Adventures In Rwanda

Sight to see

An unbelievable vision! Visitors are in for a treat traveling through Kigali City. I was very surprised and impressed. It was not there the last time I was in the city.

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A basket on top of this beautiful building! I am told at night the basket is illuminated and the flag of Rwanda is visible. I think I need to pay a night visit just to see this sight.

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What do you think? Would it fit in your living room? Small ones are available. Lovely to see.

Reunion for best friends

The story:

Edison’s mother works at Urukundo, and Edison has grown up and gone to school with Urukundo kids. It was not a surprise that Edison missed Jacob, his best friend through daycare and preschool at Urukundo Learning Center.

Jacob was moved to a foster family over a year ago. One Sunday morning, Edison asked his mother, “Where is Jacob? I need to see Jacob.” His mom called Olive, our child advocate, telling her that Edison said, “‘If I can't see Jacob, then I will ask NCC to find me a foster family so I can live with Jacob.’” The NCC is the National Commission for Children.

This was a bit funny to adults as Edison has a mom, dad, brother and a great home. It was not funny to Edison. He was serious.

Tresor who just came home from Arizona State University and was very close to Jacob when they both lived at our home. He also wanted to see Jacob, so a surprise trip was arranged.

Benita, who also lived at Urukundo Home, had a history with Jacob. When Benita was 3 years old and had to go visit her grandmother far away, she was told she would come back but had to see her grandmother. She agreed to travel by bus to see her grandmother near the Burundi border. When she stepped out of the bus and saw her grandmother, she looked at her traveling companion and said, “OK, now let's go home. Jacob needs me.”

The impact Jacob had with so many has been felt. So Tresor, Edison and Benita went to spend the afternoon with Jacob. They had a wonderful time together.

Next visit, our maintenance worker Benjamin, who was Jacob's idol, will go to see Jacob. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, Jacob’s answer was always the same. “I want to be Benjamin.” No greater love.

Jacob in green and Edison in blue

Jacob in green and Edison in blue

Benita, Jacob and Edison, who were best friends at Urukundo Home, meet again after being separated for over a year.

Benita, Jacob and Edison, who were best friends at Urukundo Home, meet again after being separated for over a year.

Kids are kids. Photos are fun.

Kids are kids. Photos are fun.

Edison and Benita came home to tell me, “Jacob has a tooth problem and needs to come home to get it fixed.”

Tresor and Jacob

Tresor and Jacob

June 2019 Newsletter

Return from USA

The 10 weeks in the USA sharing the love and the story of Urukundo Foundation -- its beginning, development and future goals -- was so exciting and so full of love. I thank all who shared their time with me.

Arriving at the Kigali International Airport on Saturday, June 1, I found Divine and Deborah, who are two of my university students, waiting to welcome me. They had been at the airport since 4:20 p.m., the original time of arrival. Along with hugs and kisses, they presented me with this beautiful bouquet.

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I arrived home at Urukundo Village at about 8:30 p.m. It was very late and dark after a long journey and a seven-hour layover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My plan was to arrive home during the daylight hours, but that did not happen.

The children waited for me. The greeting was all hugs and kisses and flowers from Urukundo’s garden.

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Flowers are always a delight. I loved both arrangements.

Then it was off to bed for the children and a very tired mama.

Special event for Urukundo

Auntie Delphine’s wedding was indeed a special event. So sorry I missed it. Delphine was the first Urukundo employee in 2006.

A bridal shower was given by her coworkers at Urukundo Village.

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After a surprise, you shed tears. Tradition, I think.

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The wedding was followed by dancing and singing.

Then food.

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The food was served by the Urukundo kitchen staff. Looks good.

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The wedding attendants and Diescor. Not quite sure how he got in the bride’s photo. Delphine is rather special to our kids, and Diescor has been under her wing since 2007.

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Not the best photo, but our kids and staff presented the bride and groom with a gift. Jean Marie is handing the large pease basket filled with I-am-not-sure-what. It is never empty to Auntie Delphine in the photo.

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Beautiful bride and wedding attendants.

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Best wishes for a long and happy marriage.

February, the love month

It seems each month has its own rewards and challenges. February is no exception. Cramming into 28 days what usually takes 31 has not been easy.

Love is what it is all about.

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We share our love with Centre Marembo in Kigali by supplying free dental care for their girls.

Love is shared with Benjamin, our maintenance manager, on the birth of his baby girl. Benj has two boys. Now a little girl. How awesome! Congratulations, Papa Benj.

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Love is sharing a cookie in worship Sunday morning.

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Love is a teacher caring for his student with tenderness.

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Love is hugging a little girl and her butterfly.

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Love is sharing with Sandy Narayanan and Laurien Sibomana as they work for the welfare of young people with diabetes in Rwanda.

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Share your love. Make every day a special day for at least one person. Blessings flow.

Dreams do come true

In Divine’s words:


"Dreams do come true! (Like Mama Arlene Brown always says). Today one of my dreams came true. It was an honor to meet Mbabazi Esther, Rwanda’s first female pilot). She’s always been my idol. I have always looked up to her, inspired by her story, her success and involvement in "the aviation industry”!! Being able to talk to her in person and share so many different stories and ideas was a dream come true and made me feel extremely ambitious to succeed. I feel one step closer to achieving my aviation goals. She is an amazing person and hopefully we will meet again soon. Thank you so much, Mama, for all your support! You are my hero."