Saturday was a special day – ‘hand-over’ day when the house would be passed over to Vestine, the lady whom the community had chosen to be given the house. However, it was also Umuganda Saturday, the Saturday of the month when everyone in Rwanda stops what they are doing and does community work from 9 to 11 am. It is a quite extraordinary phenomenon. Anyway, we joined in! At least some of us did. The local leaders had decided to clear a roadway of weeds as their project. I am told that it was hard work (see photo).
After this, we went to the house, which looked quite splendid, with everything complete including gutters ready for water harvesting system to be installed. When ‘hand-over’ time came, it seemed that most of the villagers were there. Lots and lots of inquisitive children had been entertained whilst we waited for the local dignities to arrive. There were a number of speeches, including a very moving acceptance speech by Vestine, followed by the formal handing over of keys. A very special moment. Lunch was provided for us by local women, a real sign of their willingness to accept Vestine into their community.
The day ended with an evening meal shared with Bishop Nathan, his wife and other church leaders. Another very special occasion.