Watertanks and Mushrooms

Yesterday was a day of meetings. All very helpful, but not so fun to write about.

Today, was a trip to the North West of Rwanda, right on the border of Uganda. I was exploring options for future teams to come out and support the work of Moucecore (a Tearfund partner). One option: help the community build water tanks.

Clarence (above) told me she used to get up every morning at 4am to go fetch water from the lake. She didn’t get back until 6pm each night. (it turns out I know nothing about a long days work!) Now, her tank collects rain water and it has changed everything for her. She has time to work and clean and look after her children and do, well, anything other than walk to collect water. The church in her community is training groups to build these tanks and they are shared by 10-20 families depending on their size. I love the smile on her face. Sometimes, water changes everything.

Another group in a nearby community started cultivating mushrooms. They decided they wanted to build a factory so that they could make it into a sustainable business. So a group got together and started raising money and with the help of Moucecore they’re learning how to develop a business. So far…they’ve built the house and started training people. Another great association:

Half a mile down the road, outside a health clinic sat a group of very colourful women. 20 or 30 of them just sitting in the sun. Inside the clinic was a woman who had just given birth. They sat outside on the grass and they waited for hours with food, water, cloth and beautifully warm smiles, ready to welcome the new one into the community and support the weary mother. I love that.

Rwanda is a beautiful beautiful country. Every inch of land is utilised and people are warm and friendly. They do many things well, but making pillows to sleep on isn’t one of them. My back hurts. My neck hurts. I’m not sleeping well. I was shifting around in my seat in the car thinking about my neck and my back and planning on a nice long massage when I get back to the UK. As I looked out the window I saw the familiar sight of men, women and children carrying huge masses on their heads and little children on their back…running uphill…in the rain. I decided that was quite enough of my complaining.

Up at 4am tomorrow to catch a flight to Burundi. Can’t wait.

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