Monday, 28 May 2012

The Wedding

Isabella ... LOVED being a flowergirl
for the first time

Serge making sure David is 'in the know'

Leaving church

Our family

Maddy and Beni eating cake

Civil Wedding ...

Dora and I after the Civil Wedding
Headed for Dinner

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


The situation in Congo keeps rolling around in my mind. As I have chatted with a few people about it in the west, I realize that little is being reported on it.

In the last weeks, over 9000 refugees have come into Rwanda from Eastern Congo. More are coming each day into a transitional refugee camp. Even more have taken refuge in Uganda.

There are 4 Congolese camps in Rwanda. Two of them are full. We wait to see if the camp we work in will gain more refugees.

Why more refugees from Eastern Congo?

Well... the situation in Eastern Congo has not been stable for years ... or let's try since colonization when people in Europe took a map and redrew the borders around resources rather than taking into consideration the people that actually lived on the land. Classic.

Since the end of the genocide in Rwanda, the flee of genociders into Eastern Congo and them finding more people with Rwandan history to kill ( land in Congo, twice the size for Rwanda today, used to be Rwanda, hence people with Rwandan history!) and the UN being peacekeeping mission, not a peace making mission... well, some years have been better than others. Not to mention how complicated the situation is. Over 3.5 million people have been killed in Eastern Congo since the genocide in Rwanda - same conflict but who's talking about it? Not many ...

Right now ... life is not good.

On Sunday we were at a family dowry giving. Serge and I caught up with an uncle who lives and has a small NGO in Eastern Congo. They are doing their best to look after 250 of the refugees. 15 of the women have been been raped. There are reports of hundreds of rapes ...

Serge said to me this morning... my people have no home.

God have mercy.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Lives are changing!

Rwanda has on paper that they want all students with special needs to be integrated into society.
Maddy Manden, who works with us, carries this passion in her heart.
I think she is one of few if not the only person in Rwanda who is trained to teach and train others to work with those with various special needs.
She is currently working in one of 'the' school's in the country to build infrastructure and capacity.

She started with 3 students last August and currently has 16 with more arriving weekly it seems!
She has trained 15 teacher assistants as well.

Her is Maddy's latest blog post that I was SO encouraged by ...

The student's name is Noah and the teacher assistant is George.
They are working on math here.
We just finished our second round of standardized testing.

Last test Noah answered one question on the whole test.
This time around he scored above average!
There is improvement!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Matron of Honour

Third time around ... this time for my dear friend Dora.

Sitting pretty at the gusaba
(Dowry giving)
Forgot to ask how many cows her family got!
Bridal Shower Tuesday night,
Civil wedding Thursday night,
Church wedding / reception / gutwikurura / after party on Saturday.
Sunday... we sleep!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Seriously People!!

In front of our house is a mud hole. A BIG mud hole in the road. It was created when someone thought it would be a grand idea to dump a bunch of dirt - read truckloads of dirt - on the other side of the road. During the rainy season, the water has nowhere to go. It just sits. Not to mention the mosquitoes that come too.

 Countless cars have gotten stuck in the mud in the last two years at all hours of the night. It's been nothing to be laying in bed and listening to a vehicle spinning out in the mud. But until today we have always been able to get in and out of our driveway with little difficulty.

Well yesterday, someone in their 'I have no idea what they were thinking mind' dumped FOUR DUMP TRUCKS of dirt ON the road!!! No packing it down, no nothing! AND completely covered the end of our driveway.

For the first time in our lives, Serge and I learned to use the four wheel drive on our vehicle. Even had to get out the owner's manual... ha! Thankgoodness we have a Prado and not a LandCruiser.

Tonight when we came home, a local neighbour stopped us before we got to our house and warned us that we might not get into our house as more dirt had been dumped and the packer they had wanted to come, didn't come.

And did I mention it's been raining off and on for the last month!

Well... we stopped, analyzed the mound, decided that leaving the car outside the gate was a greater chance than getting stuck and took our chances with the four wheel drive.

Four wheel drive prevailed!

What I know... Serge is taking the kids to school tomorrow.

I also know that Serge is currently outside our gate trying to help someone who is stuck.

Isabella just said, 'Daddy's outside correcting the guy!'

I wonder how many more guys he'll correct tonight?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Cheese is back!!

If you're a regular on this blog you might remember that in February I was bemoaning the fact that there was no cheese to be had in Kigali.
(Unless I wanted to pay for imported Ugandan or European cheese. NOT!)

Well.. much to my surprise on the week-end.. CHEESE!!!
Never thought I would be so excited to see a mild Gouda on the shelf!

Just glad to have it back ... even if the price did go up by about 30%. ARG! Oh well... cheese is here and I'm happy. I have survived the second cheese strike of my life in Rwanda!

Now if I could only find milk anytime I wanted it... fresh milk, not the UHT stuff... I'd be set!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Saying Good bye...

Good byes are never fun and I've said more than my fair share in my lifetime it seems.
Most of them are moments in my life that I dont' want to relive.

My dear friend Chrissie and I have this little pact.
'We are not allowed to leave each other.'
We are both married to Rwandese, our children are great friends, we love hanging out and we 'get each other'.
A couple times a year we have this conversation.
'Is is really worth the energy to get to know other women when they're only here for 1-3 years and then they leave?'

We always seem to end our conversation with a sigh and agree that yes we must make effort to be in the lives of people who cross our paths in life and we vow to continue to put ourselves out there for that purpose. Who knows what we will gain or how God will use us in other peoples lives?

Yesterday, we said goodbye to some dear friends/family.
Toto is a dear cousin (actually an uncle) of Serge's - the kind where they walk each other to the corner and then stand an talk for another 2 hours!
Toto's wife Solange is one of my dear friends here. We first met at church, then she married Toto and the rest we say is history.

They're moving to the USA .... who knows when we will see each other again.

Solange and I embraced and the sobs erupted from both of us.
I will miss her dearly ...

I don't like goodbyes... sigh...
Sad thing for me, I know I'll say goodby to another dear friend in June ... sigh...