Thursday, April 12, 2007

Games and Time to Remember.

Friday. I got up early to sit in front of the hotel and watch the morning rush hour. 90% foot traffic with the occasional car or motorcycle. Book bags etc on top of people's head. A set of prisoners (you can tell because they dressed in pink head to toe) walked down the street. They can often be seen doing road work or building projects. This group included the 1st woman that I had seen. Photos are less welcomed this trip. Apparently the free market now suggests they are worth money. People are happy to be photographed for a few rwanda francs. I pass on those opportunities. After breakfast Chantal returned from visiting her Aunt whose husband had died last week. Her heart was with them. I know she would have preferred to stay there but always the gracious host she returned to us. I sat with the kids in the back of the bus (the only right thing to do when I was a freeloader). We sang songs and even wrote a wrap song for Rwanda. "The people of rwanda are beatiful, the people of rwanda are full of joy, the people of rwanda love to smile. The hills of rwanda go on and on. they're full of people who work all day. they work all day and pray all night....because God's love it dy-no-mite!" We performed it for the parents who were quite proud of their accomplishments. The return trip took 2 hours vs the 5 hour outbound. Upon our return, I quickly headed back to the kids. I bought some of the esl games that Tara suggested before I left. I opened them with the kids. We spent over an hour identifying colors, animals and objects in English and Kenyarwanda. I then took Zach (Issach) and Renearie to the 1st home. All the kids were napping so the mom, 2 aunties and the 2 boys played another game of concentration. Turn all the cards upside down. Turn 2 at a time and try to find a match. Our constant laughter eventually awoke one child at a time who wiped the sleep from their eyes and swayed into the living room where we were playing to take it all in. When they realized what was going on they quickly shook off the sleep, gave Miss Donna a big hug and joined in. By the end everyone was playing and laughing. We started to translate the pictures into Kinyarwanda for me and English for them. 2 hours later I decided it was time for break. The rain had stopped so I started shooting portraits. They got back on the swing set and yelled "Miss Donna pushie please". What memories. As I was leaving for the day Marie Rose said "see you tomorrow" in English. I was floored. Clearly the investment that the kids of Abbott are making in her education is paying off! Zach, Reonarie and i walked back home. We played some more then suddnely one of the Aunties came out and announced that she had drawn me a bucket of hot water to bathe. The announcement came by her saying water/amaze and looking like she was washing herself. Not bad hmmm. Quite a luxury. She boils a small pot of water. Puts it in a bucket and then puts it in the bathroom. I add cold water until it's the right temp. All in all, it works well. They can't figure out why I bathe at night when they do it in the morning. For me, I simply need to get the dust and dirt of the day off. Since the kids don't have pjs, they just go to bed in their day clothes. The sheets that Lynn and Becky bought are working just great. They are doing well in the hand laundry! Dorcas and I played a lot. She's got a monster fro. It's simply adorable. I looked at my watch and tried to image 13 years ago what the sequence was like this evening. The president's plane shot down when landing. Killing began just 50 mins later. I imagined sitting in teh dark and maybe was maybe lucky enough to have kerosene lamps and a radio to listen to the news as the word of killing began to spread. As we walked down the dusty bumpy hill to the 2nds home and passed 3 young men standing in the street. I tried to imagine one turning with a machete in hand slowly butchering me. Cutting tendons so I couldn't run. Then cutting off an arm, maybe a leg etc. Laughing and drinking while enjoying the entertainment. Perhaps they would chose the way they often did for women. Raped by and Aids infected man. I know these thoughts are really not comprendable. But...this is EXACTLY what is happening in Darfur right now. They only difference is the Janjiweed are on horseback and choose to burn everything when they are finished with a village so there is nothing to return to if you are lucky enough to escape. If you haven't done so already. Please go to SAVEDARFUR.ORG and get smart on simple ways you can help. Certainly not happy thoughts for Good Friday. But a powerful one to be sure.

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