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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Friday, 07 Jul 2006

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

MapJust a quick note tonight as I think I'd better spend some time with my companions. Also the internet is apparently acting up.
We had a good day. The WV crew from Rwanda is so great. We just love them all. It's going to be hard to say good-bye to them. One of the guys is named Frank. Today he was sharing some of the details of his life with us on the way home. His family had left Rwanda in 1987 and gone to Uganda. During the genocide Frank's whole family was killed. He only has one other surviving relative left. They came back to Rwanda in July 1994 after the RPF took power. He's such a great guy. It's hard to beleive that he has been through all of that. Frank & I had a lot of fun on the way up to Nyamata today. I shared your MP3 player earphones with him, Beki, and we listened to a bunch of your music. He was so funny....he actually knows a lot of the songs.
Went to see all of the work WV is doing with agricuture which was really interesting but I won't get into it here. We also FINALLY started working on the house that we are paying for. It is for a family that consists of a girl and her baby, and her little sister. It is in a remote place up in the hills above Nyamata. I thought there was not too many people nearby but a couple hundred people greeted us when we arrived. They were all so excited about us being there. I think they thought there was going to be a lot of good comedy entertainment watching the "mzungus" make bricks!
To buid the bricks, they had dug a big pit and a coulple of guys hopped down there with hoes. Some of the others hauled water from "somewhere far away" and they dumped it in the pit. They hoed it and mixed the mixture with their feet. When it was almost ready, they threw alfalpha into it and mixed that up. Then they threw big hunks up over the edge. That's where we came in... We wet the inside of each form and they passed big handfulls of clay to us which we packed into the forms. Then we smoothed it down with water and took off the form. They were amazed at our brick making abilities. They thought we would only make a couple just for show but we stuck with it until they quit for the day.
Some of the other members of our team were picking rocks and helping to fill the forms. It was a great time. There were people all around us laughing and trying to communicate. They laughed at everything we did and we had a great time playing with all of the kids. It's so hard to describe what it is like to be in a crowd of them like that. When you take a picture, they want to see it, but you get swarmed by the crowd because they ALL want to see it. I motioned for one little boy to show me this baby goat that was near us. He picked it up by it's hind leg and handed it to me, (poor thing) When some of the other kids started to notice us, they all came running over. They were all yelling something that I couldn't understand and grabbing me from all sides. I had to break away from the crowd and get back to where everyone else was. They are all so happy and excited that I don't think they realize what they are doing. A couple of us taught a bunch of them how to play hop scotch. As soon as you start to do something like that EVERYONE comes to see. We had such a big crowd and they were all so eager to try it that they would shove each other out of the way. We're all really excited to go back up there because by Monday the bricks will be dry and we we'll start to put the house together.

Had to quit typing last night; started to feel sick. I thnk I have the flu but I am going out today anyway. We are visiting the Nyamata Memorial site today and I don't want to miss it.
Better go and grab something to eat. We are going early today because we need to buy another supply of food to hand out.
Kwa Heri.......Brenda