The month of May felt more like three months instead of just one. I think the weather had a big impact on my mood during the first half of the month. By all accounts, this past rainy season was particularly long and heavy. There were full weeks of only gray skies, fog, and mist. The beginning of the rainy season was relaxing, but by the end I only wanted to see the sun! Fortunately towards the end of the month, the weather cleared and the temperature warmed. For the past few days, the weather has been absolutely perfect, and my mood has improved immensely!
Since May has finally come to a close, I decided to round up some pictures to summarize my experiences this month.
Covamu sent off their first order of baskets with Amsha to be sold in America.
The English Club had to do a performance for the entire school to showcase everything we’ve worked on so far. One of my students, JMV, (front and center in this picture) asked me if he could be the camera man during the performance so that he could learn how to take pictures and video. He was so nervous, that we decided to practice during lunch to help him prepare. This turned into a 20 minute photo shoot with my senior 5 students; everyone wanted to have their picture taken! When I handed the camera over before the performance, JMV was so excited and anxious that he was visibly shaking! Luckily, he got the hang of it and had a great time taking pictures.
The performance consisted of several acts, which the members chose and prepared ahead of time. They started with a skit about the importance of gender equality then had a debate on the question, “Is a radio better than a bad wife?” I found this hilarious since they had just talked about gender equality.Not wanting to squash their creativity, I let them do it anyway. The next skit was about why it’s important for all students to speak English. Lastly, two students sang and danced to songs that they had written in English.
Albert was one of the students who lead our performance. He’s at the top of his class, he participates in several clubs, he performs his own reggae music, and he is writing an eight chapter book about how to build a culture of reading in Rwanda. Impressive, right? At the end of the term, he brings me his report card so I can keep track of his marks.
Participating in the Kigali Peace Marathon was one of the highlights of my service so far! I am so glad I finally decided to do it, and I look forward to actually training for it next year.
One day I was visiting my friend Donatha, and we got to talking about the different foods in America. She asked if we ate rabbit and was amazed that I had never tried it. The next weekend, she invited me over and cooked a whole rabbit for me. It was delicious and the best meat I have eaten in Rwanda, but I picked around eating the head. I know it might be hard to see in the picture, but the teeth were a bit much for me. I definitely look forward to eating rabbit again though!
Donatha’s youngest kid Samuel is adorable! All of her seven children are very sweet and well behaved. Samueli is afraid to talk to me, but apparently he asks all the time when I’m coming back to visit.
I snapped this picture from the top of the ridge looking back down at my village.
I was invited to visit the tree tomato orchard that my friend Patrice manages.
I visited back in February when the trees were first planted. It was amazing how much they have grown in three months! They still have a lot more growing to do, but now they are starting to produce fruit.
I hope Patrice decides to share some fruit with me after the harvest. 🙂
The orchard is located a few towns up the road from where I live, but it is much higher in the mountains. It’s only a 15 minute drive up the road, but the temperature is about five degrees cooler and the mountains look so different.
So that’s about it. Although the beginning of May was trying, it definitely ended on a high note. Hopefully June brings more good things to come!