Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding!

Today was finally the Royal Wedding! Emma and her friends (and who am I kidding...all of us mommies, too) have been waiting and waiting to celebrate. One of my earliest childhood memories is getting up at 5am with my mom to watch the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. I was 5.

It was so exciting today to watch Prince William's wedding with Emma. Emma's British friends came over to join us for a Royal Tea Party. It was so fun!

I admit that I am very jealous that our British friends were all invited to a Royal Wedding Party at the British Embassy tonight. I can't wait to hear all about it!

Emma and Emily all princessed up
Here comes the bride!
Tea, Scones, and wedding cake.

Easter in Africa

Each Sunday during the month of April we have been lighting 17 candles to remember the 17 year since the genocide. It has been so moving because members of the congregation are asked to come up and light the candle in memory of a loved one.

Easter Sunday was such a time of celebration. We celebrated the resurrection of our Lord. While lighting the candles we celebrated that Jesus is in all things and that through Him there is healing and peace. Even when we don't understand and our world seems to be falling apart around us, Jesus is there to rescue us from the darkness.

Emma and Monkey Funky with there matching Easter dresses.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I need a favor...

I really hate to do this but I am in desperate need of a favor. I am planning graduation for our school and I need more caps and gowns.

I am wondering if anyone is coming to Rwanda by May 24? I have 20 caps and gowns that I need to have brought over. They weigh about 25lbs total. If you have room in your luggage and are willing to help, please let me know as soon as possible.


Monday, April 18, 2011


I am in love with this tiny baby...

My Birthday Gift...

Friday was my birthday so we headed to the market in Ruhango to buy my present. I have been waiting for several weeks now to pick out this gift...a goat for Leia! Ruhango is the 2nd largest market in Rwanda and has the largest animal market. It was fantastic! As soon as we stepped out of the truck we were mobbed. We bought 4 goats for people in Todd and Andria's neighborhood by mine was going to Leia.

Matt and Emma at the market.
This picture pretty much sums up what happens any time we take Emma to the market.
Love this! Emma shaking hands with one of the kids.
I just think this couple is adorable!
Matt and Emma hanging with the kids.

Andria, Emie and I sat in the back of the truck with goats.
Emma delivering a goat to one of the neighbors.
This woman was collecting the goat for a handicapped woman in the village.
Matt passing off a goat.
Me giving Leia her goat. Notice Emma in the background making more gumbo!
She was so happy. She kept saying "Thank You" and "God Bless You."
The goat is officially hers! They used a pen to write on her thumb and take a finger print.

What an amazing way to celebrate my birthday!

The Road to Kibeho...

Mine in the side of the mountain.

Tea Plantation!
Creepy storm clouds rolling in...

I guess it's okay to let your child ride the camel in the giant nativity as long as the Catholic Priest is the one who puts her on it?
Love these ladies!

Genocide Memorial Service in Gatagara

Thursday, April 7 marked the 17 year anniversary of the start of the Genocide here in Rwanda. There was an official week of mourning throughout the nation. Everyday services were held so that people could share their stories and remember the lost.

On Wednesday, Matt, Todd and Andria went down the road to attend the closing memorial service in Gatagara. We decided that it would be best for Emma and I to stay at the house since Emma tends to draw a crowd and we didn't want to cause a distraction.

It is estimated that there were about 2,000 people living in Gatagara before the genocide began. 415 were killed. That's about 1 in every 4 people!

During the service, several people shared their stories. One was a widow. She told of the day her husband and children were killed. The men came and led her husband and children away. It was a miracle that she was left behind. The children were told that they were going to be given food. Instead, they were killed. She said that she knows the people who did it. They are her neighbors to this day. They have never asked for forgiveness but she has forgiven them. She said, "I am free."

Creation Enjoyed...

Maraba Coffee Co-Operative

Day 2!

We drove out towards Butare and visited the Cyarumbo Coffee Washing Station. Unfortunately, they will begin harvesting coffee beans in the next week or two so we missed the actual process. It was still cool to imagine all those yummy coffee beans floating through the process.

The beans grown in this part of the country and processed here were ranked 2nd in the world by a US study. They are sold throughout the UK and US...even at Starbucks! Yum!

Coffee Tree
Coffee Beans! They remove 2 layers of shell to get to the actual bean.
First the beans are sorted out on these tables to remove any bad beans.
After soaking in a huge tub for several hours, they come down through these machines that remove the shells.
Then the beans float down this "lazy river" the the soaking pools.
The beans soak in these tubs for 24-48 hours.
They are then placed in the sun on these tables to dry.

Gatagara Adventures Day 1

So I am just now blogging about our April Break adventures.

We went out to Gatagara and stayed with our friends, Todd and Andria. They are doing incredible things there. There vision is start a school. They have started out by offering sewing classes to the girls in the village. So each morning, about 30 ladies come to their house and start sewing. They are sewing school uniforms to give to the kids in the village who couldn't otherwise go to school. It is a win win for the community. Another great thing they are doing is buying goats, cows and rabbits for the people in the village. People in the States can buy a goat for about $30 and it provides both food and income for a family. So far they have distributed 115 goats in the village. It is so great to drive down the road and see all the goats! The great thing about the program too is that if you receive a goat you need to give your first born baby goat to another family. How awesome is that?!

The woman who lives right across the road from their house, Leia, is over 100 years old. The first time she shows up in the census is 1915 but it doesn't say how old she was at the time. Many people think she is over 110. Her son lives with her and he is in his 80s. They think! Their house was built in the 70's and is in terrible need of fixing up. So, we started working on it while we were there.

Me, Emma, the village leader, Leia's son, Leia, Matt, Andria and Todd
Emma and Leia.
Emma was drawing a crowd.
Emma was making gumbo and sharing it with all the locals. It was so funny!
Too much Princess and the Frog I guess!
Emma getting in on the action!
The plaster is a mixture of lime, sand, concrete and water.

Here is Todd and Andria's blog if you are interested in buying a goat, cow or rabbits!