Tuesday, March 6th

Written by Vanessa Shipley

The night before, Roy, India, Matt and I met a new friend at dinner. His name was Lawrence. He was from Rwanda, but spoke English very well due to attending college in New Orleans. In Rwanda, the custom is to pay a dowry in cows. Roy asked Lawrence how many cows he thought I was worth. He thought I was worth 10 cows. Originally I thought I was only worth 5 cows, so this was truly a confidence booster.

The next day we checked out of our rooms in Kigali and started our journey towards Kibungo. Thirty minutes into our two hour trip we heard a loud bang.  I thought we were getting shot at! To our relief, the truck in front of us had only blown a tire. During our drive we saw the landscape and how the people live outside the city.  The country is beautiful!

Next, we stopped at a market place in Ramagana. That was quite an experience. They had everything from butcher shops to clothing stores. Roy was excited to try out his bartering skills. He ended up purchasing a pair of shorts and a shirt. Linda and Karolyn purchased baskets, India purchased 2 necklaces and I purchased scarfs. There were many children at the market. We took pictures with them and some of the people from the village. They were tickled to see themselves on camera. Then, some of the locals thought it would be funny to take pictures of us with their camera phones.

After the market, we drove the rest of the way to St. Joseph’s Center, across the street from the Institute of Agriculture, Technology, and Education in Kibungo (INATEK), where we will be staying for 3 days. There was a gecko crawling on the ceiling of the lobby. We ate a buffet style supper. We will need to rest up for our busy day visiting INATEK, a school, and a market tomorrow.