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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 01 Jun 2010

Location: Africa


Although the container hasn't arrived yet we have still been busy visiting hospitals, orphanages, schools, libraries, villages and world vision children.

It has been an amazing trip so far, a lot of ups and downs because you get great joy out of helping people but your heart just breaks because you can't help everyone, it is something i am personally struggling with right now but i know that it's better to do something rather than just hoping things will get better for everyone.

I think a lot of people can get paralyzed and not do anything when they see a problem which seems so big, thinking their contribution won't really make much of a difference. But what i have learned and witnessed on this trip is by just helping one person and seeing their smile and the gratitude from one mother or one child truly is making a difference in their life, even if it's just one person, it's worth it and it means the world to them that someone cares.

The kids here are magical, even the sick kids with AIDS or the orphans we visited, they have this magical presence to them that i can't explain, they are in some very challenging situations yet they are happy and have smiles that are just heart warming.

We are definitely fortunate for living in canada, we have alot of benefits they don't have here but i must say that when it comes to family, friends and taking care of one another the people of rwanda and tanzania definitely have it figured. They help each other out even with as little as some may have, they are very connected with each other and are incredibly family, friend and relaionship oriented it seems.

We all got a chance to visit some children you all sponsor through world vision and it was a very memorable experience. The children were very shy at first but after a couple of hours of playing games with them, there true personalities came out and was an amazing experience seeing the children have fun, laughing, playing and smiling.

Angela and I were very lucky to have visited our sponsor child Iddy at his school one day where we dropped off a bike we purchased for him and his family. The same day we were driving to Juma's school (Lyn and Nick's sponsor child) to drop off a bike for him and while we were driving we coincidentally saw him on the side of a dusty road on a very hot day walking to school in the middle of nowhere it seemed (he apparently lives 2.4 km away from school) and he walks that path every school day. We were lucky enough to pick him up and were allowed to go back to his house and met some of his younger siblings at their shelter. Juma is a very happy, mature 9 or 10 year old boy and he was beaming ear to ear when he saw the bike Lyn and Nick purchased for him for 120,000 shillings (about $80 U.S.)

Catey, Allisha, and Terry did an absolute amazing job of painting a mural in one of the sections of the hospital in Kahama. It is absolute amazing at how much life this mural brought to the area, i really couldn't believe what a difference it made until you actaully walked into the room and just felt this warmth and happy presence to the area. I think Dr. Subi was really impressed as well with what they did, great job to those 3.

Brenda and Heiki are very impressive to watch and observe how they interact with the locals. The language barrier can be a very challenging thing for me at times because i have a hard time to connect with people when i don't know the language but Brenda and Heiki have a natural ability to connect, talk, and build a relationship with people here, they are stars with the locals and everyone loves them here.

We will keep you posted on the trip in days to come.