I made it home safely but wanted to share this last post.
After shopping on Sunday morning, I went to visit my Rwandan friend Janviere’s family. To learn more about Janviere, click on this link. I was nervous about visiting as I had no idea what to expect. She lives with her mom and brother in the slums of Kigali, a few miles from Kibagabaga Hospital. We walked to her home from my hotel, up the very steep hills and down the muddy trails and through the streams of dirty water. I was definitely the only light-skinned person there, and my presence did not go unnoticed.
I heard the word “muzungu” (which means traveler or light-skinned person) over and over, and I also heard “money” as kids held out their hands. I shook a lot of hands, gave high-fives and smiles, and waved as I walked by. I never felt anxious about my safety; Rwanda is one of the safest countries in Africa and crimes against tourists are quite uncommon.
Janviere’s family lives in a small concrete building with one small table, one chair for sitting, and a worn sisal rug on the ground. They have a single electric lightbulb and they cook with a small charcoal stove. They had fixed me a feast of boiled bananas (which taste like potatoes), boiled greens, and grilled beef. I gratefully accepted a few bites and encouraged them to eat the rest. I imagine this was not a typical meal for them as Janviere has told me that they often struggle to afford food. I know that it was risky for me to eat with them, but the food was steaming hot and it would have been rude to decline.
We took lots of pictures and enjoyed our time together. Janviere’s mother was so grateful for the assistance we (my church and I) provide to fund Tresor’s schooling, and my heart was full, knowing that we are giving this child a chance he would not otherwise have.