Today was a very exhausting day. When I woke up this morning I did not feel good and was not excited for the day's adventure. The minute we pulled up to Azizi Life and were welcomed by the beautiful and gracious women of the village singing, dancing, and hugging us I couldn't help but feel welcomed and instantly uplifted. After introductions we were wrapped in traditional clothing and told we were no longer Americans, but rather Rwandans. We spent our day split into two groups and each group went with a separate family. We began our day learning how to peel sweet potatoes and cook beans with greens. After learning how to prepare the food for lunch we then learned how to create a fire to cook our food. After preparing lunch we hoed in the garden and harvested potatoes. We then cut grass to feed the cow. The next task was by far the hardest; we each grabbed jugs to fill up with water. The walk to retrieve water was at least a half mile which was not bad but the hard part was walking back up the hill with the water. We learned today that the women in this village walk to get water three times a day. This water is used for bathing, cooking food, watering their crops, and drinking. After we returned with the water we washed our hands and ate lunch together. Eating lunch was very interesting we sat on the floor and the food was placed in front of us on a large banana tree leaves where we then used our hands to eat. The food was really good, by far one of the best meals we have had here. After lunch we gathered as a whole group and learned how to make soccer balls and bracelets from banana tree leaves.
The purpose of this experience was to learn and understand the daily lives of the women in the village. After fulfilling all of their daily duties for the morning and afternoon I couldn't help but wonder how they manage to work so incredibly hard all day and night. One thing I was thinking about while we were going through the various tasks was what role do men play in everyday life if the women are doing the manual labor? Overall, I had a wonderful time and enjoyed understanding how hard the women work. I can say today I met some of the most caring and hard working women!