Three days, three continents, nearly 30 hours in the air and 3 1/2 hours (inexplicably) waiting in the immigration holding pen at LAX, we arrived home late Tuesday in a stretch limo (sent by Uncle Veen who’s in Japan at the moment) accompanied by Uncle Dave (who met us at the arrivals gate at LAX – we’d told Vasco that as soon as he saw Uncle Dave, that meant he was an official U.S. citizen and so when he spotted Burchi in the crowd, he took off running at top speed and jumped into his uncle’s arms) and were greeted by most of closest friends in Laguna Beach who were standing in our driveway with flowers, balloons and champagne.
Maury and I have never been more surprised in our lives. The fact that Uncle Dave could keep that a secret for the whole ride home from LAX? Miraculous.
Inside the house were cards, notes, a gorgeous, fully blooming orchid from the Tacklinds and lots of food. Auntie Lisa had stocked the fridge with healthy favorites and Auntie Katie had made us a delicious big pan of chicken parmesan. Pastor Brad and Auntie Margy had shared Brad’s birthday cake with us (yum! had it for breakfast the next day) and Uncle Joel had left three boxes of Rootbeer XS, our favorite. Aunt Sarah and cousin Cora gave Vasco a beautiful American flag, which will hang next to his Malawi flag in his bedroom. So thankful for the thoughtfulness of our dearest friends.
Among the crowd of our favorite people – including three of our pastors (we love you Clarke, Brad and JeffyJeff!!!) – was a very kind reporter from NBC news in Los Angeles, Conan Nolan. He’s a dear friend of Keiko and Rob Feldman, the filmmakers who are making a feature-length documentary about Vasco’s story. Rob and photographer Francisco Raposo were with us in Malawi for the first two weeks …
We were so knackered and out of it after the month in Malawi and the loooooooong trip home that we barely made sense to ourselves, nevermind anyone else (particularly a reporter.) So Conan very kindly offered to return the next day. We spent a few hours with him and his crew on Wednesday and a short story appeared on KNBC news that evening.
Here’s the link to Conan’s report on Wednesday: “BRINGING VASCO HOME”
We’re told Conan will have a longer version of Vasco’s story on his news show on KNBC in Los Angeles this Sunday morning that will include some of Rob and Francisco’s footage from Malawi.
We’ll share that link, etc. when we have it.
I’ll also be going back to load more photos and video from earlier in our trip that I couldn’t load from Malawi, so please check back in with some of the older posts as you can. Unfortunately, my MacBook Pro laptop died about a week ago and is in the shop getting fixed. On it is the only copy of the video of Vasco first seeing his extended family again in Blantyre. As soon as that’s back from the fixin’ place, I’ll load those powerful videos.
We’ve now made this blog public, so please feel free to share it with anyone you like.
Again, thank you so much for your support, prayers, humor, outrage, generosity, friendship and love to us and on our behalf. We love you all very much.
As I’m writing this, a young buck deer is nibbling grass outside my office window.
It’s really really good to be home.