Bryan's Rwanda Experience 2009 travel blog

Samuel with his mother and oldest sister

Janvier with his mother

Benoit the newest rider fan and his mother

Jeanne D'arc and Yves, two children that still need sponsors

Yves and his mother. Yves still needs a sponsor

Today was another long day travelling on the "off roads". You know when you are not on a regular vehicle trail when there is only one track through the grass. The funny thing about it is that you get to the "end of the trail" and then you are in a town again. When you are off the paved highways the roads are like dirt roads in Saskatchewan after a heavy rain, times ten, and we are travelling in a Toyota mini bus. Not even a 4x4.

I had the pleasure of visiting Samuel and his mother and oldest sister. There are 2 boys and 3 girls in Samuel's family. Samuel is the youngest of his siblings. He is in Primary 2 and loves to play football (soccer). When I asked the family if there was anything they would like to ask me or their sponsor, they asked when their sponsor was coming to visit. I noticed that is the most common question. The families enjoy the gifts but really want their sponsors to meet them in person.

Next, I got to visit Janvier who is one of my family's sponsored children. I recognized him as soon as I saw him on the school yard where we were meeting the children today. Janvier's mother was with him today when we met. He is in P1 (primary 1) and has 4 brothers and 1 sister. I asked if he enjoys school and he does. He, as most of the children we talk to, likes to play football (soccer). When I gave him his own soccer ball he was smiling so big.

Next, was a meeting with Benoit. Benoit has 2 brothers and 2 sisters. His favourite subject in school is social studies. He loves soccer and plays on his school team. He is number 4. Around the house Benoit collects firewood and enjoys taking the bike to get water. He loves riding the bike. He was very excited to get a soccer ball from his sponsors and his smile lit up when he put on his Rider tshirt (who wouldn't be). Rider nation now extends to rural Rwanda!

My last 2 visits today were with two children that currently do not have sponsors. First, I met Jeanne D'arc. She is 9 years old and in P4. She lives in a family of 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls. She lives with both parents, but her father goes away to participate in "food for work" which means he comes home only once a month. Her father cannot read or write so it is difficult for him to find employment other than labour. She will make a wonderful addition to someone's family. My last meeting was Yves. Yves is 7 years old and in P1. He lives in a family with 4 boys and 1 girl. Yves father works in a camp where perpitraitors of the genocide who have plead guilty and are truely remorseful do their community work. That situation is another story all on its own. He is allowed to live a home because of good behaviour but still works in the camp. According to Yves, his mother "just cooks". Later, he indicated his mother also farms. Yves takes care of the goat at home.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to be at the construction site of the home we are assisting in building. The group today that worked at the site helped move rocks (large rocks) that are being used for the foundation and also made a lot of mud bricks for the building. We are not sure what is in store for the work group tomorrow but we will find out when we get there.

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