Photo of the Week
Photo Title

« Back to Yak Board Archive Site

Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012


WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 40260
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-08-07 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Warm greetings from Kigali!!!

We would like to update our friends and families about the group flight to DC.They have already completed the first leg , Kigali Addis Abbaba (Ethiopia), when I talked to them an hour ago over the phone, everybody was excited, safe and ready to get on Ethiopean Airlines for the rest of the trip to Washington DC!

Safe travels Dragons!!!!

Best

[post_title] => Updates about group flight [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => updates-about-group-flight [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-07 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=40260 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 291 [name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [slug] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 291 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 252 [count] => 52 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15.1 [cat_ID] => 291 [category_count] => 52 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [category_nicename] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [category_parent] => 252 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2012/rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 )

Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

View post

Updates about group flight

Emmanuel Dukundane,Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

Description

Warm greetings from Kigali!!! We would like to update our friends and families about the group flight to DC.They have already completed the first leg , Kigali Addis Abbaba (Ethiopia), when I talked to them an hour ago over the phone, everybody was excited, safe and ready to get on Ethiopean Airlines for the rest […]

Posted On

08/7/12

Author

Emmanuel Dukundane

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 40284
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] =>   

Beautiful Rwanda,

I want to thank you. Being here and learning from you has made me a stronger person. The first week with you was so different compared to this very moment here in Lake Kivu writing to you this letter. The first week, I was so intrigued and ready for anything that in moments I thought I had found myself. I tried to ignore my emotions, my fears because I thought it would prevent me from knowing you. But now, I see that my emotions are what make me see your power and your wisdom. I enjoyed every moment here exploring and loving every moment of learning with your amazing habitants. Every single person I met on this trip plays a huge role in my life and they take a special place in my heart. There is so much more to you than what people give you credit for. You are a life changer. The hills, mountains, rivers, animals and people you have taken care of have a lot of gratitude towards you and have so much knowledge to share with the rest of the world. I can say that I truly and deeply love everything about you RWANDA. I came here with an expectation of finding myself, and even though I didn’t I learned more of me and I learned to take a step forward. The impact you’ve made in my life is so big that I don’t have the words to describe it. You taught me patience, care, understanding, and knowledge. The smiles, laughs, and welcoming you gave me; gave me Joy. Joy that I didn’t think could be given by such small gestures. The hugs, handshakes, and greetings, it was so satisfying. Feeling like I was welcomed and loved by you was more than what I expected. You made me see that I have a voice and made a difference in my life and in someone else’s. Rwanda you are beautiful in many ways and your history is as amazing as all the people you have given care to. You’ve seen tears of sadness, anger, happiness and love. You’ve seen your habitants grow each and every second of life they have lived on your precious and gorgeous land. The peace you portray and give is the peace that many people need. Rwanda you are the stone of many; the love of many; the door of many and the peace to many. To me, you are my beginning of life and love for myself. Through your hardships and intense struggles you move forward and embrace your past. You teach and learn, and care and love. Walking through your hills gives out joy to many. In my own life you have taught me that there is no such problem or struggle that can’t be fixed and that they are there for a reason. The reason for growth as a person, to learn, understand, act, Love, care, and know the person inside you. Your people show unity and happiness you embrace them with. Rwanda, the land of a million hills, you’ve taught me what I never knew how to learn. I am grateful to be here with you. I am grateful to have seen your colors. I am grateful for this amazing wonderful experience. RWANDA, I will share your story and I will share what you taught me. I will share the love and peace you gave me. I may be living physically but you will always have a place in my heart and my life. I will come back and see your beautiful land once more. RWANDA, you are what others want and need. I LOVE RWANDA, the land of a million hills. RWANDA, Africa I will not forget you and all the memories I made here with you. THANK YOU RWANDA. You’ve made a huge amazing change in my life and I thank you for it. THANK YOU RWANDA, AFRICA.

WITH MUCH LOVE,

Dilsy Mendez

[post_title] => Dear Rwanda... [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dear-rwanda [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=40284 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 291 [name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [slug] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 291 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 252 [count] => 52 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15.1 [cat_ID] => 291 [category_count] => 52 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [category_nicename] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [category_parent] => 252 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2012/rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 )

Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

View post

Dear Rwanda…

Dilsy Mendez,Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

Description

Beautiful Rwanda, I want to thank you. Being here and learning from you has made me a stronger person. The first week with you was so different compared to this very moment here in Lake Kivu writing to you this letter. The first week, I was so intrigued and ready for anything that in moments […]

Posted On

08/6/12

Author

Dilsy Mendez

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 40274
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Since my last yak, we have completed our rural home stays and our visit to the Imbabazi orphanage. Though both of those experiences were unforgettably amazing, I'm sure one of my peers will write yaks on each of those adventures. I will chose to focus my final yak on our arrival to Lake Kivu and all the beauty that surrounds its majestic shores. A portion of my joy is owed to the warm shower that I have missed for so long, but nothing in America is as beautiful as the view I gaze upon as I write this. A week ago, I was ready to go back to America. I missed McDonald’s unhealthy cheeseburgers, and dominos buttery garlic crusts. I missed having connection to any form of entertainment I pleased. But where I sit now, this solitude is my only desire. The materialistic items and the junky diet that I craved weeks ago have become irrelevant. With few days left in Africa, I want to enjoy Rwanda for what it is; a welcoming and extraordinary land that has more to offer than I have years left to live.

Looking through my past notes and journal entries, I am able to witness a transformation for the better. While two palm trees shade this bench overlooking this glowing body of water, I reflect upon the last five weeks. I can honestly say that there is nothing else I could have done with my summer that would have shaped me in the way Rwanda has. Dragons: an experience of a life time. I will miss Rwanda, but instead of thinking about what I am leaving in five days. I will spend the rest of my days in a country I love with friends I love.

Calum McGuckin

[post_title] => my final yak [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => my-final-yak [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=40274 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 291 [name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [slug] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 291 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 252 [count] => 52 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15.1 [cat_ID] => 291 [category_count] => 52 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [category_nicename] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [category_parent] => 252 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2012/rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 )

Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

View post

my final yak

Calum McGuckin,Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

Description

Since my last yak, we have completed our rural home stays and our visit to the Imbabazi orphanage. Though both of those experiences were unforgettably amazing, I’m sure one of my peers will write yaks on each of those adventures. I will chose to focus my final yak on our arrival to Lake Kivu and […]

Posted On

08/6/12

Author

Calum McGuckin

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 40276
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Today is our last day in Rwanda.

I miss three families so much. There is one in Butare: Fortunee, Bosco, Unique, Derek, and baby boy. One is in Cyenkwanzi: Solange, Felix, Neza, and Claire. One is in America: Randy, Fiona, Emily, Cassidy, Willa, Dorothy, and Ben. I want to return to all of them and tell them how much I love and appreciate them. I want to tell them how they have changed my life since I left them and how my heart hurts with gratitude for having them in my life.

It's all over and I will return to one of my families and communicate with two others only by email and phone. Already my instructors have been bombared with text messages from Felix, checking on their American daughter. How did I get so lucky as to have six parents, nine siblings, and three homes?

This is a strange and beautiful place that I am leaving and I have no idea how to feel about my return to St. Louis. I will gain a hot shower, clean sheets, chipotle, one family, and amazing friends, but I will lose amandazi, passion fruit, the view of Lake Kivu, the smell of burning eucalyptus, themed metatus, two families, and amazing friends. It's a lot to wrap my head around.

Yesterday we took a boat to a tiny island in the middle of Lake Kivu and told eachother some truths. We talked about what inspired us, what scared us, what we needed, and what we hoped for. I thought I would share these things here, so that perhaps my and other families can understand some of what we will look to them for and how we will have changed upon our return.

I am inspired by the hope that overwhelms this tiny country. I will leave here with such deep gratitude for my journey, and for the things I will return to. I am afraid that I will never be able to give back to anyone or anything what this country has given me. I am afraid that I will lose some of the wisdom and appreciation that I have gained. I am afraid that others will not understand. This brings me to my need: understanding. Friends and family, I need, and I know my group mates need, understanding and patience from you. We have been overwhelmed by the newness of this country and ourselves and when we get home, there will be much for us to process. Please try to listen, to appreciate, and to learn from what we have learned. Finally, I hope that I, and those I am returning to America with, will never lose the people we are today--the people who are different, better versions of the ones that left America on June 28th.

It has been six weeks, six communities, three rashes, two new families, nine crazy kids, three teachers, and countless beans, and we are coming home changed.

[post_title] => Beginnings [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => beginnings [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=40276 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 291 [name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [slug] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 291 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 252 [count] => 52 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15.1 [cat_ID] => 291 [category_count] => 52 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [category_nicename] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [category_parent] => 252 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2012/rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 )

Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

View post

Beginnings

Alice Woods,Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

Description

Today is our last day in Rwanda. I miss three families so much. There is one in Butare: Fortunee, Bosco, Unique, Derek, and baby boy. One is in Cyenkwanzi: Solange, Felix, Neza, and Claire. One is in America: Randy, Fiona, Emily, Cassidy, Willa, Dorothy, and Ben. I want to return to all of them and […]

Posted On

08/6/12

Author

Alice Woods

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 40277
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

The word community is best described as Cyenkwanzi, every aspect of this word is embodied by this village. From the moment we arrived to our departure, we were loved. Doing community service with the rest of the community was incredible and a method that I hope our society would adapt. My home-stay family was my favorite part of the experience, they were all so kind, and made me feel like a part of their family from the start. Being in Rwanda has by far been the best experience of my life. I will miss it here very much, and I will miss the people. Rwanda has a very optimistic view for its future. Being in lake Kivu has been so peaceful and wonderful. It’s a time of reflection for all of us, and our view of the lake is top notch.

[post_title] => Looking Back [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => looking-back [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=40277 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 291 [name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [slug] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 291 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 252 [count] => 52 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15.1 [cat_ID] => 291 [category_count] => 52 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [category_nicename] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [category_parent] => 252 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2012/rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 )

Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

View post

Looking Back

Isabel Castellanos,Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

Description

The word community is best described as Cyenkwanzi, every aspect of this word is embodied by this village. From the moment we arrived to our departure, we were loved. Doing community service with the rest of the community was incredible and a method that I hope our society would adapt. My home-stay family was my […]

Posted On

08/6/12

Author

Isabel Castellanos

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 40278
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

We write you again from bustling Kigali, where we have returned after a series of experiences that, for most students, included the highlights of our trip. We have emerged now on the other side of an incredible rural homestay in Emmanuel’s home village, a student-led live-in service exchange at Imbabazi Orphanage, and three days of reflection and relaxation on the shores of Lake Kivu.

Our student group has shown courage, enthusiasm, compassion, and in return, they have experienced community, growth, and inspiration. The last several days have been a time for us to reflect on the lessons we will take home with us and on the versions of ourselves Rwanda has allowed us to discover. Your children and friends will return to you in just a few days, knowing themselves more deeply, asking more complicated questions, and carrying new perspectives about the world. Each of them has been a gift on this journey, challenging and inspiring us - and each other - daily. Thank you for sharing them with us.

We will set off from Kigali tomorrow. Expect some student Yaks before we depart, and prepare to hear their stories in person soon.

With gratitude,

the i-team

[post_title] => Heading Home [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => heading-home [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=40278 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 291 [name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [slug] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 291 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 252 [count] => 52 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15.1 [cat_ID] => 291 [category_count] => 52 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [category_nicename] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [category_parent] => 252 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2012/rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 )

Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

View post

Heading Home

Jamie Persons,Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

Description

We write you again from bustling Kigali, where we have returned after a series of experiences that, for most students, included the highlights of our trip. We have emerged now on the other side of an incredible rural homestay in Emmanuel’s home village, a student-led live-in service exchange at Imbabazi Orphanage, and three days of […]

Posted On

08/6/12

Author

Jamie Persons

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 40279
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

I have submerged myself in a tradional dance that has been around for centuries. Intore was danced when victories would be won in the battlefield and on special occasions. Intore dancers would come out and with their colorful vibrant costumes and long shiny blonde wigs would come alive to the sound of the drums. I was facinated by this beatiful piece of the Rwanda culture that I decided to make it my isp and dedicate time and patience while meals were skiped in order to continue to practice. Each step was important and even the smallest detail was crucial in making everything run smoothly. I took my isp extremly serious because I wanted to live up to what Intore stands for which is "chosen ones". In performing for my rural homestay village and at the orphange at Imbabazi I had won my own victory and that was stepping outside of my comfort zone and learning to dance for the first time in my life. Participating in Intore dancing has allowed me to increase the amount of patience that I have when trying new things. Chosing this cultural dance as my isp has also given me a glimps of the rich culture that runs deep in the roots of Rwanda.

[post_title] => Dance of Heroes [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dance-of-heroes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=40279 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 291 [name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [slug] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 291 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 252 [count] => 52 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15.1 [cat_ID] => 291 [category_count] => 52 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [category_nicename] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [category_parent] => 252 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2012/rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 )

Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

View post

Dance of Heroes

Gerardo Jauregui,Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

Description

I have submerged myself in a tradional dance that has been around for centuries. Intore was danced when victories would be won in the battlefield and on special occasions. Intore dancers would come out and with their colorful vibrant costumes and long shiny blonde wigs would come alive to the sound of the drums. I […]

Posted On

08/6/12

Author

Gerardo Jauregui

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 40281
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => This summer has been the best summer of my life. I've meet so many people and every person and their story has truly impacted my life. Tomorrow I will me leaving Rwanda a new person which I wish to maintain when I get back to my American life. Rwanda has been a place of inspiration which I will never forget. I'm truly grateful for being able to visit it. 
    [post_title] => Tell the World I'm Coming Home!
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => tell-the-world-im-coming-home
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00
    [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=40281
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 291
                    [name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012
                    [slug] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 291
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 252
                    [count] => 52
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 15.1
                    [cat_ID] => 291
                    [category_count] => 52
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012
                    [category_nicename] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012
                    [category_parent] => 252
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2012/rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012
)

Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

View post

Tell the World I’m Coming Home!

Oumou Jalloh,Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

Description

This summer has been the best summer of my life. I’ve meet so many people and every person and their story has truly impacted my life. Tomorrow I will me leaving Rwanda a new person which I wish to maintain when I get back to my American life. Rwanda has been a place of inspiration […]

Posted On

08/6/12

Author

Oumou Jalloh

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 40282
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

I can hear The giggles of the childrenplaying in the street.

I can taste the hot and steamy plate of cooked plantains with peanuts sauce and beans.

I can see the green hills from where I sit in the matatu and the patches of land people are farming.

I can smell the ripe fruits in the market that remind meof how sweet they taste.

To me Rwanda will always be the place where I was transformed into a better version of myself.

[post_title] => Rwanda is [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => rwanda-is [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-06 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=40282 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 291 [name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [slug] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 291 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 252 [count] => 52 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15.1 [cat_ID] => 291 [category_count] => 52 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [category_nicename] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [category_parent] => 252 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2012/rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 )

Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

View post

Rwanda is

Bermely Ferreras,Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

Description

I can hear The giggles of the childrenplaying in the street. I can taste the hot and steamy plate of cooked plantains with peanuts sauce and beans. I can see the green hills from where I sit in the matatu and the patches of land people are farming. I can smell the ripe fruits in […]

Posted On

08/6/12

Author

Bermely Ferreras

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 40342
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-08-01 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

A few mornings ago, in the rural village of Cyenkwanzi, I woke to the neighbor boy knocking on my door. He was kindly returning the jerry can he had taken to the village’s water-access point. “No water” he motioned, “empty”.

It was the last Saturday of the month, signaling the start of Umuganda, the country-wide day of community service. So, that morning, our group walked through Cyenkwanzi and a neighboring village (a trip of about fifteen minutes), and came to the edge of a school compound that was in the process of being expanded. Our job for the morning: to clear the land to lay a foundation for a new school building. In other words, we had shown up, to a “bring your own tools” work party where we would spend the next several hours enthusiastically shoveling dirt. I was proud to have not embarrassed myself too much with my display of minimally-experienced shoveling (compared to Rwandan farmers, of course). After a few hours of work alongside community members of all ages, we returned to the village, sore and dust-covered, but in high spirits.

Back at the village water tap, the main cistern (“Donated by Better World Canada” as seen painted in white letters on the outside) was still mostly empty. But after attaching a fitted hose to the old cistern pipe, a sweet man was able to fill our jerry can.

Now, unlike the first day when- before I even got the tap to fill up - a man came to offer to carry my water (and my limited Kinyarwanda did not allow me to be gracious and say no), and unlike the second day, when my co-instructor Jamie and I ended up carting our jerry can in our hands, hurriedly trotting up the hill, having to pause every few minutes (with everyone on the street cheering us on), on this day, I came prepared. Once my jerry can was full, with a pre-stashed scarf from my bag I tied a loop around the handle just as I had watched so many other skilled women do. Though I couldn’t lift the jerry can high enough behind my back to stretch the scarf across my forehead alone, once the jerry can was situated resting on my lower back, the scarf stretched taught against my forehead, I could finally move in a productive way while bearing my load. I cannot convey the satisfaction that this allowed me—to transport my own can of water, in a reasonable way, up to my house. No pauses, no painful lurching to rest the can on a nearby stoop before continuing. This time I conquered carrying the full jerry can with sweet glee. Though I could not make eye contact because my head was tilted down to bear the weight, I also avoided it out of fear of naively grinning too ridiculously directly into my onlookers faces. Nonetheless, I was beaming as I proudly toted my load home.

~

I feel like in the last five days in Cyenkwanzi, we have all had village victories. Some of us have learned to get an adequate night of sleep while sharing a bed and bug net with our teenage homestay siblings. Others of us have pushed ourselves to perform traditional dances at our goodbye ceremony in front of a large portion of the village, when weeks ago, simply swaying at a dance party seemed totally out of the realm of possibility. Still others have shown in creative use of Kinarwanda and secret hand gestures to make it through five days with families that speak no English in good style. We know how to navigate the streets of Cyenkwanzi and our way around the farming plots that many of our homestay families tend. We are capable of graciously receiving whole village welcome parties, and the addictive staring that comes with it from the locals, as well as orchestrating deeply meaningful goodbye parties with over seventy-five of our closest new friends and homestay family members. We can throw a dance party at the local “Salon du Coiffure” (barber shop) and understand that the pictures of people with diarrhea and “malariya” painted on the side of a house means that the village public health officer lives there, and you should visit if you are sick. We have walked to the local medical clinics and learn to ask important questions about access to medicine and the impact of cultural norms on biological processes such as giving birth. Most of all we have found commonalities and points of meaningful connection between our homestay families and friends who live in a village that received electricity three months ago and our own lives that are filled back home with high-speed technology and constant digital connection. We have looked beyond dramatically different cultural histories of our towns and ourselves to be real with each other, to laugh well together, share meals and beds, as well as constant greetings, handshakes, and loose-armed hugs. Our time together has been rich, despite any differences in material means we each have come to this experience with. And our learnings have been profound---about each other, about oursevlves, about what we are individually and collectively striving for, and about how we can walk a little more authentically, a little more open, and little more humbly in the world.

Thank you Cyenkwanzi for opening your arms to us so warmly. Thank you Emmanuel Dukundane for trusting us enough to bring us here, to your home. Our appreciation for this experience is enormous.

[post_title] => Village Victories [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => village-victories [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-08-01 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=40342 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 291 [name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [slug] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 291 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 252 [count] => 52 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 15.1 [cat_ID] => 291 [category_count] => 52 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 [category_nicename] => rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012 [category_parent] => 252 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2012/rwanda-the-transformation-of-society-summer-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012 )

Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

View post

Village Victories

Ariana De-Toro Forlenza,Rwanda: The Transformation of Society, Summer 2012

Description

A few mornings ago, in the rural village of Cyenkwanzi, I woke to the neighbor boy knocking on my door. He was kindly returning the jerry can he had taken to the village’s water-access point. “No water” he motioned, “empty”. It was the last Saturday of the month, signaling the start of Umuganda, the country-wide […]

Posted On

08/1/12

Author

Ariana De-Toro Forlenza

1 2 3 6