Friday, March 30, 2012

Rwanda - Day 6 - + sad news/farm

Janaury 29

This morning I got up at 8am, maybe I have adjusted.  I had a couple cups of tea some toast and some watermelon.  Jemrose bought it the other day at the market.  Rwanda is starting to grow them, but they are very expensive.
Today is  a National Work Day.  Its the last Sat. of every month.  From 8am - Noon each community does a project.  No one travels.  If your out the police will stop you and ask why your not helping your community.  If you must go somewhere you must be back before 8am.
It is usually warm here, and there has been a smog hanging over the town until about noon.  I didn't take many pictures yesterday. 
Jemroses other son is here visiting, John Paul.  He is a senior in high school.  He is studying to be a doctor and he is also like a pastor on campus.  You must study very hard because you have to past a test in order to get into the next level of school.
School in Rwanda isn't like ours.  Jemroses children go away like to boarding school.  They get holidays off and come home then.  Jemroses children seem to get sick stomachs when they are away from home.  Its because the food and water they have to drink at the schools.  You have to pay for these schools.  You can go to primary grades for free.  But the middle and high school costs your family money.
Jemroses foundation helps pay for the schooling and all the school supplies that these kids need.  She helps them stay on task and is their support.
The girls braided my hair so I would look nice for Church tomorrow.  This took all morning to do.  But if I say so my self I think it turned out great.

At 2pm Jemrose, Faustin and I left for the town.  First we walked about 3 blocks mostly up hill to the market and we walked on the outside of the market.  There were lots of fruits and veg. as well as fish and chicken.  It was very busy and congested.  It really looked like a big farmers market.  We caught a bus that would take us to town.  Now let me explain about the bus routes.  There is no posted schedule and there are no arriving times or leaving times.  Its when the bus is full. 

The bus on the left is one of the mini vans.  The people on the right are waiting for buses.

Now this first one was a mini van, there are three bench seats and then where the walk way is another seat flips out.  They sit 5 across each seat and the seat next to the driver will hold two people.  There is a guy who calls out to the people waiting for a bus telling them where his bus is going.  Every time we stop half the bus gets off to let someone else out... it was crazy.  One note, I was the only white person on the bus - every time I took a bus.  You pay for your ride just before you get off.  I don't know how that guy keeps track of everyone but he never missed a beat to collect that money.  This first bus took us to another stop where Faustin got off and took another bus to go see his mom in another part of Kigali.  We took another bus that took us to the heart of Kigali.  Where  we got out and walked through town.  We needed to find and exchange place so I could get some franks for my American money.  The exchange that day was 6.1 to our dollar.  so I exchanged $100.  Sure got alot of money back. 

Me and the Elephant at the Mall which is behind me
After this we walked to this mall and went in, through security.  We took each others picture with the elephant.  Then we went up stairs to a restaurant and had an ice tea and a piece of chocolate cake Ala mode.  It was my first spending money in Rwanda.
The security

Jemrose and the elephant at the mall

Then we walked back to catch a bus, or mini van.  We made it to with in about 10 blocks of the house.  So we caught a scooter or motorcycle with helmet back to the house.  The boys driving the motorbikes went slow cause I was new to all this.  This whole trip was about 5 hours long today.  When we got home the kids were cooking dinner and we ate at about 8pm.  Then prayer and to bed.  I was tired and ready to go to sleep.  It will be an early morning tomorrow to get ready to catch a motorcycle to Church.

The Farm News

Our baby Nigerian Dwarf passed away this morning.  It was so sad.  This was Willow's first baby.  We will continue to milk Willow and start adding her milk to the bulk tank for now.  Eventually after all the mom's have their babies we will save the milk to only add to my chevre recipe.  Yum!
Today I was a busy lady... as usual.  I got up at 5:30am with David.  He left for Seattle to sell at Pikes Place and check on our restaurants to see if we had any orders for this next week.  We are getting ready for the Farmers Markets to start opening.  Proctor in Tacoma starts this Sat.  Olympia starts next week.  So today I washed my cheese cloth so I could hang the chevre that I made yesterday.  I checked on my feta it will go in the cooler tomorrow for 5 days.  Then I made 36 gallons of milk into 5 rounds of Grande Rosa and got it pressing.  I also packaged about 70 packages of Chevre for the markets this weekend.  Then to the milk parlor to clean the bulk tank and hose as well as the milking system for this evening milking.  I set it all up for the girls.  Now I am making potato soup for dinner.  I will hit the bed early tonight. 
I really hope  your enjoying the Africa trip - I enjoyed myself and learned alot about this country.  Some extra info about Rwanda is that its considered the cleanest country in Africa.  Pretty cool.

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