Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 15: An eye-opening and heart warming start

The past few days have been eye-opening and heart warming.  After landing in Kigali, we visited the genocide museum, which was emotional and difficult.  But it was informative, and we learned so much about the history of genocide in Rwanda, and throughout the world.   It was inspiring to see how Rwanda is dedicated to moving forward and healing as a nation.

Our group is an amazing bunch, and we have bonded in such a short time.  We are all open to this experience and after spending the afternoon visiting the Covaga Centre, we have seen firsthand the efforts of past teams and the great work they have done.  We viewed the weaving boutique and the amazing women who are working hard at their craft to help earn money for their families.  We will begin work on the kitchen tomorrow which will serve as a training center where locals can learn not only how to compost and dry their harvest, but prepare it as well.  This is part of the nutrition initiative that was started by the Western Washington University students.  The collaborative efforts are apparent everywhere. 

After walking back to our hotel, we held many children’s hands and their warm smiles and innocence made us laugh.  Faran was a star with the children, teaching them rap music and having marathon races in the village.  It was an incredible experience to connect with the children, who were clearly thrilled at us “muzungos”.

I can only imagine what the next 2 weeks will bring.  To think that last week I was standing in my kitchen and unhappy with my kitchen counter tops, to being here and realizing how important our efforts are!  I can’t wait to start mixing some concrete and building walls which will be the structure for the kitchen.  There is no question that this trip is life changing, rewarding, and unforgettable!

Kim Hotzon
DWC Participant
Rwanda, October 2012

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