Birds of Rwanda – 2


Photographs by Margaret Sweatman

Safely home

Yesterday, we were trying to avoid the hot sun as we did our last minute shopping in Kigali, before flying home in the evening. It was HOT! This morning, we saw light snow covering the fields as we descended on Norwich airport. When we got out of the plane, it was COLD!

We look back with grateful thanks to God for all the blessings we have received as we have shared, in a small way,  the mission and work of Life in Abundance in Rwanda. We have renewed fellowship with pastor friends in the Congo and also with Bishop Nathan and Diocesan colleagues in Cyangugu. It has been a truly memorable and affirming trip.


Final day in Kamembe

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.


An encouraging day – part 1


This has been a wonderful day!  So much to talk about that I shall write it in two parts.

The morning coach drive to the nutrition clinic  took us through beautiful mountain scenery, which opened out showing Lake Kivu from a high vantage point. Just lovely. An hour and a half later, we alighted to hear sounds of singing. This came from a large multi-coloured group of children and adults singing, clapping and jumping up and down. What a welcome!  We soon discovered how the values of Life in Abundance had been put into practice so effectively. This clinic serves about 100 malnourished children. Part of their meal, rice, was provided for them but they brought their own vegetables, plates and spoons. Thus they were practically involved in the project.

The feeding programme was backed up by training on how to create a mixed diet. Families would often eat just one food, say avoado, until the supply ran out, then, another, say beans until they ran out. No thought of a mixed diet.

The benefits are already being felt. Already many have moved up to a higher, better category. The aim is to move all of them out of the ‘malnourished’ category.