Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 17: Garden work and fun!

Busy, busy day today. We went to build a kitchen garden - a garden made of plastic woven bags filled with soil and wooden sticks to support the bags and soil. We were building it for a woman who had 7 children - 4 biological and 3 orphans that she took into her home. We finished it by 11am. Two hours of hard work (we hope to beat our time tomorrow when we build another one). Thankfully, Bennett brought his Kershaw knife which I had used to cut open the bags to use as the walls of the garden. Today, my father taught me how to hoe. I swung that thing over and over and over again. It was fun... Although a lot of soil found a new home in my running shoes.

I wasn't the only one that got red with dirt... We all got dirty by the end of those two hours. Some, more dirty than others. Amy is the only person on this team that can truly say that she got dirt everywhere... Gary had accidentally spilled some soil on Amy's exposed lower back while she was working with the garden, and when she stood up, the soil on her back had slipped into her pants. Gary had soiled Amy's pants. She had to go to the outhouse to clean up.

After leaving the woman's home, we bike-taxi'd to the girls' academy which was founded by the daughters of the man who owns Costco. It was massive and beautiful. I wish my campus looked like it. It was on a sort of hill and so had a beautiful view of the river and distant hills. We met with the headmaster and he talked about the school. We joined the students for lunch and were able to converse with them. Many of the girls at my table wanted to be engineers. One wanted to be a pilot, and the another wanted to be a businesswoman. They were really nice and asked me about university. I was surprised to find that they had heard about McGill.

I came home with a few other people to organize the sports jerseys we had for Gashora. Other members of our team stayed back and built a shelf for the baskets to be displayed. We brought the jerseys down to the village and went to the basketball court to distribute the sports equipment. Following the distribution of the donations, the local basketball team wanted to play with us. So, a bunch of us played... It was pretty even in the end... However, it was rather amusing to watch my father play basketball.. He's definitely more of a biker and a swimmer than a baller.

There was a little boy named Big Dog who took quite the liking to me... He gave me a woven bracelet today... It's got the Rwandan colors on it.

So now we're back at home base, all tired out. I think we're all going to sleep well tonight.
My TTAA - the food edition
Rwandan coffee: the best coffee I have ever had. Ever.
Passion fruit: the key to my heart is passion fruit. If you bring me passion fruit, I'll be yours forever.
Tomato fruit: I've only ever had this fruit in Rwanda. It tastes sort of like a kiwi but looks like a tomato with black seeds... You only eat the seeds. Similar to a passion fruit but with dark red jelly stuff around the back seeds.

Hope all of you are doing well!

Mali Foster
DWC Participant
Rwanda, July 2012

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