Tonight I distributed a gift.
Background - the church I belong to in Buffalo (St. Joseph’s University Parish, UB North Campus) has a ministry that distributes shawls around the world to people in need. The ministry creates shawls (usually knitted or crocheted), prays over them as they are made, and then distributes them throughout the local community. Before I left for Rwanda, I had been tasked by this ministry to distribute a shawl in Rwanda - to find someone caring, loving, and deserving of one of these prayer shawls.
After visiting Urukundo and seeing the incredible work and service to the community they provided, I already knew that my shawl would go to someone there. For the past two days I also overheard Mama constantly remarking that she felt cold during the evenings - and I couldn’t imagine a more deserving person than her to take the shawl. So after devotions tonight, I presented it to her.
Mama looked fantastic in the shawl. It was an elegant, flowing, light green color (selected because of the color in the Rwandan flag) which suited her perfectly! She continued to wear the shawl after devotions, and several of the children followed her around, gently touching and commenting on its softness. It appears that gift will continue to be cherished for years to come!
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I am traveling to Rwanda with the intent of a sponge - I want to absorb as many unique experiences as I possibly can, and bring them back to share with my culture. I am a multifaceted artist, and Rwanda is a treasure trove of valuable experiences to draw inspiration from. As a visual artist, I look forward to seeing unique handmade art, and letting it inspire an artistic vision. As a musician, I look forward to hearing vastly different than what I’m used to, and letting that inspire music from my soul. And as a teacher, I’m looking to see teaching methods different than what I have known. I want to bring these gifts back and share them with my culture.