Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First Week's Reflections

***Having a difficult time uploading pics here. If you are on Facebook, please check out my Facebook photos for most recent pics***

It is hard to believe we have been here six days. I actually feel like I have lived here for much longer than that. Now I don't think I could have said that the first two days, but now I am starting to feel at home. The past two days in particular have been wonderful.

Yesterday was Lian's first day at Kigali International Community School. She had a wonderful time and it was honestly nice to just have Anna home with me for a day. We were able to have one on one time, made an art project and just played together. Then we went for a walk in our neighborhood. I took a play parachute with me. We walked to the place where people seem to gather. There was one small boy there and a teenage girl. We showed them the parachute and I asked if they wanted to hold it. Then I began to sing Kinyarwandan numbers from 1-10 to the tune of "Ten Little Indians". Before I knew it there were about a dozen kids playing with us. We had so much fun.

Lian had asked me the other day why we couldn't give the kids the candy we had brought. I told her that I wanted the neighbor kids to see her and Anna as their friends first, rather than the girls who give them candy. She seemed to understand. After a few weeks, I'm sure we'll give them some treats, but for now it is neat to see them becoming friends with their neighbors and it felt good to tell the neighbors that we would be here for a few years. Thus, even though we had to go inside, we would be back.

After picking up Lian from school, I went to my first Kinyarwandan language lesson. Carter has been studying for a few weeks, but said I could join him for his lessons. I have much to catch up on, but the tutor was so encouraging. His name is Silas. I like that we are learning the building blocks of the language, rather than just expressions. There is much to learn, but I am so desparate to be able to communicate with the children here.

We had our first Rwandan meal last night since our house helper, Consolee, cooked for us.
What a treat. It is definitely a change for me to have someone helping with the cleaning, cooking and laundry, but somehow I don't think I'll be complaining about it. I am still cooking several nights a week ,but it is fun to have Rwandan meals a few nights as well. We are definitely much healthier here - we drink water all day long and sweets are expensive and not easy to find. Thus we're eating a lot of beans, rice, and fruit.

We got a car today as well. It is a sedan and is the color of eggplant. It has tinted windows and has this lovely "funky" sound when you go into reverse. It's gotten a few laughs, but it gets us where we need to go, is great on the bumps, and gets great gas mileage (gas is $6/gallon here). Kerry said it needed a name. Eggplant in french is aubergine (sp?), so we're calling it "Obie" for short : ) It feels great to be driving on my own. I got lost going to Lian's school today, but managed to find my way. There really aren't that many main roads in Kigali, so should be easy to navigate once I practice a bit. Even managed to find my way to the market and craft store today.

Kerry, Kristin and I went to a Bible study for women today. There are two women there who've adopted Rwandan babies, so another great community to connect with.

On the Karisimbi front, the guys have their first strategic planning retreat this weekend and it looks like three more definite clients are in the works. We have eight proposals out to other potential clients and things continue to move forward.

I just realized this posting isn't really my reflections, but more newsy. I"ll try to be more reflective in my next post because there is definitely a lot upon which to reflect here.
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Melinda said...

Could it be that our old parachute has made it to Kigali? Thinking of you - Melinda

Sam C said...

Enjoy reading your updates....very interesting!