Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Find Someone Who Looks at You the Way Travis Looks at Chapati

This is the picture that inspired the title for today's blog. We would like to comment that Travis loves his Chapati and we believe that he is only agreeing to come back with us for the Chapati. If anyone has successfully made Chapati at home, Travis is desperate for a working recipe. Thanks for your consideration.

I can't believe we are already into our last week! This trip has been amazing so far and I am sad to think about leaving this place. The people have all been extremely generous and friendly and I wish I had more time to interact with the community. Although we only have a few days left in community,    we still have a lot of work left to do.

On Sunday we had a day in Musanze. The group decided to wake up early and attend a church service. The hotel that we are staying at is tied to the catholic church, so sure enough there is a massive cathedral adjacent to our hotel. On Sunday morning there was an outdoor service so we dressed up nice and walked over the the church. We were greeted by a drum line and it felt more like a party than church. There were probably 10,000 people there so it was basically Red Rocks. We received a lot of weird looks but it was a lot of fun. The singing was beautiful, but I would suggest going to the English service instead of the one in Kinyarwanda.

Sunday afternoon, we went to the new mall in town. The mall in Musanze is not a mall like we have at home, but instead there are private vendors like they would have in the market. We tried to buy some souvenirs for the EWB auction and some fabric for clothes. African fabric is very popular here and there are many talented tailors who we wanted to buy clothes from. We had success finding everything at the mall and, if I were you, I would definitely go to the EWB auction because we got a lot of cool stuff!

Monday we met with the Community Vision Board again and handed out the surveys. Two members from the Cyanika leadership also attended the meeting. The minor fixes that we made last week to the systems are holding up and seem to have fixed the problem. We also warned the Board that we may not be able to implement next year if we cannot supplement the funding we lost in the last semester. The Chief of Gasebya asked if we had enough to money to add another tank to their system and we told him that such a change also depends on our funding. The community was understanding but hopes that we can build the system as soon as possible.

Following the meeting, we visited the water source that the communities use when they do not have systems. We asked Wally if it was walking distance and he said, "no, no, not for you guys." And he was right. We took Motos down to the lake, and even the Moto ride took 15 minutes! I can't imagine having to walk down to the lake every day for water. But we got to enjoy a nice motor boat ride. Even Hassan got in the boat and he hates water. These last few days, I believe our new travel team has bonded well with the community and I just wish we had more time to continue to grow this relationship.


Today we went to Ntarma to check on the system that we had implemented last year.  In general, there were no major problems with the system.  The only things that they told us that needed to be fixed, was that the water from the gutter would flow above the filter that we had added, that the glue that we had used was not good, and that the AfriTanks suck!  Jacques made sure to tell us many times how much he prefers Roto tanks.

After checking on Ntarma, we went down to the market to pick out clothing for ourselves and our family and friends.  As we went down to the mall we ran into the guy that sold us fabrics the day before, which to my surprise is one of the best entrepreneurs in Rwanda.  In fact, he was given the opportunity to travel to Dubai to compete internationally in a business competition, after having won in his region.  He helped us figure out what the true prices were (not the muzungu prices), which was very helpful, since they were lower than the prices Wally had told us were good.  Since we were the only Mzungus in the market, we were immediately swarmed by the seamstresses that wanted to help us with our clothing.  There were so many people that wanted to sew Max's fabrics that a fight almost broke out, until our friend Justin helped calm things down.  After much discussion, Max was able to get a nice price for his clothing.  Once again we ended the night with our usual tradition of playing cards and drinking local Rwandan beer.

-Sam and Xilal (not Max... even though he proof read)

No comments:

Post a Comment