Monday, 31 October 2011

A Thief!

Serge and I are sitting here at the dining room table working. Our two workers are cleaning the floors and the kids are just waking up from their naps.

Solange, our house girl, went to get something from the outside and found an 'unknown man' in our compound - a thief! She ran back into the house yelling 'thief' and Serge and Bucumi, our outside of the house worker, took off running.

They watched the guy hop the fence and Bucumi took up the pursuit outside... but the thief was not to be caught. He did drop Solange's wallet though and we don't think he got anything else!

It was the same guy who got in our house and grabbed my phone a couple months ago, but Solange got him at the gate but couldn't hold on to him. She did get my phone back though!

We know that in all these years we have been here, God has protected us... and even today. We know we have had other guys jump our fence in the daytime and night but none have gotten anywhere and have been found out before they get far into our compound. Just last night we heard some glass breaking and went to investigate but found nothing. Did someone throw a bottle over our fence to see if our watchman was awake?

We know that God has protected us in the past and he will continue to but for sure... all of this is a bit  unnerving. Hence, I'm writing. Hoping to calm my nerves a little...

Saturday, 22 October 2011

5 Years old!

The cake

Blowing out her candles
Couldn't find the candles I bought! ARG!!

Isabella with her little friend Natasha.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Value of Life

I was sitting at the airport today, dropping off Maddy who is headed back the USA for a couple of weeks.

The TV caught my attention with the breaking news. Israeli Soldier Shalit is released for 1000 Palistinian soldiers.

Since this has been in the news for the last weekish.. forget how long... my mind has been going around the incredibleness that one Israeli soldiers life is equal to 1000 Palistinians. Makes me go mmmmmmm...

What value do I / we put on life?

I'm saddened really.
I live in a country where 17.5 years ago the world said that 1000000 Rwandans were not worth a soldier.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

New City Buses!

So.. a few weeks back, Kigali got some new buses. Sent me into culture shock!
Crazy I know but hey... when I've just been used to public transport being a bicycle (Yes you can pay someone to take you on the back of their bike!), a motorcycle, a car or a minibus - more like a 12 passenger van outfitted for 18 people... new city buses are a big change. They even have the scrolling, digital readout to tell you where they are going!!

When my kids first saw them... 'Mom! looks like the movies. Looks like the buses we saw in Canada!'

Got thinking about them as I drove around yesterday. I got looking at the minibuses and thinking that I'll miss them should they ever stop them from running. You see, most of them are painted in the owners favourite whatever - sport or musician mostly. We have Beyonce, Shania Twain, Jay-Z, Vince Cater (they forget the 'r'!), etc. etc. They are colourful and full of character.

They represent someone who has enough money to buy a minibus and either hire a driver or he drives it himself. They also hire a conductor to collect the fares.  They represent the people of Rwanda.

With the big city buses moving in... how long is the 'little man' going to last? Will they all be out of jobs and therefore unable to provide shelter, food and education for their families? 

Development is great, but yesterday I was wondering... still am...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Annual Kamari Thanksgiving

So three years ago or maybe its four years ago, I was needing Thanksgiving!

I have always loved Thanksgiving and have fond memories of cottage weekends with friends and always great food. And of course the turning of the leaves and the wearing jeans and your favorite sweatshirt to go for a hike.

Then, when one lives in 'summer' 365 days of the year, after having four seasons and Thanksgiving to 'mark' the year, one NEEDS to have some of this back in their life somehow. So, I decided .. .then I talked Serge into it... that we needed to do Thanksgiving. He is never opposed to me cooking - but would he be the only Rwandese? Maybe he would be ... although I think this is the first year he actually will be as I'm not the only Canadian here married to a Rwandese.

Each year we sort of have the same core group and then the add-ons. The add-ons are those we know or others know who could benefit from a homecooked Thanksgiving complete with turkey. Turkey is no small feat by the way... I can pay $15 USD / kilo at a grocery store or Serge can drive about 30 minutes out of town to a village that has some and hope that they're big enough. We drive out of town and hope for the best.

So.. tomorrow is Thanksgiving here. I should be making stuff and cleaning for sure but here I am writing on my blog. Just needing to connect with 'my Thanksgiving' before I try my best to recreate it for others.

It's been an incredible thing really.

I'll never forget some comments over the years...

From a mom who had only been in the country for 6 weeks, said to me through tears and a hug, ' I didn't know how I was going to provide Thanksgiving for my family. Thank you.'

I remember a dear friend from Canada who sent money specifically so that I could buy cream cheese to make pumpkin cheesecake last year ... I never knew that MEN could get so excited over cheesecake!! Sad part, I didn't even get a piece. Oh well.

Just yesterday I talked to a Canadian lady whom I have yet to meet. They've been here two  years. She was more than excited for them to be invited. Her response... 'Are you seriously going to have turkey??' My response.. 'Yes, and everything that goes with it!'

This morning I got a call from my friend Jocelyn wondering if she could invite one more to the group... she just met a gal from ON who is in desperate need of some 'home'. Sure, at this point, one more won't matter.

Well, I must get to the task of it all. Have about 36 people showing up with kids and praying that it won't rain!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Friday, 7 October 2011

The House as of today!

We're up to the second floor!

Beni exploring the back of the house
The stairwell... thinking they are cementing it today
so that they have better access to cement the rest of the
second floor this coming week
The second floor... waiting for cement!
Pray the cement price doesn't go up within the next week!