Today is the last day in Rwanda. Bittersweet. I am just grateful for this country and everything it has given me. I’ve been told so many great things about Rwanda and what great work they have done in reclaiming their story and healing together, but I really didn’t know until I felt it. To feel what forgiveness, kindness, and love actually is. Thank you Rwanda for embracing us and making us better people.
Hope to see YOU in Rwanda next year! Murakoze. (Thank you in Kinyarwanda)
You know when you were younger and you spent all day at the amusement park and on the ride home you fell asleep from having so much fun? Today is one of those days. Hiking, music, hills, dancing, laughter, more hills, coffee, eating and of course hills, pretty much sums up the day. There is so much joy, love, and kindness in the air, you can’t help but to feel everlasting peace in your heart.
Wishing you all the same. Amahoro. (Peace in Kinyarwanda)
Wow. One week down and other one to go! We will soon be wrapping up our time with the teachers here in Urukundo Learning Center and our wonderful host, Mama Arlene. Everyone here is incredible with so many stories to tell and arms that always welcome hugs. I think my highlight of this trip so far is being a part of the Azizi life. We got to learn and do what they do everyday. Such hard work they all do. It brought me so much joy to know that the contribution of gifting their family three cows will provide so much to them. And because of this they named one of their cows, Urukundo, meaning love. We celebrated with singing and dancing together. How amazing it is that people can be from completely different backgrounds and celebrate each other with much joy.
Urukundo everyone. ❤️
After getting through the rough part of our trip, the fun began. Already two SBL trainings and two more to go! I didn’t really think that I would make connections here, but through these trainings, I have and it’s been so wonderful. We’ve all just been surrounded with love and care. I can’t help but to feel kindness and support back. Thank you Rwanda and everyone’s support for us. We are because you are.
Ubuntu - I am because you are
Our first stop in Kigali…visiting the Nyamirambo Women’s Center with a tour of the city there.
Once I arrived and made it to my room, I already felt like I’m home. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been waiting on this trip for two years or what but it feels like home. With visiting three memorials here of remembrance, I feel such an connection here. What happened here was unimaginable, however how much they have recovered and invested in themselves, is unbelievable. Rwandans are for Rwandans, not just for the individual. In the Anne Frank Project, we talk about We before Me. I truly didn’t understand that until being here now. Different worlds but there is so much familiarity I see with Rwandans. They are like me. So many things to talk about and share, such as the beauty and the food here, but there’s so much to learn here. So much I have already learned. What gifts I have to share already to bring back home!
Sending much love from me in Rwanda, Uri Mwiza. (You’re beautiful in Kinyarwanda) ❤️
My name is Jonise and I am the interim festival coordinator for the Anne Frank Project and proud alumni of SUNY Buffalo State with my bachelor's in theater and minor in dance. There are so many things to look forward to in Rwanda, but I am mostly excited to be embrace by the people there and to share this experience with the people going there with me.