Today we went to a bunch of schools in the Muhanga District and distributed a cow to a family in need. The first school was a handicap school. We got to meet a lot of kids who were deaf that did sign language. Paige can sign and so can Lewis so they were helping us communicate with students. It's fascinating to watch these students. I learned a lot from them. We went into the room where they test the students hearing. Great technology! We went into a classroom of deaf students learning to write English. Drew wrote his name and where we were from on the chalkboard and then we all communicated with the kids in the class a little. The next school was a boarding school that was for students of excellence. What a difference going from the first school to the second. As soon as we pulled through the gate and jumped out of the car Drew and I headed to the basketball court to play a bit before we had to start the tour. There were a bunch of guys on the court just shooting around. I went to the boys closer to my height and Drew went up to the tallest guys on the court. I played defense on two of the guys for a little bit. Neither of em got nothin on me ;)
We then were shown around different parts of the school. There was a volleyball court, a four square court and tons of students everywhere. We walked into one of the rooms where they were building a new laboratory. We didn't spend much time there and before we knew it we were moving on to the next.
The last school we went to was an educational school, meaning the students are trying to become teachers. This is where we performed our little snippet of "American Theater" for them. This was the toughest one because they were commenting quietly on what was going on while we were on stage. The space we were in had bad echoes so it was hard to overpower the whispering going on. However, we still put on a great show that I think everyone liked very much. We shook some of their hands afterward, said our goodbyes and headed to the village where we were buying a cow for a family.
We got to the road which was a dirt road along a steep hill that if our driver took one wrong turn with the wheel the van would've been tumbling down that hill. We go to the area where the family was living and it turns out there are a huge group of Rwandans living together sharing resources. We were shown a little building where people from Buffalo gave them solar power last year and they showed us that.
The way cow distribution works is the group living together decides who is in the most need of it and that's essentially who is given the cow. The cow is symbolically money and literally money. It was an older woman and man who have never had any money in their life. The woman has kids and I don't think the man does. They are not married but live in this community where all these people were living together. The man who owned the cow was there and there was a whole ceremony I guess you could call it where Drew handed him the money while everyone watched. There were tons of people around, kids to grandmothers. We had a Rwandan named John translate as the man and woman said how grateful they were and they will now be happy and healthy. The older man then went into the cow's little wooden home and sang a song next to the cow. I guess it's a ritual they do that they sing after this happens. It was pretty cool, he looked super excited.
As we were leaving we took pictures of the kids---I can't resist they are all so cute. I would show them the pictures and they loved seeing themselves and laughed.
Then we hopped into the car to go eat at a nice restaurant where we were joined by the major of Muhanga! The food was great and the major graciously paid for our meals. Carl asked Tiesha and I to sing our song that we sing together from the piece we do. We pushed some chairs and tables out of the way and sang it for them. Then the major shared a few words with us before we parted. Carl translated everything for us because she spoke French. I had true enjoyment just watching Carl go back and forth between English and French. I gots to learn a language!! So basically she said she hopes we have a nice time here in Rwanda. She talked about how they do agriculture here and how great the system is that they have----America could really learn a lot about that from Rwanda!!! After her speech she gave us a gift and a gift for us to give to the major of Buffalo. It was a Rwandan made basket to keep important possessions. :) Then we said our goodbyes and headed home. The car rides are always full of laughter and enjoyment unless you're Tiesha who sleeps the whole time. The girls sang songs loudly pretty much the whole way. Stephen (our driver) and I've said it before, is SUCH a trooper.
I'm having so much fun here.
P.S. To you Buffalonians....what is up with the weather?!!!!
Till next time,