Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A wonderful first day.

Breathing in the Rwandan air as we exited the plane filled my lungs and heart with joy.  It’s home. 

People ask me where I live. I say NY, Mpls and Rwanda as each time I head to one of those locations as say I am “going home.”  Seven years of traveling to Rwanda has ensured that it will be for a lifetime.

I recently told my family and some close friends that when I die, I want to be buried in Arkansas or Rwanda. Funny – ya extremes.

I usually sleep both legs of the trip to Rwanda but Harvin and I had a great time chatting, watching movies etc.  I truly only get to see him when he comes to Rwanda and maybe a couple of other times during the year, so we have lots to catch up on.

He is also the man…so he can do lots of heavy lifting, which comes in handy when you have 9 supplies bags!

We downed our Dramamine and started the drive down the windy, curvey mountains to New Hope Homes.  2+ hours we arrived.  A brief 29 hours since we left for the airport.

The kids were sleeping so we got our bags unloaded and hidden away before the kids awoke in the morning.  In a travel comatose, we enjoyed one of finest new treats – wine from the Kigali airport.  Best prices by ½ of the local prices.  Nothing like a glass of red wine and some Tylenol PM to take the travel edge off.  J

We agreed we would knock on each others door in the AM to greet the kids together. (We weren’t sure who would awaken first).

When a house of 27 kids awakens…the world awakens. No way to sleep through!  I leapt from my bed, changed back to my travel clothes and went to see if Harvin was awake. Prince and Nshimeye spotted me, but didn’t reveal the secret.  Harvin joined me as we walked around surprising kids.  The kids came running as they didn’t expect us until that night.  Big hugs and kisses all around.

We spend the day being kids.  Shooting hoops. (Kayetisi hold the record for 6 baskets in a row).  Watching the kids on the tramp.  Just chilling talking etc etc.

An important part of our mission now it to get continue our push to be a self sustaining as possible. That means crops and animals. We are so grateful for the people who helped us buy our pigs, rabbits and our soon-to-be-arriving chickens! 
We have lots more room for pigs especially.  If you care to help us achieve our goal vision: pigs are $300/each, chickens $9 and rabbits $6.

The easiest way to make a donation is through facebook as they don’t take any processing fee.  The link is
It will take you to CALM, but I will flag it for the animals of your choice when it comes through.

Yes, rabbits breed quickly, chicken provide eggs and pigs…well you got…yum. Yes, the circle of life. BUT…as I have told some dear colleagues lately. Focus on the EGGS, not the BACON J)).n

Erica,  Grace from Sonrise school and Jan from Houston came over for visit. Erica smashed the basketball game with very little effort. She’s amazing.

We then took ALL The kids (except Desami who can’t yet walk) on a LONG hike through the neighborhood. We always did it at the old house, so it was time to explore our new neighborhood. As you can imagine, the 26 kids parading through the walking paths, up the hills and through the back area creates quite a stir.  We again are like the pied piper picking up lots of kids along the way to who wan to figure out who the heck these people are. We are always stop and greet people, especially the elders out of respect. They love our limited Kinyarwanda and appreciate that we really try. J

Back at home we played more. Talked more.  Loved more. And simply caught up.

But afterall – isnt’t that just what family does when they have been away from each other for a few months.

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