Sunday, July 6, 2008

First Meetings...

During our first meetings we just tried to get to know each other and learn why each of us applied to this program and how we think we will be able to utilize this experience afterwards.
We also tossed around ideas about what the whole group would enjoy doing after getting back to Chicago.

Each of the girls received a blank sketchbook to keep as a journal. We can use collages, writing, poetry, drawing or any other way to express how we feel as we get ready for this adventure, also during our journey.

Another subject we discussed was how we can prepare ourselves before visiting Rwanda. Our group leaders gave each of us a short reading list that should be helpful. The book we all decided to read is "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families" by Philip Gourevitch.

The 1998 non-fiction book is about the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda in 1994, written by The New Yorker writer Philip Gourevitch. The book describes Gourevitch's travels in a Rwanda after the conflict, in which he interviews survivors and gathers information. Gourevitch retells survivors' stories, and reflects on the meaning of the genocide. (

Another helpful tool was seeing a presentation by Dr. Mardge Cohen. We learned the facts about Rwanda and the HIV/AIDS stats in that area through her Power Point presentation. We saw many wonderful photos of the Rwandan people. For the fist time we also saw the photos of the girls who we will meet in Rwanda.

After the fist few general meetings, now we meet few times a week to prepare the two mosaic murals. One will be installed in Kigali, one in Chicago.

1 comment:

believe said...

My flights went great, hit a glitch with my carry on luggage, but I picked it up today no problem.

Kigali is really very pleasant. The weather is ideal, 70's during the day, 50-60's at night, and I haven't seen a mosquito, but if I do, I will respect it.

VERY hilly, and curvy roads,it really reminds me of Arkansas, California, and Pittsburgh. It feels familiar.

The shopping is challenging. Things are actually kind of expensive. Except these wonderful fabrics seem pretty reasonable, so I plan on purchasing some of them. Most of the shops are about the size of a small shed. Lots of people walking everywhere, and people carry impossibly sized loads of things on their heads. I might buy a special ring basket thing that looks like a large donut so you can carry things. You would be amazed at what gets carried around.

Public transportation amounts to vans crammed full of people or motor scooters which seem a bit daunting. I may try one to say I did it, but with the crazy traffic and curvy hilly roads, I am thinking twice.

Ran around today getting things organized to work on the wall at the clinic. This mural is certainly going to be a lovely thing to behold at the clinic. I am really happy we are doing this.