We arrived and inspected the site. Wow, we had 3 floors that needed to be leveled and stones applied over top before we can apply to complete the concrete floor. We knew it was going to be a tough slugging day.
We formed conga lines to move the stones faster from the rock pile to the building floor. We quickly realized how embracing the locals where of our presence and they joined into our conga line to help. Even the mother with babies strapped to their back. This village opened up to us with open arms. We had a very special day working along side them. At times we were singing together or learning each others languages by teaching words. Very special moments along the day.
Our lunch took us to a local restaurant in town called Lakeside. Far from being beside a lake. However, we enjoyed another very good African lunch of beans, rice, chips, pasta, spinach and pineapples for dessert.
After lunch we had the opportunity to understanding the Covaga Co-op which is a Weaving Co-op where 61 women and 1 man are members and sell their incredibly beautiful baskets and purses. We had the member present thank us for coming and helping build the kitchen for their site. These members spend countless hours weaving mainly baskets and they receive 90% of the sale price. The remaining 10% goes to the co-op for operations/administrations. One bowl/basket will take 2 days to create and will sell for 7500 francs ($11 CDN). The baskets are sold mainly to the groups who come to help the village, some locals and tourists.
Our day ended with a great dinner outdoors and a camp fire. It was newbie night for the campfire stick. This is where we stand in front of the group and share our thoughts from the day. All of the 7 new people who have not participated in a DWC trip before and most never to a third world country were blown away by the experience of the day to work along side the local residence to help build them a better future.
We are all looking forward to tackling day two...more to come!
Rwanda, October 2013