Eulogy Postponed

And the miracle of today

What do you call a rainy season without rain?

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Off into the Rwandan Jungle!
Just kidding, but check out that guard ant! Yeesh!

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.

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Love the trees here!

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.

Lovely Peninah

Lovely Peninah

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.

Abandoned bag- there was a soccer game on tv that day. I'm guessing they abandoned their game to go watch a real sport

Abandoned bag- there was a soccer game on tv that day. I’m guessing they abandoned their game to go watch a real sport

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How much do you want to bet those residents are NOT weekend farmers?

This photo was intended to capture the fruits hanging off the vine in the tree. The women working was an added bonus.

This photo was intended to capture the fruits hanging off the vine in the tree- the women working was an added bonus. It looks like a cucumber, smells like a squash and, according to Peninah, was used by her grandma as laundry detergent.

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.

Osprey?

Osprey?

Little yellow friend

Little yellow friend

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.

Leonard, this was my attempt to share the view. At least you can see the clouds ;)

Leonard, this was my attempt to share the view. At least you can see the clouds ;)

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.

Throw ya hands in the air like ya just don't care!

Throw ya hands in the air like ya just don’t care!

Presumably this was his sister as she kept trying to tie him on her back for a nap.  What a beautiful family!

Presumably this was his sister as she kept trying to tie him on her back for a nap.
What a beautiful family!

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.

This is my favorite place to spend time. The view is extraordinary. It's quiet, but with the well, people are always coming by.  Plus, the clouds! Look at those clouds!

This is probably my favorite place to spend time. The view is extraordinary. It’s quiet, but not too quiet- with the well, people are always coming by. No offensive preaching to be heard.
Plus, the clouds! Look at those clouds!

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.

The New Destiny tailoring shop.

The New Destiny tailoring shop.

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!

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9 thoughts on “What do you call a rainy season without rain?

  1. Monica Lawson on said:

    I just put down the latest Nat Geographic magazine that I was reading and read this and I felt like I’d just turned the page in NG to a new story. Thanks for helping us all see that broader world outside our narrow lives.

  2. Erin Weisensee on said:

    Man! How can I tell you how much I am enjoying these stories. I feel like I can taste/smell/see it all. I love these photos and the VIEWS! Hey, what is that building in the Togetherness photos? I “hear” you about the church–the family we know has a hard time at our church because it is NOT lively. They miss the African services!
    Please give Lori a hug–hope she is feeling better QUICKLY!
    Also–I am sharing some of your photos with our friends–they will enjoy the motos and food and plants!
    Enjoy!

    • That building is where the man who guards the well stays, plus there are three stalls for livestock. The services are hundreds of times more enthusiastic! It is something I will not forget.
      Lori appreciated the hug and wonders when Jessica will be coming to visit Rwanda? :)
      Thank you for sharing with your friends!

  3. Leonard on said:

    Thanks for the updates with photos and views, stories and plants! Hope you stay well. The one plant you asked about that they ate like spinach looked like an egg plant relative and the leaves wouldn’t be edible as far as I know. The other plant pic on that entry was the plumaria loved ’round the world for its super fragrant flowers.
    I am sure it means a lot to the community there that you’ve come to visit and be part of their lives for a while.
    Hope that beer was tasty and cold. The sounds of the birds and insects on those walks must be fascinating.
    Best of luck with the road trip! hugs and love

    • Thanks, Tio Guapo! I knew the plumeria- it’s my favorite hair adornment lately. The dodo is real tasty! Kinda like chard or collard greens, so perhaps the toxic bits haven’t kicked in yet. Or is that why I have all these itchy little red dots all of a sudden?

  4. Elaine on said:

    Leonard… The eat-it-like-spinach plant (I googled it) is an indigenous amaranth and safe to eat. You’re right, though….. nightshade family like eggplant and tomato would not make a healthy salad!

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