Saturday, June 24, 2017

#rwanderful: Days 12 & 13

Friday: It took us all day, but we made a cup of coffee.

Today, some of the team went on the safari and some of the team went to Azizi Life to experience a day with a Rwandan woman. Since I've been on the safari twice, I really wanted to participate in Azizi Life. We chose the coffee experience and had a blast.

We started off with the women in a coffee growing community. They dressed us in traditional clothing with a skirt and a headwrap. We learned how to peel potatoes with just a knife instead of fancy tools we have in the US, which was preparation for our lunch. They ladies took us to the coffee bean field up the hill, and we started harvesting coffee beans.

One of the views on the drive

Amanda, Amanda, and Anna

When we were finished, the ladies tied the bag closed and set it on my head to carry back to the house. I made it all the way down the hill without dropping it. I'm basically Rwandan now.

10 cow bride

the views in Rwandan. I can't get over them.

Amanda is Rwandan too.

Back at the house, they pulled out the stone pestle to help remove the outer skin. We each got to attempt that step, and we worked together to pick out the skins from the beans. The next step in the process is drying the beans. Since that takes longer than a day, the ladies brought us already dried beans for us to remove the next layer before roasting. As a team, we worked on that together, so it would go quickly.

The next step in this very long process is roasting the beans. So there was this fire that they made and they put a pot on top of it with just the beans inside. Once the beans are roasted, we put it in a mortar and pestle to be ground. We poured the ground coffee in a pitcher of hot water. While we waited for the coffee to brew, we ate lunch.

Anna and my sister would get along so well.

Lunch was an entire avocado, beans, and sweet potatoes. Bonus: we ate with our hands. I was a mess, but who's surprised.

Then, they brought the coffee in. It was really similar to french press. The ladies poured the coffee into the mugs through a strainer so we didn't have all of the grounds. Even though I don't like coffee, I felt like I needed to drink it since we had worked so hard on it all day. I definitely needed to add some sugar to it to make it tolerable. But I was pleasantly surprised by how satisfying it was to drink something we had all worked hard to create. It made me appreciate all the things we have in the US.

The last part of the day we had a dance sesh with the ladies. Thank you Alice for trying to teach Lauren, Kayla, Lizzie, Ranelle, and me how to traditional dance in Rwanda last year. I was slightly more prepared, but not really. I dance like a white girl. :)

Overall the day was really fun, and we all had a blast hanging out together. This team laughs together, cries together, and so much in between. Love these friends, new and old.

At 9:30 ish Alice, Bunmi, Annette and I went to Night Church. We prayed, sang, and listened to a sermon. As soon as we sat for the sermon, all four of us felt SO tired. It ended at midnight, but it was definitely hard to stay awake.

Saturday: The majority of the team left today. SO SAD!

We enjoyed today a ton. Umuganda is the last Saturday of the month, where the community shuts down in the morning to work in the neighborhood. Everyone works, and the police will stop you if you try to drive around during the morning. Since it was Umuganda, we got to sleep in. It was glorious. I love sleeping almost as much as food.

Jeje took us all to Java House for lunch at the fancy mall called Kigali Heights. I drank Mint Pinade. and ate a guacamole bacon cheeseburger. OMG. Amazing.

BEST PART OF THE DAY: Jeje and the team planned a surprise birthday celebration for me. They had everyone come to the balcony because we were going to talk to John Africa. All of a sudden, Jeje comes through the door with a cake and everyone starts singing. After a couple seconds, I realize it is for me and I just start laughing. People aren't generally able to surprise me, so this was exciting! I really had no idea what to say or do. I was shocked! I was really proud of everyone for keeping it quiet, even my roommate, Amanda.

After the surprise, we all piled in the bus and went to the airport. Sad goodbyes after such a joyful afternoon. Praying for safe travels for most of the team. Tomorrow, Zach will head home, and on Monday, Janet, Bunmi, and I will head to Kayonza for the week.

Here we go into the last week of the trip. Hugs from Rwanda.


  1. Thanks for all the details on your day at Azizi Life. I heard bits and pieces but loved all the pics. Miss you friend! Praying for you this week.