Sunday, October 2, 2011

Goodbye Rwanda..........

I had a wonderful last week.  The preschool finished their little exams and the children will have a break for October and November.  To celebrate, Cathy and Teste had a "feast" for them and the staff.  Cathy cooked an enormous amount of meat and had two huge pots of rice.  The children don't often have meat as it is too expensive so this was very exciting for them.  A few were waiting at school at 6 am......
I could not believe that small children could eat so much -

Julie, Emmanuel and I went to the market to buy "Boda Boda's" - the plastic sandals children wear here.  Julie had given me money for my birthday and this is how I spent it.  We were able to buy 13 pairs for a few dollars.  Some children have no shoes, some have mis-matched shoes and many have broken shoes.  Many walk a long way to school so they need shoes.  Cathy fit some with their new shoes and the joy and happiness on their little faces was so wonderful.  Again such a small thing that means so much.  These are moments I will never forget!

I said my good-byes to the staff and children - lots of is amazing how attached you get after a month.  The kids don't really understand - they were still saying - "See you Monday".....I will miss them all.

Georgeann, Pat and I left for Kigali at 2 pm on Friday with Marcel, the driver who picked me up at the airport when I arrived.  It was a great drive - the scenery is just awesome and you can hardly believe the beauty of this tiny country.  Georgeann and Pat are staying in Kigali for the weekend to see the Genocide Memorial before they leave on Tuesday.  They are so great and it was special to share these past two weeks with them. They have been travelling in Africa for 6 weeks.  I now have new friends in Idaho and a new friend in Brisbane, Australia.

Emmanuel took the Virunga (bus) to Kigali and met us at their hotel.  He took me to the airport and then is being a tour guide for Georgeann and Pat on Saturday.  Manno and I said our good-bye's - he gave me a special note that he wrote on the bus.  I will miss him so much - I feel like he is my new African son.  I spent so much time with him and he made my stay in Rwanda very meaningful.  He is off to University on October 10th and I wish him love and success.

My flight left Kigali at 8 pm - I flew all night to Brussels and then to Zurich - it was gruelling and took over 26 hours in total.  Jaye and Andrew picked me up - it was so wonderful to see them.  Jeffrey and Able are in Montreal for the weekend.  I will finish this blog by sharing special news - Jaye and Andrew are 15 weeks pregnant and due March 22nd......We are all very happy!!! 

This was one of the most wonderful months of my life - sharing time with the beautiful people of Rwanda.  I wish them many things - peace, love, prosperity and good health.  May their country continue to grow and change - may all children be educated and have health care - may mothers' not have to pay for water and walk so far to fetch it -  may all children have warm beds to sleep in instead of sleeping on mats on the ground - may all children have a daily bath and enough clothes - may all the children receive the nurturing and love they deserve - and lastly may the people never again have to endure the hell they endured 16 years ago...............I will return to Rwanda - that I know for sure!

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