Today, I spent my first morning in Kigale Rwanda Africa. It is a beautiful country, the morning air is cool, the scenery amazing. And to think that this beautiful land has experienced the hand and horrors of hate, violence and destruction during the Genocide. Much of that appears to be mending as there is work being done, there are many businesses, houses and shops being constructed and people have hope. The war refugees have returned with their wealth and are feeling confident in Rwanda’s future. They are investing in their homeland’s future. 

This was even more apparent as I was able to  see first hand much of the beautiful countryside in a two hour drive to southern Rwanda. We traveled by car to the Berundi border to a town where Floriane’s furniture maker is located. As we drove, I saw with my eyes how the people work, hard manual labor, young and old, male and female, rebuilding their country. 

It seems appropriate that 200 Orphanages is here to help one of their countryman (woman) build Nibakure, which means “bring them hope” for the orphans. No one will be forgotten in the rebuilding of Rwanda and we are honored to be part of the work.

My first day was spent traveling with Floriane to the wood shop where  the furniture for the homes that are built at NCV. She was negotiating, trying to get the furniture delivered this week so volunteers can stay in one of the homes that have been built. She is a woman on a mission and my advice? Don’t stand in her way.

She bought beds for the Belgians, a group of supporters who will be arriving to rough it in the next few days. I will get to work with them, along with the Scotts, who are on the site now working on the fence we funded.  It appears that slowly but surely, the Nibakure Children’s Village is becoming a reality. Floriane gave me a tour of the country side from inside one of the city buses. It is as you imagine a fast speed chase along winding roads, dodging people, bicycles, motorbikes, supply trucks and mini busesjam packed with people. Quite harrowing and I would like to add here that I am just glad to be alive!

Floriane and I attended a Rotary meeting last night as well. The Kigale group is helping fund her water supply project as is the Sartell Rotary that I am a member of and a few others, including the international foundation. This is a big work and it is a good work.

Today, we will meet Alex, an orphan who is going to school with my nephew Joshua in Minnesota. He has brought a group from his school to visit the orphanage he grew up in and Floriane and I will get to meet him and travel along.  More on Alex later.

Then we go to the site for the rest of the day. I will update tonight.