Monday, 27 February 2012

Second Highschool Graduate!!

Serge and I were on our way out to dinner on Friday night with some friends when we got a call from Desire.
He had just received he results from the Senior 6 (grade 12) Rwanda National Exam.


He is our second former street kid to graduate from highschool.
When we started working with street kids in 2005, it was only a VERY distant dream that one or more would even think about graduating from highschool.

We are very proud of Desire and look forward to doing all we can to get him into university next year.
Any takers to help him out?? :-)

Friday, 24 February 2012

Cheese Strike!

SO... no cheese in Kigali.
No local cheese that is. Sure I can buy stuff imported from Europe but who's got a budget to sustain that?

This is the second cheese strike since I have lived here. Thinking it was 2006 when we couldn't get cheese for about 6 months, maybe more.
Wonder how long this one will last?

I've never been a huge fan of the cheese here as it's a mild gouda at best ... but when you can't have it, well, you want it! Like today for lunch we had some sloppy joes and was wanting a few cheese sprinkles on top. What about pizza tonight for dinner but cheeseless pizza... mmmmmmmmm.... 

I know, I know that I have friends reading this who can't have cheese because of dietary reason, but ... I sure hope this strike ends sooner than later!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

John 1:46

This morning we were having a little IT Rwanda meeting ... one of our monthly catch up and planning meetings. Alain was having us read some in John 1.

The verse that has stuck with me all day is verse 46.

Nathanael replied, 'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?...'

This same question has been asked of Serge and I many times by fellow Rwandans.
Can anything good come out of the street kids?
Can anything good come out of those with HIV/AIDS? 

And I think that many in the west wonder if anything good can come out of Rwanda.

I am thankful that my answer is an emphatic YES to all of the above.

Monday, 13 February 2012

The Morning After

... a team.

We have had our first team of 2012 - the first of four.
They were only in Rwanda for 6 days but we had a grand time with them. If they are any indication, we are in for a good year. 

We took them to Nyamirama - clothing distribution and witnessing the water distribution

Mom's with babies first... the the rest for clothes.
Lari and Rita have a great time
The line of water jerry cans
The crowd... dancing in thanksgiving for the water.
A very moving time.
Serge asked the head of local security how the water has changed the community.
He said that when they gather at 4pm each day for water, they take the chance to talk to the community to encourage and educate them.
One of those things... when we arrived to give out the clothes we didn't recognize the kids. Serge even thought they had brought in 'clean' kids for the Muzungu's to see!!
But they were the community kids - just CLEAN!
We have never seen the kids clean ...

Can't rotate this picture... help!
Anyway... the team went to Ubuzima for a
great afternoon. Besides hearing some
testimonies, they brought bags of food for
each household - 40 of them - which they had
spent the morning shopping for at the local market.
Always fun to watch them barter!
We took them to Ubuzima - an association for those with HIV/AIDS

Alice, Marte, Mama Chantal
We were celebrating that Marte was 'fat'!
She has gained 11 kgs since November - and that's a GOOD thing!
The team spent the next day visiting three of their homes. Was a heart breaking time for them - but good. Always good to get a sitting in a very tiny house and hear life stories... 
Makes one pause and think for a long time.

We took them to Fumbwe - about an hour out of Kigali to see Pastor Desontos and his Assistant Pastor Modeste. We have some land to grow crops, a house for Modeste and his new bride to live in, a little barn for cows and goat, and lots of dreaming of how we can better help this community.

Even today, Serge is with a lady from Norway (thank you internet!), meeting with the community executive,  to see if we might bring some training to the community in making fuel efficiency stoves. It's a government mandate for all communities to have fuel effieciency stoves but how are they to get that training and implement the plan? Maybe we are part of all that....

The team with those who had come to greet us at their
little church on Thursday morning
This is the start of their new church.
They had a church which collapsed on them. They built a
small temporary mud structure which they build a new church
building. Many have left the church as they don't have a real
building. The team gave them 10 bags of cement to help them
complete their foundation.
Beni with one of our goats.
Two days old!
I was worried he was going to squeeze
it to death or that the goat would pee
on him! Neither happened!
Our land
It is quite a hike down from the village. What you can't see is
that it overlooks Lake Muhazi. An incredible view!
the little house is for Assistant Pastor Modeste and his
new wife. It was my first time to meet her and I was
introduced as the mother-in-law.
They are expecting ... so does that make me a grandma!!!