July 3: Genda Ugire Utyo “Go and Do That” Cooperative and Imbereheza “Better Future” Cooperative
After a great breakfast at Seeds of Peace, us women dressed up in colorful caftans as we were heading to an outdoor church service held by the Imbereheza and Genda Cooperatives, together.
We were greeted by a lively crowd of dancers moving to the rhythm of singing and clapping accompanied by amplified guitars and an electric keyboard. They told us later that the purchasing of the musical equipment from WD4H donations had great enhanced their church experiences, thus strengthening the unity of their community.
We were seated in front of the churchgoers and presented with two gospel songs sung by a choir of traditionally-dressed women. We then introduced ourselves, each person thanking the local people for the opportunity to join in their service.
Janet spoke with great poise and elegance as she assessed the progress of both Cooperatives. Justin, our partner and translator, gave a sermon and sang a few songs that were very well received with clapping and wide smiles. We didn’t understand a word, but we didn’t have to. The experience transcended us all.
When the service was over, we received a traditional dance from the Imbereheza Cooperative. First by young girls, and then by the young adults, the exceptional dancers performed in traditional clothing. They danced, jumped, stomped and sang with no accompaniment from anything other than a drum and the bells around their ankles.
Genda Ugire Utyo leaders presented us with a cow poem, and gifts of eggs and milk.
We moved to an adobe building where a delicious snack awaited us. After recharging a bit in the coolness of the room, we headed back out for more photos, videos, music, and dancing!
Another wonderful, incredible day with our Rwandan brothers and sisters.
View photos from some of the travelers here: https://www.facebook.com/WorldDanceForHumanity/
P.S. We are headed down to Cyangugu in the south of the country where we will likely have very little internet access. The blog will be updated again as soon as we’re back in Kigali on Thursday, July 7th!