Thursday

Azizi Life!

Today we drove to Muhanga which is the third largest city in Rwanda. We visited an organization called Azizi Life. Azizi is a Swahili word that translates to excellent. Azizi Life was founded with the aim of honoring the work of local Rwandan artists and by helping them sell their art, they are able to take care of their families. At the Azizi Life office, we given a brief introduction of how the organization started and the many projects it engages in to lift Rwandan women out of poverty. The women form cooperatives in which they carry out various art activities like basket weaving.

After the briefing, we split into two groups and each group got to spend the day with a family and take part in its daily activities. Like a typical Rwandan family, we started by preparing the meal to be shared after doing all the housework. As the meal was cooking, we went to the garden and helped with weeding. Before leaving the garden we cut grass to feed the cows. In the field, we learned how to make crowns out of banana leaves which helped balance the grass we carried on our head. We also walked to the stream to fetch water. The walk to the stream was pretty long and each person carried a 5 liter jerrycan. The women at the house told us that depending on the activities of the day, people walk to the stream two to three times a day. 

We shared a meal with the families and we all gathered at one house to play games, dance, and learn how to make bracelets. The people we worked with today were amazing, I was glad they shared with us pieces of their lives. Overall, the day was really great. It is not often that one gets to experience a day outside their own, I'm glad today was a day of a number of firsts for the group!

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