June 30, 2023
This hotel is what I’ve all been waiting for!! So incredibly amazed by everything they have here! Also the dinner OMGGG the best chicken I’ve had this whole trip 😭 (no picture though). Getting to hangout with everyone and relax after the last few days have been busy is so refreshing this was a great way to slowly end our stay in Rwanda. One and a half more days, and although most of this trip I’ve been homesick because I miss my dog, I’m gonna miss Rwanda and the joy this country gives me.
June 28, 2022
Definitely one of my favorite days of this whole trip! Totally worth walking uphill after seeing the view and the monkeys. This was my first time at a rain forest (unless you count the rainforest café) and it is absolutely beautiful.
June 27, 2023
Today we started our day at the Huye Coffee Mountain. This is a Mountain where they grow coffee beans and then heat the coffee beans in a charcoal bowl over fire to grind them. This is all done at the mountain. To get to the charcoal stove we had to climb up a hill, which after a week of being Rwanda I’ve noticed they walk hills to get everywhere. Walking up the hill was like a 8/10, I definitely need to do more stair masters when I get home. But after we got to the top and made the coffee it was a beautiful experience and I’d do it all over again. After we left Huye Coffee Mountain, we transferred hotels again and the top pictures are all from the view of our hotel, oh and this hotel so far is the hotel with the best food! Tomorrow’s our Hike day which means hydrate and rest tonight so I survive :))
Putting Cultures Together is What Makes Prosperity.
As we finish off our teacher training all I have to say is, wow I am impressed. I’m not impressed with the teachers in Rwanda because I knew they could do this I knew they had it in them. I’m impressed with myself the last few months preparing for this trip I was so nervous about today actually happening, but it did and now it’s done. Although I said I wasn’t talking about the Rwandan teachers before I do have to say they do work great as a team and their English language is much better than what I was assuming. Putting different cultures together (such as Rwandans and Americans) really is the key to success. I know that these teachers and these students are gonna change the world using story based learning. This world really is full of amazing people you just have to look!
Today we did a day in the life of a woman in Azizi life. Although this day had its challenges, I think this is one of the best days I’ve had in Rwanda so far. Today has taught me respect and appreciation for other people and for myself. As we walked a half hour up hill will jars of water I didn’t wanna give up because I kept telling myself this is their everyday life, I’m only doing this once. When we got to the finish line with the jars though I was thinking how appreciative the experience was and I wanted to do it all over. I also thought I’d was unique how the women in the village gave us the experience to help them make lunch. Today I end the day with appreciation for how much easier life is for us in America, but also respect for them and the compassion they all have doing it.
Learning in Rwanda
Today as we did story based learning with some Rwandans I felt connected and loved. It was amazing to see how quick they learn when they feel like they matter and are seen. The AFP is to show that “your story matters” and it’s important that people know that it’s okay to show your own story. The people we were working with even gave their own themes without our help and we’re so excited to have the opportunity to be heard. This trip continues to show me how beautiful the people are here and how much they are interested in learning new skills.
June 20, 2023
June 20, 202
The children are full of love here. The children have everything they need here! The children don’t need us Americans to heal they have life here at Rwanda their place of home and love!! The way we view Africa as Americans is so ignorant and false and after the experience I had at the memorial for the genocide of 1994 and then listening to the survivors and the prosecutors of the 1994 genocide explain to us how they forgave and not forget and learned to love is so beautiful and inspiring. The one survivor today gave us advice and told us that people who have conflicts should come together before they go to authority and that is what makes forgiveness, all authority does is give power. Rwanda is a place of love and the children here are learning from their parents they don’t need to “be saved”. The Rwandans are living, us Americans are surviving.
My name is Rachel Marillo. I am studying at Buffalo State, and am in the social work program and also plan on receiving my child advocacy certificate when I graduate. After graduation, my plan is to continue my education at the University of Buffalo for my MSW, and then be a school social worker. Outside of school, I have two jobs, I work at a youth center with kids where we basically just spend every weekday engaging with the children after school, and then I also work at Wegmans! During my free time, I love hanging out with my dog and spending time outside with him. I also like to make quilts and listen to Taylor Swift. The first time that I heard about the Anne Frank project I saw leadership involved, which always catches my eye, being a leader to me means that you make sure everyone is being heard, being a leader is not to overpower others but advocate for everyone. My desire in this trip is to serve new communities and advocate for individuals who need someone with a stronger voice. This trip will have a new perspective on life for me, and I look forward to those changes.