Saturday, August 13, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Monday, August 08, 2011
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Saturday, August 06, 2011
The kids woke early and decided to sit in the bedroom next to mine to chat about life. I love listening to them talk to their brothers and sisters about life. Giggling and just waking to the mornings possibilities.
I joined them and we continued our random chat about life from America, to Rwanda to Soccer etc etc. They were all curious when I was going to leave them to attend a friends wedding. They were delighted when they heard it was in the evening.
Chantal arrived in town so I went for a visit with her. God bless this woman who cares for so many…her own kids in the states, our kids here and the thousands in Musanze. The desire to serve is so real in her heart, but it is so very taxing. Please keep her in your prayers.
We are also working towards our 2012 budgets and have yet to find a way to meet the needs of all 3 homes. It can be overwhelming if we really think about it. So for now we simple ask those of you that can help with any tax deductible donation we would be grateful. We promise to be wonderful stewards of every dollar. The easiest way to do it is on facebook, the next is newhope4kids.org. There in ends my mini commercial.
Chantal and I got finished with errands and were greeted by Abby and the kids when we returned. As many of your know, Abby and our friend Sarah come over for a month about 4 years ago, and feel in love with Rwanda. They returned with me last August and now Abby has moved here as of Tuesday this week to teach and continue to uplift the country.
She is a gifted teacher and the kids LOVE LOVE LOVE when she comes to teach them as she really knows how to do it as opposed to me….who just makes it up as I go!
The kids love Abby and we love having her with us. She also discovered a hidden treasure of our District. Some American’s who make donuts one Saturday mornings near the produce market. She surprised the kids with a box of them to share today. YUM.
The afternoon was spent chilling, getting ready for the wedding and trying to find someone to drive us to Kibeho as I haven’t been able to reach John who drove me the last couple of times. We also had some fun skype calls again.
Chantal finally found someone who knew how to get there as it’s remote and not a common place to attend.
I had a lovely time at the wedding tonight. That was of course after I tried to attend 2 of the wrong ones. People kept directing me to places…so I would enter, greet the people and then mention the bride’s name. Oiya! Which means no. Then off to the the next one which they assured me was the correct space. As I was about to be seated I again asked to confirm…Oiya!. Oh now. Finally I was able to reach the bride’s brother who told me I was close…just down the road a bit. As I walked the dusty road to find the chapel, the parade of wedding cars passed me waving me onward. It was a beautiful and very special wedding. I hope to one day share the name of the bride as she is quite a famous author, but for now she has asked that I keep the confidence. Needless to say, it was a joy to be a part of such a blessing.
Returning home, I kids jumped out of bed and ran outside with Abby to greet me. That is of course, just after she had them settled down….ahh, the joys of camp like nights!
Tomorrow morning we are off to Kibeho. I pray that my heart will be ready to receive whatever it is intended to.
Friday, August 05, 2011
The house awakens at 6ish to the sound of the nearby rooster. It’s not a slow stirring. The rooster crows, the floors start to be washed from stem to sterm, the kid start giggling and the approaching it with the zest that comes of youth.
I visited some friends down the road while the kids were bathing. There are 4 impoverished homes with very simple means all living together in a sort of community with a shared dirt yard. The kids saw me coming down the road and immediately starts screaming my name as they came running. Together we went to the compound to greet the mama’s and other kids. There is no common language among us to it’s up to me to deliver my best Kinyarwanda. It’s much easier when I bring one of the big kids with me to translate, but it’s fun to just wander.
A quick trip to the Mayor’s office to greet other friends there. Most were gone, but Jimmy was happy to see me as he spent a lot of time with me while we processed one of the many layers of paperwork to advance my cause of citizenship.
We had a very productive class today. We played hangman for about 1.5 hours and then I did the next round of lessons. The middle kids that are in the neighborhood school now join them so it’s truly a one room classroom.
I took a little o snooze while they had lunch.
The afternoon was spent skyping with lots of friends. Each skype call brings a new set of friends for our kids. Marie Rose has been really want to skype with Rebecca and FINALLY it happened today. Rebecca from New Hope Homes was able to skype with her sisters in the states, (Different Rebecca’s). The kids loved seeing their brother and sister Erica and Eric from Colorado, They got to talk to Holly twice. 6 year old Danny Harvey and his little brother were quite a hoot. Great soccer conversations were had with Ian, Kristen and Kate. Ian has a great rivalry with Ian has he is a Arnsel’s fan and our boys are Chelsea fan. Isaac was wearing a Chelsea shirt to Ian ran to quickly change and put on his Arsenal’s shirt….and so goes our sweet life here with people around the world showing them how much they are loved and they are never along.
We also have some wonderful news to report. Desami…the twin that can’t yet walk due to some very challenged feet is now able to crawl….and might I saw at lightening speed. He can also stand up with someone holding without crying. This is HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE for me. We need to continue his therapy and continue to pray that he will one day be able to walk and run like his twin brother. Deborah…our girls with CP is also doing really well. I did a game yesterday where they had to mirror me….hand on head, toes, knees up etc etc…she kept perfect time with ease. We love our little girl who has such a big heart. I do believe that one day she will speak too.
Counting our blessings.
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Recently people have been asking me when I sleep. My new answer. On the flights to Rwanda. 16 hours of sweet sleep bliss.
Arriving at the New Hope Homes gate, I was met by 2 year Mwami who said “oh missy donna” and when running to get the other kids. Then he came back yelling my name following by the pied piper of kids finishing bathing, etc etc. Dogpiled in the arms of 30 kids and you know that life is indeed sweet.
Then hugs and kisses for each with an I love you.
In that moment, everything else in life melts away and I am once again reminded that I have found my life’s work.
Chatting with 11 year old Isaac, I asked if life is good…bad…or between. He paused, looked me straight in the face…it is not Good….it is GREAT. That sums up the work of New Hope Homes and the many of you who have made that work possible as we are funded exclusively by private donations, many of you who are reading this. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
Today I also the continued the odyssey of attempting to become a citizen. 2 trips to Immigration today revealed that there is “no progress” on my paperwork. I am case number 17. When I inquired what number they are on…there was a confused look. When I mentioned that I saw the President of Rwanda in Chicago a few months back and was able to ask him a question….one of the guys in the office who was watching the event in Rwanda said. “I saw you”. And wished me well on my continued paperwork. I also again asked about the type of test I will be eventually taking (written and oral) IF I ever get to that day. He again said “there is no book, you just have to know”. Arghh. I hope when the day comes, that I will actually ‘know’.
I then rang ‘the boss’ who said he would meet with me on Monday AM. We’ll see. Patience is a much practiced skill here.
We also had the joy of surprising the kids with a visit from Abby today. Abby came to volunteer for a month 4 years ago then again last August. As of Tuesday she has moved to Rwanda to teach! She will be about 15 mins from the kids, so they are looking forward to seeing her. OFTEN.
I had 3 skype calls with the office which brought much entertainment to my co-workers as the kids were hanging all over me and kept coming to the camera to say “hi” while I was talking. Good humor all around.
A full day. I am indeed blessed to be in the presence of these amazing kids.
We will be skyping tomorrow morning USA time. Shoot me a note on skype (rwandadonna) or on facebook if you want to connect with us.