What do you call a rainy season without rain?
Perhaps I was expecting Oregon rains, but this does not meet my expectations. Not sure if I should be thankful or not. Dry makes it easier to walk all the way home. Which makes for more opportunities to show how little of the language I know. But the attempts are endearing, right? I don’t think I’ve called anyone a hippopotamus yet.
My house mates have been ill of health. Jean has pneumonia and Lori has an infection. Which does not pair well with diabetes. They’re both still trucking along- champs, I tell ya.
We had a good weekend before everyone started getting sick. Peninah, Lori and I went to the African Bagel Company for some puppy love. Ok, that wasn’t the reason, but once we got there, we nearly left with one. Fortunately Lori was distracted by the art supplies on sale. We also went and walked around the golf course lake which seems to separate the really fancy houses from downtown. It’s an odd mix of fertile crop land butted up against these giant houses.
There were lots of bird noises, as always. We spotted several osprey (I think?) which were really fun to watch, then we walked to a restaurant for a late lunch.
Peninah thinks we are crazy for actually choosing to walk instead of taking a moto. She has a very slow pace, as seems to be the norm for everyone. Which makes sense if you’re thinking it’s hot and walking fast in blazing sun will make you sweaty and uncomfortable. Or you could think of it as walking fast gets you out of the sun faster. And sweatier… I guess I was thinking of the beer that would be waiting (hopefully cold) at the restaurant for us.
Sunday is when to go to church. But of course you all know that already. Well, surprising as it may be, Rwandan people seem to like church more. Or I’m assuming after sitting through 3 hours of preaching. Fortunately most of it was not translated for me and there were fun children dancing around. Cici was my favorite little rocker, but most of my photos didn’t turn out. Photos seemed slightly rude, but using a flash seemed unnecessarily rude.
Thankfully, we sat in the back and left as the demons were about to be cast out. The silence of Togetherness farm was better than any preaching.
Today was spent meeting the women of New Destiny Cooperative. They are 24 members strong, coming together to build a tailoring business. A grant has helped them building the shop and buy materials for gitenges- those traditional gowns the women wear. Now they will be able to sew dresses, skirts, shirts, bags, tablecloths and what-not to sell to the public. This is an upgrade from waiting until someone comes in needing something tailored or brings materials in with a pattern and a plan. Now they will have everything in the shop and are just waiting for customers. It’s reasonably priced, but the materials all seem to be imported. Perhaps not. I wouldn’t know how to ask. The label on the material I bought, however, does not seem to be Rwandan.
They also have a really interesting micro-loan setup where the women can come get funding to start a shop, build a house, buy a puppy- whatever they want. As long as they repay the loan. All of the ones I heard about were being used agriculturally- tomatoes, green beans, onions, and yellow, sweet bananas. They seem to be doing great and I commend them for all the hard work they’ve invested to start a business from scratch and told them they needed to make me a really nice gitenge for the party they’re throwing :)
The African Road team trip begins this week. Not sure how much time I’ll find to send out photos for the bloggy-blog, but I will definitely be collecting photos!