Monday, July 10, 2017

Out and About in Rwanda

Because of all our travels around Rwanda, we found ourselves eating out several times and were pleasantly surprised that each restaurant we chose to eat at amazingly had a playground for the kids to  work off some energy on.  Our first restaurant came highly recommended by several people.  It's called Heaven and literally, the view, the swing set/play area was truly heavenly!  The ambiance was spectacular with views overlooking Kigali.  We were quite a large group in this quiet, candle lit, open air restaurant but the kids did pretty good at staying in their chairs though there were a few harry moments when children had to be taken out of the dining area for a a "re-set".
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Another fun place we ate at in between meeting our sponsored kids was Calafia Cafe in Rubavu.  It's owned by three couples from California so they cater more to westerners taste buds which was really nice!
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Beautiful flowering plants and succulents could be found all around the front of the restaurant.
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Another day, after we'd been in the van for hours on end, Annie suggested that we take the kids to a restaurant that had an indoor play land, so we tried it!  And for a full hour us parents sat and chatted while our kids jumped on the trampoline, climbed on the oversized bear merry-go-round and played in the ball pit.  The food at the restaurant left a little bit to be desired since we thought we'd ordered a plain hotdog for the kids and some kind of steak sandwich was what actually was served...its the reality of ordering food in another country.  The kids weren't too undone by it and were happy to eat the french fries on the side.
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Adam ordered the chicken and this is what he got! It was everything but the feathers and the head! Even the neck was included!
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One of our last meals out was at J. Lynn's and it was by far our FAVORITE!   They served the best salsa, guacamole and homemade tortilla chips along with quesadillas and nachos!   It was so delicious but not only that, it too, had a play area for the kids, which was, again, another blessing we hadn't expected!
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Though we ate out a few times, this is where we had most of our breakfast and dinner meals that were so lovingly prepared by Shauntel (the cook at the guest house), who served freshly squeezed juices each morning (mixtures of mango, passion fruit, pineapple etc.) that were so tasty!!
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We even had pizza one night and hamburgers on the fourth of July!  How thoughtful are they!
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One afternoon, in between seeing churches, we stopped to buy some pineapples and ended up with  four to eat at breakfast, they were scrumptious!
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We decided to kill a little time before dinner one evening by taking a group walk up to the market and get some Cokes as an afternoon treat.  We again, caught a lot of attention as we hiked up the hill with our twelve person posse.  But the kids were thrilled to get a fun snack and the shop owner was elated to have us in her store.
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Adam ended up helping a teenage boy carry his Jerry Cans filled with water up the hills to his home. According to Adam, each can weighed about 50 lbs a piece. This is a regular, daily job that is necessary for cooking, washing clothes, drinking, etc.  I take for granted that at home I can simply turn on the faucet and clean, fresh water comes pouring forth.  I am blessed and truly thankful for this gift!
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Here are some of the sights we saw along our path each day.  Aren't these pictures beautiful!?
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Getting to see first hand how life in Rwanda differs from our life in America has left me humbled and grateful, filled with feelings of utter thankfulness for all the many ways God has blessed me from the ability to have multiple Study Bibles in my home that I can read and glean from to the clean, hot running water that fills my bathtub most evenings.  Again I am realizing "to whom much is given, much is required!"  I'm praying that this experience will forever change the way I look at life, the "inconveniences" I deal with and the "first world" problems that I get to enjoy, even if they are inconvenient or problems at hand, they pale in comparison to the daily struggle that others in the world have to contend with on a regular basis with no end ever to come.  When I want to update the  furniture in my home I need to remind myself of Jasmin and Emmanuel's homes which were but just a dirt floor and no furniture at all; when I feel irritated by the playroom that looks like a bomb went off and rained toys for days I need to remember the empty homes that we saw with children who played with sticks and tires and homemade soccer balls made from grocery sacks and condoms layered with mud.  Though we clearly have so much more in terms of Bible resources, parenting materials, Bible studies, finances, appliances that make life easier, etc...the people we encountered seemed happy and content.  They didn't seem to grumble and complain at the daily responsibility of washing clothes by hand or carrying water for miles and miles.  They didn't baulk at the lack of electricity or slow moving internet.  I want to be more grateful, I want to be less whiny, I want to enjoy each blessing that I've been given and teach my kids to be that way too.

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