(So sorry for the delay in Blog updates – we have been without internet since last Friday!)
July 1: Tubehotwese “Let Us All Live” Cooperative We departed Kigali bright and early Friday morning and headed east to the Kayonza District. The drive was beautiful, taking us up and over a few of Rwanda’s one thousand hills.
Two hours later, we arrived at Seeds of Peace, where we would be staying for the next couple of nights. We unloaded our bags and had quick snack before piling pack into the van for our 3 hour drive to the Tubehotwese Cooperative in Northern Rwanda.
As we pulled up to the top of the hill, we were greeted by dancing women and countless wide-eyed, giggling children. We joined in immediately, and were soon having one wild, celebratory dance party.
Things settled down and we took our seats in the chairs that were lined up, facing the benches full of Tubehotwese Cooperative members. Their leader, Naome, gave a remarkable speech about the development of their Cooperative and the challenges they face. Dressed in traditional Rwandan fabrics and patterns, her presence was captivating.
More dancing ensued and we were presented with wonderful gifts of eggs and harvested sorghum. We then visited the African Hill Nursery School, funded by World Dancer Sherry Robin and supported by Juanita and Hymon Johnson.
We walked into the room and soon found ourselves standing in front of 30 little ones, all matching in their bright yellow shirts with blue shorts and skirts. A few of them demonstrated reciting the alphabet and counting from 1 to 20… in English! Jeremy, guitar in hand, taught the kids Barney’s famous “I Love You, You Love Me.” It was a gigantic hit, to say the least.
Chantal guided the distribution of many donations including Pillowcase Dresses made by Santa Barbara Middle School and the Crafty Ladies of Carpinteria, nursery school supplies from Annetta, and other adorable children’s clothing.
After a few group photos, we hopped back in the bus, bid “Murabeho” to the Tubehotwese, and drove off deep into the countryside to go visit their two new cows, Lulu Jo and Rosecow! There, we witnessed one of the most magnificent African sunsets imaginable.
View photos from some of the travelers here: https://www.facebook.com/WorldDanceForHumanity/