Lucia has something to say

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Preparing

Today this lovely message was in my inbox...
All is set for you. The women will be too excited to see you. Go prepared not only for business but ready to dance too when they will be entertaining you. You will like and love the people and the country.
And with this, I am preparing to go to Rwanda.

From Kigali, I'll head straight to a village called Muramba to visit basket makers and other artisans. Let me tell you a little about Muramba...

In this village, during the genocide in 1994, Hutus came with machetes to a Catholic school. They told the girls to divide themselves--Hutus on one side, Tutsis on the other. The girls refused. They said no. And they all were killed.

When the genocide was over, there were more than 3,000 orphans. About 2500 were orphaned by the war. And 500 by AIDS. The children were living by themselves in their parents' homes. And the parents were buried in front of the house with just a banana tree marking their graves. The country was one of orphans, widows, the disabled, and the young.

Muramba is in an undeveloped rural area. What was a community with no electricity or clean water, now has wells and alternative fuel sources thanks to Engineers Without Borders. They have an orphanage. An AIDS awareness programs. A honey business. The women have a small loan fund. Umamaliga borrowed money to purchase sweet potatoes to sell at the market. And in two months, she repaid her loan.

If you want to know more, click here.

I just finished a non-fiction book I liked very much--There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children by Melissa Fay Greene. It's about Haregewoin Teferra, an Ethiopian woman who takes in AIDS orphans.

So I'm packing and leaving and stopping at Amsterdam en route. Then on to Muramba and around the country to meet coffee farmers.

14 Comments:

Blogger St. Dickeybird said...

Wow, those girls had an admirable level of courage and loyalty!

1:29 PM  
Blogger Susan as herself said...

Ooooh---coffee farmers---YUM.

And I annual patronize a charity called "Freedom From Hunger"---they do that same thing of giving a woman in a third-world nation a loan to set up a business. the pay-back percentage is 100%. it is a fabulous charity. www.freedomfromhunger.org

3:15 PM  
Blogger Nancy Dancehall said...

That is an amazing story. Heartbreaking. I'm so glad they are rebuilding their community.

Take care!

And if you get a minute in Amsterdam, stop on by my blog for an Aquarian Birthday party.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Sounds wonderful! I hope you have an amazing trip!

I will definitely look for that book.

4:40 PM  
Blogger meno said...

Travel safe my friend.

I've read that book. Amazing.

4:53 PM  
Blogger kat said...

Your trip sounds life changing. For all of you. When they dance for you I hope you will dance too!!!

6:10 PM  
Anonymous jen said...

lucia,
heartbreaking stuff. there are no words for this.

safe travels, friend.

6:18 PM  
Blogger KC said...

Safe adventures, lucia.

Thank you Engineers without borders.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Thailand Gal said...

Sounds like it will be a very interesting trip. I'll look forward to hearing what you have to say ~ in all regards.

Travel safe! :)


Peace,

~Chani

9:31 PM  
Blogger QT said...

Safe travels to you, my friend. It sounds like you will be surrounded by kindness on your arrival.

And trip reports? Those will be forthcoming?

9:49 PM  
Blogger Citymouse said...

so much i want to say, but ill keep it to have a good trip

10:30 PM  
Blogger JustCallMeJo said...

Safe travel, Lucia!

I'm JustCallMeJo. Breezed over from Nancy Pant's party.

Do tell us everything about it when you get back.
/jo

6:08 AM  
Blogger Sanjay said...

Wow.. I am so impressed at the folks of Muramba and also horrified at what they had to endure.
Have a safe trip there and back.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

God, I've been rather wordless lately. So, without adequate words, I will just say travel well and I look forward to your journals.

12:32 PM  

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