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Hello everyone.  I hope this blog finds you all well.  I seems it has been several weeks again since I have written, so I am due.  Anyway, nothing too exciting has been happening in our world…as Sarah mentioned in a previous blog…the crazy and awkward things just seem to be part of life now and not worthy of writing about.


Let’s see…our house lady, Louise, has now successfully made it past the Bermuda triangle time line (which is 1 ½ months) where the other 3 girls disappeared.  She has made it almost two months.  We really like her and she seems to enjoy being with us as well.  And, as far as we know, she has yet to steal or lie to us…sounds like a keeper! 


So, the other day I was sitting by a lady I have met a few times while she was holding her little baby.  I remembered she told me last time that she had six children so I said…how are your six children?  She responded…I have 7 now…then looked at the 2 month old in her arms.  I began to ask her questions about the little one and soon she said, do you want to take him?  Just to make sure I heard her correctly I asked her to repeat several times…I heard right.   When I said I don’t think we can do that right now she then asked…what do you want…a boy or girl…I have several of each?  I laughed and told Sarah who was standing a ways away what the lady was telling me.  I told her that 7 kids is a lot and that it must be tough to raise that many children.  She then proceeded to tell me that she wants to have 5 more…12 in all.  I told her that it would be very difficult to feed 12 children don’t you think.  She said, I have many sweet potatoes (which is pretty much the only thing many children eat…enter malnutrition).  I told her that it’s not good to eat just sweet potatoes…the kids need other things, specifically protein.  She didn’t seem too concerned and told me that she also had beans planted.  I would like to say this kind of story is rare to hear in our village but unfortunately…it is more of the norm.  But, at least I got a free child out of it…just kiddin…or am I???


In other news, our first real Holiday away from home is coming up.  I don’t things will be quite the same seeing as we are 10,000 miles away from our family.  We plan on going to visit a friend in Kigali for Thanksgiving who has an oven and so we’ll be able to cook some food at least close to real Thanksgiving food.  We are pretty pumped about that.  Christmas on the other hand…not quite sure what we are going to do there…that’s still a ways away…or at least it seems.  Oh, we are planning on going to Uganda over New Year’s and going white water rafting on the Nile and then crapping our pants before bungee jumping into it…that should be fun…not the crapping our pants part…it seems that is just part of the experience.  We will be going with two other PCV’s from Rwanda


It seems there is not much more to talk about…I think I am boring myself just trying to think of things.  So, this is all I got.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone…eat lots of turkey, stuffing and all that other great holiday food for us.  Take care and be blessed!





Tis the life of Africa....

I am writing to you now…I know, it’s been a while but I feel like all those weird awkward situations have become, well normal and it just doesn’t seem good enough to write about anymore. Let’s see, life in Rwanda has been a little more challenging lately. In fact, the last 2 weeks have pretty much been a total vent fest where Jarod and I come home and talk about how angry we are about everything. Completely unproductive, but totally helpful! Jarod even said “I even hate my chocolate right now” the other day. Although later, he corrected himself and said “don’t stop sending chocolate…I can’t go on without it…I might spontaneously combust into a million pieces”.


Work has become more and more challenging. We’re feeling completely defeated as so far, 6 months and counting, every single idea we’ve had has been DE…wait for it….NIED! DENIED! So we’re pretty much questioning even our existence here. We hate going to church here because we can’t understand the preacher and sit completely bored for about 3 hours. Everyone is constantly staring at us, no matter what we’re doing and the list could go on. AHH!


Instead of venting I’ll tell you about our latest visitors. This week we had 4 Belgians and a Norwegian come to Banda for something called a mobile cinema. They travel Rwanda showing health related movies to Rwandans in hopes of educating them. We were so excited about this and requested they come here. They agreed. The trip started off interesting. First of all they got here and the house lady at the guest house hadn’t boiled water as asked. So therefore, they were exhausted and thirsty with no water. Then, she kept asking us for more and more money to purchase food for them although we knew it was basically impossible that she had already spent all we’d given her. We took them to the market because they wanted to buy some crafts from our village and surprise…they were closed! On Monday, the last 2 people of their party showed up and they absolutely wanted to walk up to the top to pick them up…which we tried to tell them was a bad idea as we live in the rain forest…so um rain happens. Well, they went and it rained.  They were soaked. This then caused one of them to have awful blisters. So as they arrived at the guest house, because they were a little later than planned, their food was cold, they were soaked and we were rushing them to get ready because we had to start the movie in less than an hour and all the equipment was still at the guest house, not set up. So then, it started pouring. I mean, pouring its heart out and we had to carry all this equipment in the rain. We were so afraid it was going to get wet…but we made it.  No worries! We had borrowed a generator from a local person to power the equipment, this however was a terrible idea! I know nothing about generators and as soon as we plugged it up, it shot so much electricity through the wires that it completely fried their expensive surge protection equipment and the DVD player as well as the projector started smoking!!!! SMOKING! So, we had to tell everyone that showed up to go home. As we’re tearing everything down, it’s pitch black dark and pouring rain we decided to carry some things back to the house. For some reason, I said “this is ridiculous, I mean nothing else could go wrong!” IDIOT. I was leading the group home and somehow as I was staring at the ground and falling in puddles I turned right instead of left. Yea. I know. Then, I walked them almost all the way to town without realizing it! I mean, an umbrella over my head + this tiny little green keychain flashlight (because I was unprepared to be out at dark), + staring at my feet = me walking 20 minutes out of the way. As we’re turning around to go back, one of the guys laughs and says, “yea, nothing else could go wrong!” What!! His shoe then breaks and he falls…his blisters are bleeding and we’re all soaked to the bone! We finally make it back to the house and we tested the DVD player and projector on the battery we had here. Supposedly they’re fine! We celebrate!!! I say supposedly because the next morning we plugged them up again and only the DVD player was fine. The most expensive part, the projector was broke. We nearly cried! Then, we go to the community center to pack everything up since we obviously won’t be showing the film that night either. Somehow on the way back, the key to the bedroom with all of the guests things gets lost. We search every where for a key. Nothing! Finally, several hours later one is found but geez!! As we’re walking to town, the other guy slips on the mud and his shoe breaks. He just laughs at this point! We get to town to pick up the skirts the girls had decided to have made and much to our surprise she had confused the directions and made a wrong skirt that was so small it didn’t fit anyone. We then tried to explain we obviously didn’t want it as no one could wear it and she said she’d fix it. Ok, we agree and come back later. She had bought new fabric and made the correct skirt. Woo hoo, we celebrated. Then she told us we had to pay for all 5 skirts as well as the new fabric she’d bought. Say what??? Yea. So then we argued for a while and she finally agreed to only let us pay for 5 skirts because she had “finished” it and not the extra fabric. We didn’t ask her to mess up but still somehow paid for it…hello customer service??? Finally, we go down to the community center to have a dance party since well what else are we going to do with these giant speakers they’ve brought. A staff member had forgotten to bring the battery or the light. So we used the speaker’s tiny battery and danced in the dark till it died! Thank God that was over!!


Finally, we sent them on their way this morning. As far as we know…they’ve made it safely up the mountain but well let’s be honest…they’re probably having issues.


Oh, tis the life of Africa. Until next time…..