Hi Everyone, it is so nice to hear from you all and read your e-mails and comments on this blog – I am so very happy to share this latest update with you as well! I am attaching some pictures I have taken here and there – I hope it gives you a little idea of where I am.
Well no sleeping in here as the rooster next door (at least it sounds like it!) starts his morning ritual answered by another rooster somewhere in the neighborhood starting around 6am – this goes on for hours – I honestly think they are trying to out do each other! Seriously! J So it is here – daylight is from about 6:00 am to 6:30 pm every day. You don’t really sit out at night since the bugs all come out – mosquitos and other not so great big flying bugs! One of our night guards was just hospitalized for malaria and typhoid – he was so sick but the hospital in itself is not the place you want to end up for any reason! He is going to be ok recovering now at home. Everyone walks at night along the road coming home from work and the traffic is bad – we have already witnessed at least three accidents involving people on the road and one that was fatal.
Probably the three most visible occupations here in Rwanda are the street sweepers, the mobile money pit stops and the motor bike taxis. Land is cleared by hand with machetes and spates and often the field workers – usually women – look up from their labor to give me a smile and a wave. People toil hard here to survive. I always have a bike or two following me on my early morning walks to see if I need a ride – they beep their horn to see if you want a ride, to tell you to get out of the way, to let others know they are coming or the more universal one – because you cut them off or are driving badly. So you can imagine when you are out in the car everyone is beeping at everyone else as a form of some kind of communication and it is really hard to know what it is for – or maybe that is just me – I haven’t learned to decipher those beeps yet! In reality walking is really just a way of life here – although I see a few people out often in full track suits (while I am sweating buckets!) jogging or walking who give me thumbs up or clapping gesture for doing ‘sport’.
Above is a video of the new ‘beehive’ convention centre in the heart of Kigali with the Radisson next to it adorned with colorful basket strips and a picture of a building with a traditional African basket on top of it. Very cool!
We get fresh eggs from the little store across the lane and avocados from the women who carry baskets of these and bananas on their heads. And one Saturday morning class we had two baby goats (below) from across the way wander right into the class room! Yup!
The class is going well and it is an amazing and transformative experience for those who are attending. Some of those who have taken the class or are currently enrolled are pursuing or hope to pursue further studies in counseling which is such a good fruit of this ministry – empowering Rwandans to help each other. My work schedule is Monday class – Tuesday to Thursday seeing clients – Friday off – Saturday class and Sunday off – just to help you get an idea – so life is full! Many of the people I have been working with have a very young experience with the genocide as each soul expresses that trauma in different ways. Parents too have had their own trauma to deal with…it may take a few generations, and God willing they will continue to live in peace in Rwanda and also in other nations and peoples suffering in war and conflict and poverty. It is a prayer of my heart as I imagine yours as well.
Little Jubilee is growing and getting stronger, she is catching up and has a strong little spirit and amazing little personality which has probably helped her survive until now. Her story is quite remarkable, her biological mother died shortly after her birth and her biological father is well into his 70’s and was/is unable to care for her. Two families took her in and cared for her for the first six months of her life which probably gave her the start that she needed to survive the next 14 months or so in the village. Kelly and Celo have really worked hard to make her healthy and love her to pieces – there was such a sadness in those little eyes that has now been replaced with pure joy and it has been such a wonderful experience to be a small part of the love that has grown her strong.
Well, I hope everyone is doing well. I hope to get at least one more blog entry before I return home.
With a grateful heart for your prayers and support – your love goes with me in all that I do.