It has been a great time here in Gashora. Our bags are packed to overflowing with baskets from the Covaga Co-operative. Our clothes have a tinge of red from the soil we've been working in for the last five days. Our backs are a bit stiff from the hard labour. And we have said our farewells. There were more than a few tears. I think we've touched the lives of many people this week. Perhaps they will forget our names and even our faces. But I don't think they will forget the sight of foreigners working shoulder to shoulder with local villagers to improve their quality of life. I certainly will not forget the sight of the 8 to 10 year olds helping us hoe, hammer and touring us around town barefoot. I will not forget the excitement in the voice of the genocide survivor when she spoke about how the kitchen garden will help her feed her 4 children and the 3 other children she has taken in. I will cherish the memory of the surprise and joy on the women's faces as they received photos of themselves on our last day in town. Perhaps the best memory will be of so many individuals - local and foreign - who came together to improve a community which has been described as the epicentre of the genocide. My wish for Gashora is for it to keep its charm, community spirit and pride as it continues to grow stronger and more vital as each project and initiative progresses.
Rwanda, July 2012