Saturday, 14 July 2012

Goodbyes again and again ....

 We came to Rwanda together in January 2011. There were about 24 of us who all arrived at the same time. In a few weeks there will only be four of us left. So many goodbyes, it's sad but one of the great things about VSO is making new friends, some of whom will be lifelong. It is a very special kind of person who volunteers in this way - adventurous, independent and supportive, empathetic and compassionate, flexible, adaptable, incredible fun!
These photos were taken just after my early return from Zanzibar. As soon as I arrived I sent out a message to see who was in Kigali because we all live in different locations throughout the country. As soon as they knew I had been attacked they left home and came straight away. You can see my black eyes and my nose is not usually that big!!

In the top photo we were working out the good things that came out of Zanzibar for me and one of them was the lovely henna painting on my leg. The other two things that I could think of were a gorgeous pair of sandals and sitting on the beach watching a sunset with a Masai man - he was the only person who showed any concern for my situation - we chatted about life in general.
As you can see Zanzibar is a beautiful place and I hope if you have the opportunity to go there you will have a wonderful time. 

However, back to the goodbyes - we had some wonderful times and it is sad to keep saying goodbye but as John Donahue says that which is an ending can also be regarded as the beginning of a new journey. So as my friends go I think of them beginning the next adventure and I'm just thankful that I was able to share this one with them. A few of us will remain until the end of the year and indeed one of out intake may never leave!!!

I am looking forward to my 3 week holiday in the UK and hoping to bring some sunshine with me.

Lots of love

PS Sorry I don't know what's happened again to the text and background colour, I hope you can read it. Maybe Sara can sort it out for me when I get home!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Thanks, Joy and more goodbyes....

Before I start writing about all the lovely things that have happened since my last post I must tell you about one horrible event. as you know I needed a quiet holiday on my own and so I booked a week in Zanzibar - Paradise Island. Unfortunately, for me, it turned out to be not such a paradise after all. I was attacked as I was walking down a busy street at night. I was smashed full in the face with something hard and fell to the ground with blood pouring from my nose. I really don't know what happened but the end result was a broken nose and two black eyes. The physical injuries are healing nicely but the emotions take a little longer. Anyway, I cut my holiday short and came back to the safety of Rwanda. But I want to say a HUGE THANKS to all the lovely friends in Rwanda and at home who looked after me physically, emotionally and spiritually. I am a very lucky lady to have so many beautiful and caring friends.
But sooo many joys to compensate for the few bad times... 

So close to the gorillas with Naomi

The Silverback came to say 'Goodbye and Thank you for calling'

Another joy was sharing a day in the village with the women of the co-operative. They open their homes and their lives so that we can begin to understand their daily life. 

We helped to prepare the food and to grind the manioc. We went into the banana plantation and out into the fields to learn how to cultivate the land. 

We cut grass for the cows and Naomi was able to carry it on her head all the way from teh field back to the house. The only time she had to hold it was when the path was steep. Mine fell off as soon as i took my hands away!!

These cultural days are organised by our friends at Azizi Life in Gitarama and if you are ever lucky enough to come to Rwanda you must try this experience. Look on trip Advisor for more information. 

I had the joy of sharing some of my work with Naomi. she came to visit a  school where we are making a library and she was immediately surrounded by lovely happy welcoming children.

We had a wonderful Midsummer Party at the Hacienda. we put on a shortened and adapted version of Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights dream, with lots of laughter and merriment.

But eventually it was time for Naomi to leave and so another goodbye! But whilst she was here I realised that I needed to visit home in the UK for a while, so I have booked  a return flight in August. The added bonus will be that I will be able to attend Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival during the Bank Holiday Weekend. I am very excited about seeing everyone again and also about coming back to Rwanda for 3 months to complete my Placement before returning home in time for Christmas.

Love to everyone and I hope you get a decent summer in the UK. Please don't forget to comment. I always look for them .
Tricia xxx
Ever since I came to Rwanda I have wanted to go and visit the gorillas and who better to go with than one of my lovelydaughters?? We had an amazing time with these wonderful mammals.