Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rwanda Rwanda

so today is liberation day...which is the day the genocide ended fifteen years ago. everything is closed and i think that theres something going on at the stadium to celebrate.its still hard to believe that happened here. i thought about it alot before i came and when i first got here because thats almost all i read about when i found things about Rwanda(( One book i read is called Left to Tell.If you want to read a first hand account..this book is amazing.), but i havent thought about it as much since ive been here. sometimes things will come up about it. the other day dawn and I went to get our nails done (for the equivalent of 1 USD !!) and the woman wouldnt use the purple color i picked out because thats the color for the genocide. i thought about it yesterday because we had a staff meeting at the country directors house and he asked who had been working for FH since 94 to raise their hand. one woman, who has the warmest smile, raised her hand. it makes you wonder what they saw and what they went through during that time. sometimes ill see scars or someone with an injury and even though i know they could be from a million things it makes me think about what could have happened to them.
i think the reason i forget most of the time is because its so pretty here..and even more so, almost everyone is so kind and accpeting (once they get past the staring lol)the people that you meet and actually spend time with treat you like family. Some of the women we visited this week gave me presents before we left. One group gave me a woven purse and another group gave me a sisal basket. both of which are over a days work. its really humbling knowing that these women have so much less to begin with and give up a whole days work to someone they dont even know.
Dawn left this past thursday and i already miss her. It was so much fun to be working with her, christi and jenneane this week. Last friday we were so hardcore lol. We visited 7 groups and spent 12 hours on bumby roads ( hah those roads are no joke). She did so much to help. One of the things she helped with was to design a bag with a semstress named Martha (who is my favorite of the artists that weve met-shes 22, works so hard, and shes getting married in december). the bag ended up looking so good and it was really neat to be there when dawn explained to her what the bag should look like and to see the final product. anyways i miss dawn and am so glad she got to spend time with us :)
okay so one of the groups we visited last week is a prime opitomy of women's strenghth. they are a cooperative in muhanga that mostly weaves baskets. but listen to this...they are building their own house! not their husbands or the government...they are. its hard to put into words but this isnt the norm. these women are so strong. they formed their own group and are making their own money despite so many obsitcles. I got to ask one woman a few questions( with the help of jeneanne translating lol) about how the group has affected her and she said that she now can buy her own clothes with out asking for help and that it has helped her resolve alot of problems at home. also she mentioned that it helps her in her weaving because the women teach eachother techniques to improve their work.
hah two of the cutest things happened when we were walking up to see the where they were building the house. first i looked up and about 5 of them had their arms around eachother while they were walking in a big line..and another thing was when the one token guy that was definatly following one of the girls around made me take a picture of them together. she was beautiful hah so he had a good eye:) im not sure if she was having it though lol but he was pretty persistent.

well its getting pretty late here...bed time :)

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