Thursday, September 16, 2010


Kibuye is a small town on the shores of Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu is the largest of the lakes in Rwanda and is considered to be a "resort" location in the country. Half of the lake is in Rwanda while the other half is in Congo. It is a massive lake. It reminded me somewhat of being at Lake Michigan in that you couldn't see the opposite shore. There were however several beautiful islands. We hired a boat for a 1/2 hour ride out to Bat Island. The island gets its name because it is home to thousands of fruit bats. As you climb the trails, you throw rocks up into the trees. They then fly up and create a huge black cloud. It is a pretty awesome site actually.

Yes, the little black dots are all bats. Emma said, "I don't even think that Count could count all those bats!"

Emma was obsessed with Kelly's dinner. Fish...the whole fish!
Saturday was Game Day! Michigan vs. Notre Dame. Emma's response whenever someone asked about her shirt..."GO BLUE!!!"

Waterfall Fun!

I think my favorite day so far in Rwanda was this past Friday. The entire KICS staff ventured over to Kibuye. Along the way, two of the trucks stopped for a picnic near a waterfall. It was just beautiful. It only took about 5 minutes for word to spread that the mzungus where hanging out at the waterfall. We quickly had a group of children and women watching us eat. Matt shared some of the peanut butter no bake cookies that I made with the kids and they all gave a big smile.

Once we were done eating, we hooked up a zipline over the river for the kids to do. It was a blast! All the Rwandans continued to watch and cheer on the kids with us. It was so much fun. The best part was once our kids all had a turn, we asked the Rwandan kids if they would like to give it a try. Before we could blink, 4 of the boys scaled the rocks and were ready to get strapped into the harness. The joy on their faces as they came racing down the line was priceless. We all cheered them on and gave high fives when they returned to their friends. It was an amazing afternoon.

I was also had a moment with this little guy. What a cutie pie! Everyone was watching the zipline and he and I just stared at each other. What a precious little soul in those deep dark eyes.

My favorite shot of the entire weekend though has to be of this mother and baby. Everywhere we go we see this and I will never get tired of it. I have not been able to get a really great shot of this mommy/baby moment until now. She was walking away from the rest of the group back across the field and I just happen to see her. It was so beautiful. I just couldn't look away from her.

The Road home from Akagera

I love getting out of the city and seeing the real Rwanda. This is such a beautiful country. It is called "The Land of A Thousand Hills" and that could not be more true. The only flat area that I have seen so far is the plain in Akagera. Whenever we venture out of the city, I like to snap random shots out the window of the truck. You just never know what you are going to capture. That is the beauty of the digital camera. You don't feel like you are wasting film. Here are a few shots from the road back from Akagera. The children are just too much...wish that I could bring them all home.


A friend of ours took us on a day trip over to Akagera National Park. It is just over a 2 hour drive from Kigali and borders Tanzania. The best part is that because there are very few lions, you can actually get out of your truck and walk right up to the animals. It was amazing. We were within 15 feet of a giraffe. We just kept getting closer and closer and he didn't really seem to mind. We had a picnic with him looking on right in the middle of the plain. Emma's favorite part was seeing the giraffes and zebra. We also saw baboons, cape buffalo, impala, waterbucks, and a warthog. There were also several gorgeous birds. We got out near a lake but the hippos wouldn't come out. We saw their bubbles under water and knew they were there but couldn't entice them to come out and see us.

The great thing about this park is that it is inexpensive. It cost us less to go there than it would for a day at the Wild Animal Park in San Diego. We are planning to go back in October for a camping trip. We will then have more time to venture further into the park where the elephants and more hippos tend to hang out. So excited!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Emma and her Teacher

Today Emma and I took Matt to her preschool. He has not been able to see it because he is always teaching when I drop her off. We decided to stop by on our way downtown tonight. Emma was very excited to introduce Daddy to Miss Rebecca. She asked Miss Rebecca if she could take a picture with her to show Grandma Ross and Mema. Miss Rebecca was very happy. She is a lovely young woman from Uganda. She is just great with Emma. Emma is adjusting really well. She thinks it's really fun for me to drop her off and then later in the afternoon she picks me up from my school. She comes running into the office saying, "mommy, did you have fun at school today?"