Friday, 28 July 2017

Week 1: Meet the Team

Rutsiro Week 1: Meet the Team

The Team at Lake Kivu
Bite! (Hi) We are Team Rutsiro, Cohort 1. Almost two weeks ago we arrived in the Rutsiro District of Rwanda. It's probably time we told you a bit about what we are here to do. We're working with the Kopakama Coffee Co-operative to assess livelihood gaps and to help educate the local community on human rights.

We're a team of ten consisting of eight volunteers and two team leaders. Originally, half of us were from Rwanda and the other half were from the U.K, but now we are united.

Week One has been all about getting to know each other, learning about coffee and integrating with the local community. We had a fun time visiting Lake Kivu, relaxing and taking pictures. We also experienced the local (4 hour!) Church service, which was a little too long for some of us. And of course, with help from our host families and counter-parts we've began to learn the basics of Kinyarwanda (the Rwandan language.)

As this is the first blog, now seems the perfect time to introduce the team…


Chantal- Kigali, Rwanda: Age 23
Describe your first week in one word? Surprising.
What was it that surprised you?  Living with a new family, meeting new people and adapting to a new culture.


Pasha –
Newcastle, U.K: Age 23
What has been your favourite moment of Week 1? Meeting the local children, especially my three year old host brother.
What do you think is the best thing about Rutsiro?  The beautiful scenery, especially the view from our outdoor office.


Alain -
Huye, Rwanda: Age 24
What is it like living in a host family? It is wonderful. We live in a nice house with a big room, a big bathroom and the Mum is a very good cook.
What has been your favourite moment of Week 1? I enjoy the climate and it was wonderful to go to Lake Kivu.


Kristo – London, U.K: Age 23.
What is your favourite thing about Rutsiro?  The people. They have been very welcoming and I have been surprised by their generosity and hospitality.
What is the best meal you have eaten so far?  Spaghetti with potato, and also fish on a stick (brochette.) I also enjoy the fruit; avocados and pineapple.


Devota – Kigali, Rwanda: Age 24
What is your favourite thing about Rutsiro?  The climate, it is the perfect temperature, not too hot and not too cold.
What is it like living with a host family?  I like the food they cook and they take care of us well. We always have hot water when we shower!


Grace – Woking, U.K: Age 20
What has surprised you the most so far?  How welcoming and friendly the community are, and the number of Kinyarwandan words that start with an ‘m’!
What is your favourite Rwandan food? All the amazing fruit, particularly the mangoes and pineapple.


Abel – Kigalia, Rwanda: Age 24
Best moment of Week 1? Playing the different energisers with the team, particularly ‘who stole the cookies from the cookie jar…’
Have you learnt anything new about U.K. culture? They like to play lots of games, especially card games, which I also enjoy playing a lot.


Rob – Tonbridge, U.K: Age 19
Describe your first week in one word? Integration
What has been your favourite moment so far? Spending time with the in-country volunteers and getting to know them better.


Lizzie (Team Leader) – Southsea, U.K: Age 24
What is it like living with a host family? I am very lucky - my host family are very welcoming and generous and always make the effort to provide food that I like.
Describe your first week in one word? Cultural.


Enock (Team Leader) – Kigali, Rwanda: Age 29
What has been your best moment of Week One? Getting to know new friends.
Have you learnt anything new about U.K culture? Yes, people from the U.K are always on time!

The first week has been enjoyable, and Rutsiro is beginning to feel like a home away from home. We have even more planned for next week; language lessons, community service, and a dance and culture evening, so stay tuned for next weeks blog. 
Murakoze, Thanks for reading,

Team Rutsiro. 
(Grace Bulling)

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