Sunday, 20 November 2011

'Isn't she lovely...isn't she wonderful..'

Isn't she lovely?
This is one of the children in a family of five who live just up the road from me. She is a real character and so lively. She is showing off her new dress that I gave her from your generous gifts. Every day when I pass their house on my way to work she runs out to greet me, holding out her arms to be lifted up and swung into the air for a twizzle. She repeats all the English words that I say to her. I also gave gifts to her two brothers and two sisters. Her brother was particularly keen on the cap, as you can see
Isn't he wonderful?

A pretty princess...

Inside the house

3 of the 5 children outside their house

The family

This weekend Mama invited me to the baptism of the three youngest children. Nothing is as you expect it to be!! I arrived at the church at 10am and sat on one of the many benches. Two brides appeared - I thought 'Oh, there must be a wedding before the baptism, that's ok, so the baptism will be late starting' (you get used to that here)

Then more brides appeared... and more..oh there's another one... and another...

The church began to fill up with bridesmaids, grooms, family members in all their finery and children. I thought I must be in the wrong place.

The service started. I hadn't a clue what was going on!! Then Mama appeared and took me to sit with her family.By now it was 11am and the adults had been baptised. Then they started on the weddings - about 35 couples. Each bride and each groom has to say the legal words. It took half an hour to marry 10 couples! then the baptism of the children - so work that out and DON'T dare complain about the length of church services again!!!

Lots of love to everyone and keep warm, enjoy all those lovely winter pies and casseroles. Mmmmm Yummy. xxxxx

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Back in touch......

The parcel from Jack
Ooooo! I've missed writing my blog but all is well again! I have had several technical problems and I'm still ironing out one or two , but hopefully I can write my weekly account again now.

When Jack came to Rwanda in August we searched for a bread tin so that I could make my own bread which wasn't full of sugar. We couldn't find one anywhere, so Jack sent me one in the post.Look carefully at the photo and you will see my lovely bread tin - squashed out of all recognition! Goodness knows what happened to it on the way here but as you can see, the only bread that's going to be baked in there is 'flatbread'!!! lol. But thankyou Jack - you're a star! The sweets and jelly are much appreciated as well. And, as it happens Phil also sent a bread tin - a silicone one so I'm going to be trying that out soon. 
Playing with jigsaws in the bank
Regular readers of the blog will know about the village project which my friend Fidele and his friends and family have initiated. Back in February I went down the lake to visit the village for the first  time and then in August Wendy, Phil and I went to stay in the village for several days. Jack is also heavily involved in the project and was in Rwanda the whole of his school holidays. Now every month I go to Kibuye to meet up with the teacher, the project manager and the treasurer. We sit in the bank and sort out the accounts etc and then I do some teacher training. Last month I took some home made jigsaws and here is a picture of Francois doing his first ever jigsaw!!! He really enjoyed it. 
A very happy teacher
And in this photo you can see Gabriel, the teacher with the biggest smile in the world! He's so delighted because I gave him a solar powered speaker set and an old 'Walkman' CD Player so that he can play English Dialogues to the adult English class that he has started in the village. So, thanks Phil for that wonderful kit which will help to transform lives. Every time I go to pay the wages I take teaching aids as well and it's wonderful because everyone in the bank is intrigued and even the security guard and bank staff come to see what is happening this month!Last month we played a game with a coloured die and a game board made from a rice sack. No-one had seen such a game before. We were in the bank about 3 hours and it occurred to me what a unique situation this was - it couldn't happen in the UK - we'd probably be charged for sitting at the table!!

I think I should tell you a bit more about the Kibingo Project because I realise some of you will be confused. So, to clarify, my main work is my job with VSO which is quite separate from the project. The project is situated in a village in a very poor rural area, 2 hours by boat down Lake Kivu. The children from the village have to walk about 2 hours to get to school - even the little ones, so we have started a Nursery school in the village for children aged 4-7years. We have also started adult classes for the parents at the end of their days work cultivating the fields to grow food for their families. We provide food for the children every time they come to school.The project will make a tremendous difference to the lives of the children and their families.The project has also involved building work to provide suitable accommodation for guests to the village. We have lots of plans for the future, and a website is under construction.

The short term goals of the project are:
·         To establish a Nursery School  for the youngest children, providing breakfast and dinner for the children aged 4-7years
·         To establish adult literacy lessons in English as a second language
·          To provide clean drinking water to the village.

Long term goals include:
·         the erection of a health post, providing health checks and care for expectant mothers and young babies
·          the installation of electricity to the village. (In the short term and as fund raising allows we aim to bring electricity via solar panels to the church and the school. This will also act as an income generating scheme for replacement of parts and batteries. The electricity will be sold to local people to charge their mobile phones)   

The project is funded entirely by individuals in the UK and if you would like more information please send an e-mail to 

So, that's probably enough for now but please don't forget to comment or write on facebook or send me an e-mail. Lots of love to everyone xxxxx. Oh and the swallows have returned to Africa so I guess it's too cold for them now in the UK - Sorry!

Monday, 7 November 2011

test post...

Tricia wanted to let you all know that she has really missed writing her blog this month, and will be back ASAP once Sara has resolved the technical difficulities...x

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Blog blockage...

Hi all,

I'm thinking this isn't going to be anywhere near as interesting as Tricia's posts but i've been asked to let you know there is a blog in too much blog roll causing issues! In plain simple words Tricia is having technical difficulties posting on her blog this month.  So don't be worried...she's still alive and kicking just not kicking the tales out on line at the moment.

Remember posting time for Chirstmas in Rwanda is approx 6 weeks delivery time (if your lucky) get organised with your card for T this year extra early...i'd say you've got about 1 week from now before final posting!

Happy following...Sara..x