujuru’s on his mother’s side, and the Simoyi’s from his dad’s side. Everyone was ready for a single moment: to yell hoarse when his name is called. We were ready, like a tightly-wound spring. Grandma was there too (she was also there for Vije’s graduation.. she is a wonderful lady). Mai Linda (Auntie Rachel) was there, looking beautiful in her beautiful gear (Nigerian-type but she says she bought it in Harare). We all sat in Section F of the Colesium, ready to roar. I had a digital camera which took all these pictures. I looked like a CNN photographer.
The students filed in slowly while the band played the MHS song (Effie should have been on the band, serenading her brother!). Very soon all the graduating seniors were on the floor. Below is the final assemblage.
Now we were ready for the real awarding of the diploma!!!! Below Tsekwi’s row is called to stand up and go to the front of the podium and be awarded their diplomas. Tsekwi is unmistakable: tall and handsome (just like ‘im dad L).
He finally made it to the podium and was ready to receive his diploma. This was the moment we have been waiting for.
Ii finally happened, Tsekwi finally got his diploma. Hip, hip, hip, hooray!!!!!!!
Below, after the fact, he stands as a high school graduate. By Jove, he has done it!!!!
Next to him, his cousin, Haku, is jubilating. He has a million dollar smile.
Above, he poses with his proud dad, grandma and mum. This was a very festive day.
Above is a collective picture of all the people who came to give Tsekwi some moral support on his big day. Family is special, very special. If a tree falls down in the jungle and no-one is nearby to hear it, does it make a sound? You cannot live in a vacuum.
Above, he poses with his two beautiful sisters, Effie and Vije.
Below, Tsekwi is seen with his proud father: who wore a very conservative suit. Finally, he has now grown taller than his famous dad (by half an inch)
The day ended with a dinner in DC for his dad. He (as in me) drove like Mario Andretti from Morgantown to Gaithersburg. A journey of 210 miles was covered in 2 hr 45 min.
Finally: I present you my son, the High School Graduate. Every day is a victory, and my son has survived 12 years of schooling. He enters West Virginia University (may transfer to Portland State later) this fall for a degree in graphic design. Well done!!!