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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 06 Jul 2006

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

MapJambo,

Internet was down last night so I couldn't write to you all...got up early to grab the laptop but everyone is waiting.......
Yesturday we went to visit a family that wasn't sponsored by World Vision to hear their story and see the difference World Vision makes. It is always a 1 hour drive every morning just to get to Nyamata and then we usually go from there. It took us another hour to get to the family's home. The roads are so bumpy that we are all sore; it's so exhausting driving anywhere. We visited a family of 3 girls whose parents had died. They live alone in a house that's no bigger than my bathroom....REALLY... You'll all see in the pictures just what these "houses" look like. We gave them lots of presents and they were all so excited. By the time we left there were crowds of kids everywhere. I don't know how they all know when you're around, but the news travels fast. You never have enough stuff to give out and you have to be so careful how and when you do it because you get mobbed. Whenever we drive anywhere the kids run out toward us yelling "mzungu" (white man).
On the way back from there we stopped at a medical centre that had a maternity ward, small hospital area and a nutrition centre. It was so bare and under supplied. I don't know how they work under those conditions. You have to see it to beleive what it is like. The nutrition centre was full of rows of benches of women with babies on their knees and babies laying around on the floor. They assess the babies and catorgize them. The malnurished ones get to come twice a week and eat. They are not allowed to take the food with them because the staff worry that they will feed it to the other children and it's for the baby. They were all coughing, runny nosed and sick looking. It's heartbreaking to see. Some of them are afraid of us...they don't see many mzungus in this remote area. We stopped in Nyamata and went to the open market so we could buy food to take with our gifts to the next people. We next went to visit two siblings who live alone. They had stay with relatives when their parents died and were so abused that they decided living in this remote little shack was better. They said when it rains they stay up all night standing because it is so wet. (It rains for months at a time in the rainy season.) We gave them gifts and food and they said it was the first happy time they have had since their parents died. Everyone was crying...it was a very emotional visit. There are so many more details I could tell you but I don't have the time....
It took us so long to get anywhere that by the time we finished seeing these kids, we had to head back. It's best not to travel on the roads at night around here so we went back to Kigali. We decided to stop at a market store and buy more food stuff to give out the next day. I also bought pots and buckets. It was pretty intimidating even being in a "store". Whereever we go we get stared at, swarmed by kids and people will jostle against you trying to get close to your backpack. There are so many great people here but also alot of desperate ones...

I wish I could write more but we are leaving early this morning. I need to eat here because who knows what they'll give us later. Some of the food is pretty disgusting but we try to make the bestof it and just don't think about it. I'll write again tonight. We have a big day today..........Kwa Heri for now...Brenda