Thursday, February 8, 2007

Small scraps

This blog will be relatively short, I'm on an extremely slow internet connection in Kigali, Rwanda. I had so much difficulty getting internet. Apparently the internet is available all night, but you can only buy the cards up until 9pm, and I missed that time. However, I managed to convince the front desk to sell me the internet of another guest who had purchased it and left the card there. Then, since none of the computers were working, I've currently hijacked the IT management computer. No one's kicked me off yet, but I feel kind of important sitting here, hopefully they'll all continue to ignore me until I'm done!

Well, our last evening in Rwanda we went and had dinner at Mr. and Mrs. Beauttah's house. They have a lovely house, and we had a traditional Kenyan dinner with rice, chicken, beef, salad, and some bread which is similar to the Indian Naan bread but I don't remember what it is called. Plus mangoes and icecream for dessert, yum! Nick and Caroline also came for dinner. Since they read this blog I'll have to be careful of what I say :) Seriously though, Nick absolutely loves Victor, he entertained us all with stories of his and Victor's adventures, thought processes, etc. He definitely has his little boy figured out! We also discussed our trip through Africa, and at one point Caroline said, and I quote, "you don't need a visa for Rwanda, why? They have joined the EU?" hahaha, too funny! Poor dear, I did warn her at least that I would post that but I just couldn't leave that out.

Ok, so we left that morning for Rwanda and were met at the airport by Jean Pierre who drove them last time they were here, and also by 4 members of the World Youth Alliance in Rwanda. They met us with flowers! We received a bouquet of yellow and red roses! We had a brief meeting with them that evening, to discuss the seminar and their group. I also swam for an hour in the pool! What bliss and joy, I'm working on my tan which they don't seem to understand, by comparison I'm still peachy white.

Today we led a seminar on Dignity and Peace with them. There were about 30 participants, the majority of them from their club, the Rwandan Youth Alliance. The seminar helped us to address the issues facing them. Obviously freedom, solidarity and peace were the big item issues at the conference. Freedom especially brought forth some interesting discussions. At one point, based on their definitions of freedom and the need to fight for peace, the genocide wasn't so horrible, but when I repeated back to them what they were stating they were horrified. Obviously none of them believes there was anything good about the genocide, and it helped us all to refine our ideas of freedom and what steps were important for peace. After the conference we got out our cameras to get some group photos, I've never imagined anything like it. Our participants were camera happy! If I so much as aimed a camera in any direction there were instantly a minimum of 3 participants there smiling and telling me to take their picture! This didn't just happen once, it happened at least 20 times! They also sang and danced for us the traditional Rwandan dance, it was beautiful, it's quite fluid and graceful for the guys and girls. They tried to teach me, but apparently I'm not so graceful with my hands. The rhythm I could get, but moving my upper body as though without bones in the manner of a swan is actually pretty difficult.

Ok, well it's midnight now and I need to wake up at 6 something tomorrow morning to meet with the youth minister for political affairs.

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