Rwanda: Now That I Have Seen

Guest Blogger: Emily Hunter
The People- With hearts as big as the hills, Rwandans welcomed us into their country making us feel right at home. 20 or so greeted us at the airport, immediately grabbing our luggage and loading it in the cars...did I mention it was 2 a.m.??

Throughout the week, they always got us where we needed, or wanted, to be; driving us into the city for shopping and coffee or making sure a taxi was there to pick us up for dinner or a safari.

Every moment with them was a learning experience. They were always patient with our pathetic attempts to speak Kinyarwanda - amakuru? - and had an enthusiastic drive to learn English.

Their passion for God is inspiring. You can see His joy written all over their faces, with smiles that light up a room. They give God all the glory for bringing Rwanda through what was one of the most brutal genocides in history. They see Him in it all.

I also have not laughed so much in a week as I did while I was there. People like Judith (our wonderful Ugandan friend for life) and Gilbert ("You look very nice with your eyes closed") were an endless supply of laughter and joy through out our time there, I cannot wait to see them, along with countless others, again one day.

I am thankful beyond expression for having been a part of these peoples lives for a week, they blessed me more than I could have ever thought possible.

The Country- One of my favorite parts of Rwanda was the views! Everywhere you looked was another creative masterpiece from the ultimate Creator. Walking out of our dormitory every morning was breathtaking. Every evening/night we would sit out on the steps talking, enjoying the cool air and watching the sun dip below the hills and the moon take it's place.

Pictures never do the best places justice, which means you all will just have to go and witness it for yourselves : ).

It's hard to pinpoint your favorite moments when the trip was one giant favorite moment in your life. I will attempt to share a few with you though.

-One evening, after VBS had been over for a while, I walked down to the soccer field (which overlooked our building site) with Gasanna and Christine - my faithful teacher helpers all week- and talked to them for a little while. When they had to leave, some of the kids were sitting watching the building and told me to sit with them.. Some time passed by and Tony came up to sit with us, then Alex. We talked about life, America, favorite things, PlayStation, animals, anything and everything. They got a hold of my camera and took what became my favorite pictures of the whole trip...
-Pass the pigs and Disney sing-a-long night at the dorm! I can think of a few boys who may not put this in their favorite moments category from the trip, but Charlotte, Sandy, Alex and I sure had fun. For 2 hours we sang as many Disney songs as we could think of, word for word with every dramatic action that goes along with them.

-Riding in the back of the truck into the city and back was always the place to be for fun. The best was our last night as a full group in Kigali, we headed into town for ice cream at Bourbon. As we drove through the packed city, we sang the "Ice Cream & Cake" song as well as other, lesser known songs like "Aint No Mountain High Enough". As if seeing a bunch of white people in the back of a truck wasn't weird enough...
-Anytime spent with the team was a good time. I can't tell you how much I love these people! The night before group 1 left, I asked Sandy what she thought of the trip, she said that this was no doubt the best team she had ever been a part of. I'm so blessed to have been a part of it.

One request the Rwandans had for us multiple times through the course of our visit was: Bring your family and friends back to Rwanda with you, tell them about our country and about everything you saw here.
So this was a small taste...a very very small taste...of the beautiful Rwanda.

Now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
Now that I have held you in my own arms, I will not let go til you are
I will tell the world, I will tell them where I've been
I will keep my word...