Murgwanza

Sorry for the absence of blogs for those who have been waiting. The internet in Murgwanza was less than desirable and so the desire to write was reduced.

I began a long and involved daily account of our days but I think an abridged version is better.

We got the bus from Kigali to the border and were met by Imani. It was so good to see his smiling face at the end of our long journey.

We arrived in Murgwanza at the Womancraft compound to be again warmly greeted by Godriva who would be looking after us in the Womancraft Retreat house (next door to where we had lived).

After a cuppa we headed around Murgwanza looking for Liz and Andy and Jenny and met many people along the way.

This sort of greeting continued throughout the week we were there. Some had heard we were coming and had been waiting with anticipation. Others had no idea and didn't quite believe their eyes when they saw us. In either case we were met with big hugs and greetings and enquiries about the boys and our parents especially Mama Saskia (Saskia's mum).

Throughout the week we went to many houses for chai or soda or just greetings. We had dinner with Thomas and his family and Vithalis and his. We had lunch at Godrivas and spent many many hours with Imani.

It didn't take long for the village kids to find us and once we started handing out small gifts we had brought from Australia like tennis balls and matchbox cars more and more came. Each student that came to visit got a dictionary, exercise book and pens to encourage them to continue with there studies. It was awesome to see how the English of some of my boys had progressed. Ezra who I taught English to in 2011 is now in Form 3 and is the academic prefect. Ephraim told me that Ezra came top in the Form 2 National Exams and was a 'genius'.

The nursing students we had started had recently finished and some started work the week we were there. Also Ephraim and his friend Salewa graduated from Form 4 at Murgwanza Secondary School.

All too soon it was time to say farewell. It was all too short. Rob had been in great demand as usual for computer help. People from the Diocese, the hospital and Tumaini wanted his help. We had had many many visitors and I needed to explain to the local kids especially that we were leaving and they couldn't keep coming to the Womancraft house and that I had no more gifts. They asked 'when will you return?' and it broke my heart to say 'I don't know.'

Our last night was spent with my TZ boys Ephraim, Sailor, Reginald, Themistocras, Baraka, Philibert and of course Imani. Vithalis came and shared with us all and thanked us for coming and encouraged these fine young men to persevere despite the challenges they all faced. It was a very special time.

Early on Wednesday morning we were collected by taxi and escorted by Imani to Ngara to get the bus to Mwanza. It had been an awesome week of friendship, fellowship and encouragement. It was sooooo good to see our friends. It also reminded me of how hard life is in Murgwanza. I went looking for closure but I didn't get it. The discomfort we may have suffered was far outweighed by the love we felt and the encouragement we received from our dear friends in Murgwanza.

While we have made no promises, I can't imagine not returning again. Next time we must take the boys. My only response to the ever lasting question of 'When will you return?' was "Mungu akipenda" - meaning 'if God wishes'.

 
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