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The 10 Week Report

• It’s the rainy season.  As in, it rains at some point pretty much every day.  It might be a big storm that lasts for hours or random 5-minute showers scattered throughout the day.  In a society were you do most things outside, rain has big implications here.

• It’s also “no electricity” season.  For some undetermined reason, the  city of Kigali has been cutting off the power for several hours each day, usually in the evenings.  It feels like the olden days with dinner and reading by candlelight, swapping stories in the dark, and hearing only the sounds of buzzing mosquitoes.

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• Visited Rwanda Trading Company, a local coffee company that works directly with Rwanda’s coffee producers to procure, process and market their coffee.  Who knew so much went into getting you that coffee you enjoyed this morning?

These are going to take a while to get rid of.

These are going to take a while to get rid of.

• In a really funny encounter, I met the mayor of Kigali last week.  When the girls realized that we had packed up our Expo stuff too early and the mayor was visiting all the booths, they left me in our booth alone.  The girls pretended to be customers at the cracker vendor across the aisle while the mayor and I talked about Peace House in our empty booth.  The girls were giggling the whole time.  Later they explained that as Rwandans they'd get in trouble for packing up early.  I, however, as an American would not be frowned upon because we Americans like to do things on time and with a schedule.  If you know me well, you know there’s a lot of irony in my being used as their scapegoat for being “on time” about something. 

• Out of the blue, Dorcas, who is a scrapper and has been arrested several times for fighting, told all the girls that she would never want to fight me.  She'd been watching me every day and noted that I was strong and could beat up whoever I wanted to.  You people better watch out, per Dorcas.

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• I've seen how people move furniture here, either by carrying it on their heads or piling it on their cars Beverly Hillbillies style.  

Night ridin' with Heather Miles.

Night ridin' with Heather Miles.

• Two of the Peace House sewing machines were stolen this past weekend.  Within a couple of hours of asking, some of you were generous enough to help replace the stolen ones, as well as replace the two old, rundown ones that were left behind.  Thank you, thank you!

• Being on a "mission trip" or living in another culture doesn't magically solve your issues or strengthen your weaknesses.  If anything, it brings them to the surface to be dealt with.

• There is freedom in living more simply and with less.  

• Living in survival mode changes you, and people will do crazy things to survive.  You make poor choices and weaken your character, or make hard, but good choices and strengthen it.

Libby Gifford1 Comment