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back from Rwanda

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It was a lovely, crazy, heart stirring, learning, feeling sorta trip. It was different than others i have traveled. I was not the leader or a participant, really. I was the wife and I was there to see. That was good.

I arrived and hoped to connect with women I had contacted prior to my US departure, but transportation from where I was staying was not as readily available as I expected. I promised my husband I'd not get on a motorbike, so I didn't. (Although, I did hop in the back of a pick up twice and hitched a ride w/ some fellas from US Aid.) I could have hired a car and a driver, but that was quite expensive. So, I stayed close to the house I called home for 2 weeks.

I visited a few childrens homes and did get the chance to go to Sisters of Rwanda's Hope Center (i think that is what it is called). It was wonderful to see the women making paper bead necklaces and smiling. The peace, joy and love that is within the walls of that home is felt upon entry to the compund. Their garden is growing and they are being fed, spiritually, emotionally and physically. Thank you SOR for opening your arms to my visit.

The childrens homes were a highlight. The kids were fun to play with and read to, swing around and hold. I look forward to the day I get to bring my boys there. Hopefully within the year we will all be there as a family for a bit of time.

Kids Across Africa (the NGO my husband works for) held the first ever soccer/football camp in the north, Musanze. There were roughly 135 young boys and they had the time of their life. They received great technical instruction from top coaches in the area and a few coaces from the States. It was an overnight camp and they stayed at a local boarding school, Sonrise. The boys were not only instructed in football, but in life skills, such as responsiblity and leadership. Because it is a faith based orginization they received bits and pieces of spiritual guidance as well. The awards ceremony was attended by many locals and had a high ranking oficial from the army, as well as others from the area. The teams that won the tournament were awarded and given biscuits or water bottles and each player received an individual photo of themselves posing w/ a football. (I had the joy of going to Kigali to have the photos printed - they were priceless! The kids sure knew how to ham it up for the camera.)

A few other highlights:
* Gorilla treking
* Dinner at Heaven Restaurant and noticing Cindy McCain, Mike Huckabee and a couple of US Sneators at the table next to us.
* Seeing coffee growing! an addiction that i continue to feed - maybe moreso now that i've seen how beautifully it grows and have seen the roaster where I'll buy it as long as my travels take me there.
* Riding the local bus from Kigali to Musanze
* The way my heart felt while sitting and reading with a very special young lady at New Hope Home.
* Seeing the streets my husband drives and the church he attends, the shops, banks, meeting rooms he frequents while working there.
* KNOWING THAT I WILL BE BACK, SOON. And the next time, with my whole family!

My laptop has a virus and so I've not posted many photos b/c they are all on there. But as soon as I am able to have it back from the PC fix-it man I'll post photos to my blog. There are a few there, check them out if you wish ~ www.nimrodnews.blogspot.com

Kindly,

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