Gisenyi, Rwanda October 2021


It's really hard to write when you're in the thick of the storm. So many impressions, events, reflections and lessons. But now we have held both courses and everything went according to plan. The first week we had our second group of young women, who got the same education as the group we had earlier this spring. We spoke about nutrition and different vitamins and minerals. As well as the importance of eating well to avoid diseases in the future and then we cooked and ate together. I really wished that I understood Kinyarwanda, as all the women were having alot of conversations. They were using lively gestures, loud voices and lots of laughter! 

Rajabu taught them the basics of massage and everyone got to try hand, foot, head and shoulder massage on each other. Mudi held all the games and as always it was wonderful to see the women let go and trust the process. I did some workouts and yoga with them and some complained about the exercise pain, but we had to reinforce the importance of physical activity. 

All women are single mothers and struggle at times to get by. Many brought their little ones with them and luckily Rajabu, Mudi and I could take turns having a small kindergarten. After the course, a young woman approached Mudi and asked if he could teach her to read and write, as she had never been to school! 

The following week, the women from the course in spring returned for a new course. This time we went through major organs of the body, heart, lungs, digestive system, liver, kidneys and blood circulation. The knowledge about this is very low and it was therefore very fun that everyone was so interested and curious. They all asked many questions and seemed very fascinated. They asked if animals bodies worked the same way as humans, which then led us into deep conversations about evolution. This led to me explaining that we are all animals, where they then asked if I believed in God. The faith here is very strong. 

Rajabu repeated education in massages while Mudi ran training and games. We introduced the topic of entrepreneurship, where we talked about how to have a dream. We went through the different steps of how to think and save money and invest in your project. On the last day, everyone got to tell Mudi and me how they intend to find their dream. They ranged from selling sugar cane, creating their own sewing studio, to having their own little restaurant or shop. it was so exciting to see everyone be so enthusiastic and realistic. One of the women has already realized her dream from our spring course. She wasn't able to make it to this new course as with the help of her diploma has received a job in Congo as a masseur and is so happy about it! 

I've realized that creating these courses is like driving into unchartered waters. We have no idea where it will lead or if it will lead to anything at all. We are simply learning by doing. Our hope though is to sow small seeds with each course, and hope that something sprouts from it!