Monday, March 26, 2012

Rhonda in Rwanda - Day 2

January 24
I got up at  6:45am.  The time difference is I think about 10 hours so its really evening in Winlock.  I left my cell phone on and charged so I would know what time it was at home.  I also had my alarm set to milking times at home so I would be reminded what my family was doing back in the States. 
I ate breakfast of two pieces of toast and butter, with a small banana and two cups of tea.
So before I start telling you about my day, I want to tell you about where I was staying.
Jemrose had moved into this house in November, so had only lived here a few months when I showed up.  Deodonie- the oldest of her children, cleaned his room out so I could have his room and bathroom.  I am sure I havent spelled his name correct.  That was very nice and I was very comfortable.  this is a traditional bed for Rwandes. 
I need to share about the house that there were locks on all the doors, with keys - to be used. I am not talking about outside doors, I mean every door in the house.  For instance the kitchen had three doorways and each had a door and a key.  And all the doors were locked every night and anytime we all left. And bars on all the windows.  There are no screens on the windows.  I believe this was due to the attacks that have happened in the past years of Rwanda.  This house is payed for by the organization that Jemrose is part of.  ROY PROJECT, its out of England. I will put the information on later for her project.  Jemrose is from England and has the accent to prove it.  She speaks pretty good Rwandes and knows the customs too.  Jemrose has 9 foster children from the ages of 17- 27 years old.  She sees them as her own children.  She teaches them their traditions and cultural ways of doing things as well as helps them stay in school and get into a school.  I look forward to going back to Rwanda to see her and possibly to help her anyway I can.  I too have a heart for the children that are displaced, as we were foster parents here in the states for almost 8 years.
Back to the house:  This is the front room and dinning area.  When you enter the house you have a different pair of shoes, so as to not bring in the clay dirt.  They dust and wash everything down almost every day.  Even the outside of the house, the windows and bars, and the sidewalks and all the floors.  The couch and chairs were bought by the ROY PROJECT.  Before the couch it was plastic chairs.  The hutch in the back held our dishes that we ate on.
This is the kitchen.  The stove in the corner is propane.  We didn't use the oven, but did use to burners to keep things warm.  We rarely used this sink as the one outside was the dish washing station usually.  There was a refrigerator not wider than the stove and about 2 times taller.  It had a little freezer.  You can see the bars on the window too.
This is the back yard area to say.  The dish washing sink is on the left bottom.  There is only grass in the front yard.  The rest is cement.  The building you see is the storage and cooking room. The blue bucket is a hand washing station.  And they have a food storage room that isn't in the picture but it is past the sinks and table on the left.  They stored potatoes, fresh veg. and rice and beans and then more cooking dishes in there and it locked. The silver table is a charcoal stove.  There are three burners to it and where the black holes are is where the ash goes.
This way of cooking is traditional for Rwandes.  And the children cooked for me on it each night.  Oh the food was wonderful.  I even got to cook on it one night when I made them as close to Taco's as I could get.

This is the front porch.  I ate breakfast here every morning.  It was so peaceful and relaxing.  I remember thinking I am really in Africa.    The sun shone each day and averaged about 80 degrees.  The red fence in the top picture is a secured gate.  We had to lock it when we went out and came in.  It had a gate so we could just open it and not the big doors, which are for cars to enter.  There is a wall all the way around the house and yard and is very secure. The birds would sing to me.  I tried to get a picture of them but they are very small and my camera was not very good focusing in on them... before they moved.  We also had a bearded dragon (lizard)
in the far corner our the yard.  Jemrose got a picture of him.  I could never get one.
This is the picture hanging on the wall of Jemroses house it is the King of Rwanda, along time ago.  He was a Tutsi.

Now onto my day:
Also time really isn't a factor here, anyway Jodi would tell me a time she would be by to pick me up but it was always an hour or two later.  So watching the clock did no good.  Jodi has a jeep in Rwanda.  Jemrose doesn't have transportation.  O.K.  back on track.  She picked me up and we went to another persons house in Kigali, to make tomato sauce.  Jodi's foundation sells the sauce to a pizza restaurant.  Last year she grew all the tomatoes on the Sanctuary property.  This year the blight took out the tomatoes, so she is having to buy the tomatoes at the open market. 

These are some guys that work for Jodi, they are washing the tomatoes and cutting them in half and then they will use a industrial wizzer ( giant mixer) to smash the tomatoes.  Then we took the tomato sauce to the restaurant.
After this Jodi had two meetings with her employees to catch up on the last months while she was gone to the States.  After this we went to pick up a stray dog and take it to the sanctuary and then Jodi will find it a home.  Then Jodi brought me back to Jemroses house and I got to visit with the children there.  I had for lunch: a special bread - its like indian bread- it was so good and some fruit and cold water.-
Electricity is very expensive there, so the lights are not used often and then made sure they are turned off promptly.  So the Internet is the same.  The kids had the Internet on, so I brought up facebook and showed them pictures of my family and all the snow we had just had.  I got to show them all my goats too.   While I was on facebook, I left notes for my daughters to tell their dad all is well and to tell him Hi.  I was on the Internet the whole three weeks about 6 or 7 times.  After this I went in and took a nap.
Jemrose and I got some alone time and I shared how David and I met and how God moved in our lives. We shared our relationship with God.  We both were in agreement too.
Jemrose shared with me about the Genocide that took place over 15 years ago, 1994.  Each year on, I believe April 7, the whole country morns the loss for 100 days.  Jemrose shared how her children react to this event.  It was very sad.  Some of her children lost their whole families and were chopped with machete's themselves.  It is all very disheartening.  I really have issues with government now - cause they knew about what was happening and turned a blind eye.  Some countries even sent over the machete's to help with the massacre.  How rude!!!!
Before I came over to Africa I had to put together a picture book for my goat class.  But I didn't put any writing under the pictures so that we could have someone put Rwandes words to describe what it was they were looking at.  I gave my book to Jodies right hand man, Emey, who also did all the interpretations for me.
I have gotten alittle color on my cheeks from the sunshine here, already. I have lost track of time. My watch is set at Blue Rose Dairy time and then the clock in the frontroom here is Rwandes time.
Driving here is crazy. The scooters and motorcylcs go where ever they want and the cars do about the same. I shut my eyes when we come to the intersections. Cars and trucks and scooters all mesh together.
We had chips (french fries) for dinner, beans with eggplant, avacodo and spagetti noodles and some sauce.  They like to drink warm water, the children.  But I like cold so they keep some in the refrigerator.  They boil thier water and then run it through a filter.  I am trying to drink lots of water and stay away from the soda pop.  Jemrose and the children put a water bottle in the freezer each night for me, so I can take the water with me when I go with Jodi.  Jemrose drinks lots of tea and I love that.  When I make a hot cup and don't have time to drink it I put it in the refrigerator and have it later as ice tea.  It sure quenches my thirst.
We all sat in the frontroom and prayed before we went to bed.  All the doors were locked and its very quiet out.  Its dark and I look forward to shutting my eyes.

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