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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 11 Jul 2006

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

MapJambo,

Internet is down again so will write in Ďwordí and send it when I canÖ..

Hope youíre all doing well. Another one of the girls is sick, sounds like she has the same thing as me. Iím feeling better but not great. I think at this point itís the food and the horrible roads that we seem to spend a lot of our day on. I have to force myself to eat when we get the chance because I have no appetite and sometimes itís 7-8 hrs between breakfast and lunch. Yesterday we heard that there was a McDonalds here in Kigali. We planned to go there for a late dinner. Later our WV guy broke the news that there actually wasnít a McDonalds here but there was an ďAmyĒsĒ. We drove there only to find that it had closed at 7:00. We were all pretty disappointed. It shows you just how desparate we are.
Yesterday some of our team went to visit their foster kids and the rest of us went up to work on the house. They dropped us off up in the middle of nowhere and said that they would be back in a couple of hours. We made more bricks, carried the dry ones from one spot to another, (they weigh about 25 lbs each), and helped pass globs of mud to the guys finishing the base. We had our usual crowd of onlookers watching everything we did. I think they are impressed with the fact that the Ďmzunguí women can work. Everyone is dressed in complete rags; the clothes all look the same colour because everything is so dirty. Michelle, you were asking what kind of toys the kids play with, they donít have toys or really any possessions at all. If you look in their mud huts, all there is, is some basic cooking items, maybe some grain or something and some rags or a piece of plastic or something for a bed. Itís really awkward when you want a drink because no one else has one so you feel bad drinking anything on front of them. Also every time you pick up a water bottle, there is a crowd of kids asking for the empty bottle, they are a real hot commodity here. After spending quite some time up there, we decided that there must be a problem with the vehicle or something so we decided to start walking back. We looked like the pied piper walking a long with a crowd of children following us. We received a lot of surprised looks along the way. We eventually got picked up by another vehicle that was a lot more comfortable that the junky one we usually ride in.
On the way home we stopped at another home for another foster visit. While some of the team was with that family the rest of us stayed by the road and the vehicle. The usual crowd of children began to form. We had handed out some suckers but the kids started to get out of control so we motioned for them all to crowd into an area on front of us and sang them a song. We motioned for them to sing us one and then we took turns singing songs until everyone else came back to the vehicle. We had a hard time thinking of songs so we resorted to Christmas carols. They thought it was great and didnít notice how bad we were.
The children here are always so excited and enthusiastic about everything we do with them. They are so amazing...they have so little, many of their stomachs are prutruding out from malnutrition and yet here they are, smiling from ear to ear and dancing while we sing Jingle Bells.

i just realoized how late it is....gotta got...we are getting picked up soon....I'll try and write tonight...

Kwa heri,

Brenda