Harriet, Catherine and Deanne | Day 7

Our Road Trip

After yesterday's crack of dawn start getting up at 7am felt like a positive lie in. First job was to prepare contracts for our bakers which were produced with relative ease. Next job was to go through with Florence and Cecile the contract and accounts. However we were somewhat distracted by Florence's three week old gorgeous baby who has now been named Harriet. It was exciting that the ladies main concern was that the trial period was too long as they were worried about demand and the size of the oven. It is wonderful that they are so positive and enthusiastic.

We then all squashed into the car with Elysee to visit some of our street children who have been reintegrated back with their families. Pacifique was our first port of call. Although this family had really very little it is encouraging to see his mother applying sound business sense to making the most of produce she has from their land. Then we sent to see Jean Marie who The Thomas family sponsor through BNM. This was a difficult meeting. Jean Marie and his brother James are essentially looked after by their grandparents. It is still very rare to see old people in Rwanda and the hardship and trauma they have encountered is clearly etched on their faces. This family is probably one of the poorest we have ever met on this trip. Jean Marie's reintegration has been successful but their life is still vey difficult.

We stopped for a chippy lunch - the best yet in Rwanda and then moved onto see two girls who were the first to go through BNM sewing vocational training. These girls seemed settled, happy and able to save some money each month for their work as seamstresses. It was a more positive end and lovely to see a different part of Rwanda where rice and tropical fruit are the main crop.

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Harriet with Harriet

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Jean Marie Jo has been reintegrated into his family with his brother James

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David and Harriet

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Harriet, Catherine and Deanne | Day 6

A day of variation in more ways than one

We had a VERY early start. David had floated the idea of going to a service at the Mushaka church. We said yes and then discovered it started at 7am!! It was wonderful to see so many people in the congregation all turned out in their Sunday best. We estimated about 2000 people, four of whom where white. The music and singing were lovely but after an hour and forty minutes David suggested we slipped away after communion. We did question how four muzungus walking in the wrong direction could "slip" anywhere unnoticed. Mission accomplished we returned to MH for a lovely Sunday breakfast.

Our next appointment was to visit Felicien and his new twins. So sweet.

We had an appointment at 3pm to visit Ngwino Nawe. En route we stopped for a nice lunch with a beautiful view across tea plantations and the forest. A small window of shopping for Deanne and Harriet had to be taken.

The highlight of the day was our visit to the disability centre. The welcome there was overwhelming. The children were delighted to see us and put on shows of singing and dancing. Some of these kids have huge physical and mental difficulties to overcome but somehow they seem to do so with huge smiles on their faces. The children are so affectionate it is hard not to be affected especially when you hear their giggles when David plays "Two Little Dickie Birds" and "Round and Round the Garden".

They were so proud to show off the cows and pigs although the visit to the pig sty had to be quick as it was very smelly! Dorms were also inspected. Boarders back in the UK could learn a trick or two about bed making.

It has been a great day and fantastic to spend time visiting some of the other projects Rwanda Aid supports.

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Deanne and Harriet with Paul who we met on a previous trip when we came here in 2014 with Jane to paint the dining hall at Ngwino Nawe.

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