Day two in Kigali started out with African Tea of course. It also ends with African Tea. Of course.

This morning, after a nice breakfast I went with Floriane’s to meet her onsite architect. She has worked with a U.S. firm and one in Rwanda to make sound decisions on the project. Finding an experienced local architect is a huge asset. His firm has designed many of the largest office buildings in Kigali. He’s watching over the project with great care and it takes a load off Floriane to have his good service.

After getting  a cup of coffee, we went to Floriane’s tailor. She ha some of her clothes made, which is a lost art in America. It’s very reasonable and the tailor is meticulous. This was a treat to be able to peak into the back door of how a merchant in downtown Kigali works.

I am enjoying the Rwandan Culture. It’s amazing how hard the people work day in and day out. Most of the construction is done by hand, without machines. The explanation is over and over that if they had machines, someone would be out of work. A very small percentage of the population has running water or electricity. These are things we take for granted, but can live without it seems.

After a cup of coffee, we started out for the Nibakure Chidren’s Village site. The Scottish group had been there since the morning and had already been working with the workers to put in the posts and pull some wire. We hadn’t been there long, when apparently it was lunch time. The Scotts were hungry, so Floriane wanted to take them into town. On the way to the village down the bumpy dirty road, we passed a group of about 30 women sitting on the road. They seemed to be gathering for something, so on our way out for lunch I asked Floriane to stop and see if I could take their picture and ask them what they were doing. First of all, they said no on the picture, but then as she asked them what they were doing, they explained they were a group of women who have been gathering for 4 years trying to find a better way to help each other make more money for their families. This cooperative has 60 women and when Floriane said we would like to help them, they all broke out in song and of course let me take their picture. This touched both our hearts deeply so we gave them some seed money and told them we’d help in some way. It’s my hope to mobilize East Africa Metamorphasis Project, on their behalf.  The executive director of that grous sits on our board and is a great connection to have for these types of needs.

The fence is making headway, I will share more photos tomorrow. I didn’t get to help as there were many hands at work on the job. Tomorrow I will make sure I get my hands dirty!

After returning from the NVC site, Floriane and I met with Alex, an orphan who lost his parents and then lived through the genocide. His story is one of God’s protection, grace, forgiveness and hope. Alex is such a shining example of someone who has hope in the face of much grief and loss.  He’s agreed to speak on behalf of the orphans at some of our events and to see if there might be more opportunities to work together on behalf of the orphans. His story will move the hearts of many people.

Tomorrow I will go with Alex bright and early to the orphanage where he grew up and help him tell his story. He has big plans with his group of 12 volunteers from Southern Minnesota’s Crossroads College. They are organizing Vacation Bible camps for kids in the village he was born, and at the orphanage he grew up in here. So, lots of workers from the midwest in Rwanda this week!