Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Last Minute Christmas Shopping? - Try the Mvule Project

Going back and forth from Africa to America has opened my eyes to a lot of things but especially to social injustice issues. It is very much a moral issue to me. I can't help but read Amos and think we live in a very similar time as his time. I get amazed, saddened, overwhelmed at the extreme poverty my African friends live in while I'm simultaneously amazed at our American consumerism and pressure to buy and buy more things - things we often don't really need.

For more on these thoughts, check out this video made by my Kibo partner, Mark Moore, just after they returned from living almost 10 years in Africa. And then if you are still looking (as I am) for some last minute Christmas gifts, buy a mvule tree in Uganda! It will be a gift that just keeps on giving and will help many of my Ugandan friends.

Click the link below to read all about it!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Imbabazi Pictures

Here are a few pictures from our time at Imbabazi and Roz' memorial service....

It was extremely difficult to do tile work in the steady rain but several people worked admirably to get it completed for the memorial service. We're sure Roz' would have preferred something a little simpler but for the Rwandans she deserved a fitting grave marker so they worked hard for that. Her grave is located in one of her flower gardens near her farm house.

Mark, Terri and I grabbed the very left back corner spot under the tent for the memorial service. It was very close quarters in order to allow as many people as possible to get out from under the rain. We took turns sitting and I often held my digital camera above the crowd to get pictures. Then I could share the view through the camera with Mark and Terri sitting and who for much of the time they had completely blocked views of the service. Come to think of it, we traveled a long way to get only partial views of the service! It was great just being there though. Hope you've recovered, Terri, from those stepped on toes!

Here are a few shots of the traditional dancing after the service. The rain finally let up enough to allow them room to move. Roz often hosted times of traditional Rwandan dancing throughout her life on the Mugongo farm.

A view of her house from the gate by the road. And then a view from her house looking towards her gate with some of the children waiting for the memorial service. Off in the distance is Lake Kivu. Rising behind her house are two of the towering Virunga volcanoes.

Here is the flower drying house from the days of the pyrethrum farm. When Roz returned immediately after the genocide it was the only building she had to keep the many orphans she began taking in. Due to safety concerns it is not used any more but the building holds a special place in many childrens' hearts as the initial place of rest, hope and prospects for peace after the war.

I didn't have a wide enough angle to get the whole of the new orphanage buildings but here is a partial view with the clouds covering Mt. Karisimbi in the background.

We shot a few baskets with some of the kids and Adam and Mark struck a pose by the Imbabazi truck.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Trip Pictures - Uganda

Am finally getting around to posting some pictures of our trip. We were a short 2 days or so in Uganda. Will post Rwanda pictures later.

Here is Idah, Kaweri and the Source cafe kitchen staff celebrating the arrival of a new industrial strength frying pan. Briley and I took them a similar one about 5 years ago they were still using - and using 6 days a week since then. It was a moment of joy for all involved. Thanks Danna for shopping for them!

Here are some shots of The Source Cafe. Internet cafe, craft shop, coffee shop, and then church meeting area behind the Source. It looks great and as you can tell, it is a place that serves many bazungu (white folks) and the profits are used to serve the church and many church ministries.

Finally, Mark is showing off some Uganda coffee in our village visit to Kyabirwa and spending time with Manda, Sarah and their family.

Friday, December 01, 2006

This is NOT Africa

I had a bad feeling when the flight from Brussels to Chicago showed Planes, Trains, and Autombiles as their featured movie. What are they thinking? Fortunately I escaped O'Hare just in time.

I made it home 2 hours before the ice storm hit followed by the first blizzard in Oklahoma in who knows how long. Mark's scheduled flight into Denver was cancelled but he made it on another flight a few hours later. I just read that Chicago O'Hare has cancelled 265 flights.

I'm sitting in my warm home with my beautiful family amazed at the snow. This picture is looking out our front door.