Urukundo Village

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.


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.


Flowers are always a delight. I loved both arrangements.

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

The next day

The welcome home photos had to wait until Sunday morning.

The hugs were still special.

The hugs were still special.


I was introduced to Auntie Betty’s new baby. His name is Alyn. Sorry my hair was still wet from morning shower.

We are a small group now at home but mighty. Missing our brothers and sisters.

We are a small group now at home but mighty. Missing our brothers and sisters.

Kids and home staff came a few minutes before worship to say good morning. It was indeed a joy to be home.

Kids and home staff came a few minutes before worship to say good morning. It was indeed a joy to be home.

On the way to worship, I passed this lovely message in the children’s rock garden.

On the way to worship, I passed this lovely message in the children’s rock garden.


At worship, I saw the new paraments. The Sewing Center reconditioned them. They were a gift from Pastor Sunny Stock and her faith family at Christ Church McKeansburg in Pennsylvania, USA.

Thanks to friends and family

I will miss so many when I return to Rwanda.

Rick and Jan Reckmeyer in Arizona

Rick and Jan Reckmeyer in Arizona

My daughter-in-law Janet, who took such good care of me and my erratic schedule.

My daughter-in-law Janet, who took such good care of me and my erratic schedule.


My son Jerry’s family who traveled from Williamsport to Pittsburgh to be present at the special fund-raising event in April.

My dear friend, John Guiswite. John and his late wife Sally physically helped to build the boys’ home in the village. John taught me about plumb lines in construction.


John and Sally’s son, Mike Guiswite, and Mike’s wife who arranged for me to visit John during my brief visit to Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania.


There are so many others who made my stay in the USA wonderful. Too many to mention, but I love them all and will miss them. Many thanks to all.

See you all again in two years when I come home to celebrate my 90th year on planet Earth.

Rwanda, here I come!


Sports at Urukundo


We are honoring the martial arts this month.


Our karate kids are looking good.

On my right is Eugene, Urukundo’s farm manager and instructor for the karate students.

Black belts are hard to earn. From our karate school, we have eight. I have yet to even be given the proper clothes so I have no belt.

What makes P6 boys happy? Of course, a gift of much needed sports balls. These arrived and are so appreciated.


We are grateful.

Volleyball, basketball and soccer balls.

Visitors for February


Early in February, Ray O’Keefe from Seattle, Washington, USA, dropped by. Literally, he did drop by. I did not know he was in Rwanda.

Ray is Chief Nurse Anesthetist at Providence Washington Anesthesia Services, PC, Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett, Washington.

Ray and his wife, Sarah Ketchley, our website manager, have been part of the Urukundo family for 10 years.

Ray was in Rwanda with a team of surgeons and anesthetists on a medical mission. He took time on his rest day to come visit Urukundo and give me a hug from Sarah.

Ray and his family support, love and pray for our own John Paul Nziyumanganya. John Paul just recently returned to Urukundo after furthering his education in Seattle, Washington. Thanks to Ray and Sarah’s devotion, he is now a full time physical education teacher at Urukundo Learning Center.

The Dental Clinic had a real boost in February. We are always happy to welcome a visiting dentist from abroad.

Dr. Troy Michelson and his wife and assistant, Charmaine, are very appreciated. They hail from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This is their third journey to Urukundo Village.

The day care was blessed by their daughter, Alina Michelson, who was accompanying her parents for the first time. She brought her best friend, Kristina Le May.


Alina and friends


Kristina sharing her toys


More fun at Mama’s house

Both girls said they will be back.

After a day of rest and touring Urukundo Village and Learning Center, Troy and Charmaine got down to serious business.


They started by scanning and treating, if necessary, all P5 and P6 students at our school.

Reports were sent home to their parents. Students waited to register. Ishmal, our clerk and recorder, filled in forms.


Dr. Troy and Charmaine are a team worthy of praise.

Dr. Troy and student.


Suction, anyone? Oliver, our full-time therapist, comes to the aid of Dr. Troy.


Serious consultation.


Aline Ishimue, the newest addition to our dental staff, tried something new, thanks to Charmaine.


A fun time was had by all.


Welcome home, Carol

Carol Falke came home for the eighth year in a row. She is family.

Carol is from State College, Pennsylvania, USA, and is president of the Hope Made Real board of directors.

Urukundo and the Learning Center are blessed by her presence.

What do you know about butterflies? Our preschoolers know a lot, thanks to Carol Falke.


First, you read a book about caterpillars.Then you color and cut out.


Next, you show them off.


Windows also work well for this activity.


Urukundo kids enjoyed playing Simon Says with the butterflies on the lawn at Mama’s house.


Touch your nose.


Touch your toes.

The parade led by Carol topped the play time.