Thursday, May 31, 2012

rwandan conference and reunion

This past weekend we headed to Washington DC to take part in a Rwandan conference and adoptive families reunion (kinda one in the same).  The Rwandans that have moved to the US are very much like the ones in Rwanda.  Everything is SLOW, never on time!  We just laughed!  We spent 10-11 hours in the car on Friday getting there and then Saturday afternoon the conference began, late! 
It was GREAT! 
Lots of dancing, speakers and meeting new people.

Our camera was NOT working so we took no pictures until Sunday afternoon.

Saturday morning we took the METRO into the city.

After walking around in DC for a few hours we headed back to get on the METRO, which we have NO idea how to pay, ride and get off of!  We are not from the city!

We spoke to an attendant trying to figure out if our tickets had enough funds to get us back to our hotel stop and she said, "Oh, I remember you when you came through the first time!"  REALLY?  Five white people and 2 brown ones with southern accents and you remember us?  We really were surprised! 
Thousands of people go through there!  Just goes to show I think we stood out for so many reasons!

Sunday came and we DROVE our car to DC and planned on visiting the space museum and we could not find a parking spot and the police kept shifting us to the next road over because the rolling thunder was there, a Harley convention of sorts.  Roads were blocked and we went back to the hotel, the big kids swam, the little kids napped and I caught up on the computer beside the pool.

We were supposed to be at our picnic at 3:00 and at 3:20 Rusty says we need to go!  We were still on TN time!  My computer unlike the cell phone did not change the clock when we crossed time zones!  So we rushed and hurried to get there by 4:00 and, well, its Rwanda... nothing was happening yet!  Activities "started at 4:00" so we were early when we got there at 4:00!

So here is a bit of our afternoon...
The kid got passports to visit the 5 Providences of Rwanda...

this is a game where they learned Kinyarwanda phrases and had to follow what the leader said...

down to 3 and carter won!

this is a game similar to duck, duck, goose...

and now it is time to dance, this was GREAT!  a man taught the boys and a woman taught the girls...

learning to carry a baby on her back...

with a basket on her head...

And truly the reason we went to DC was to meet this sweet lady, Tina (known as Ms. Tina at our house).  Tina runs Mugisha Ministries and is the one who walked us through our adoption.  A true gift from God for our family! 

We "lost" Hope for a bit and found this sweet lady braiding her hair!

some back up came in when Hope got squirmy!

eating is not the same with rwandans...
they grilled a few pork chops and then served them.
they grilled some hot dogs and served the kids.
some steak and served the adults.
and then some chicken and some ate that.
here (at least in TN) at a picnic you get all the food ready and serve it at once, eat together.
they love being together and snack and graze and feed all along. 
fun to be a part of their culture.
saturday night they got together at 9pm and didn't part ways until 5am!

Tina and Benjamin:)

some of the kids that attended...

Our family with Tina, forever a part of our story!

Peter with Tina's family!

Aubrey doing what she loves, leading little kids in games and fun!

Uncle Peter and Benjamin!

Benjamin was excited that Peter was from Rwanda, along with all of the other people there from Rwanda.  As I have posted before, Benjamin will not speak about any experience in Rwanda except for the time we were there with him.  He acts like he doesn' know children he lived with for 3 years or caregivers.  But there is an excitement when we tell him that someone is from Rwanda.  We talk about Rwanda A LOT.  We want him to LOVE his birth country and the people there.  We ask him if he would like to visit Rwanda and he would if Mommy and Daddy go with him.  One day we will, not soon.

We are really glad we made the trip!
We did visit a science museum on Monday morning before we headed home.
The man that loaded our car at the hotel when we left was born in Rwanda... what are the chances?!

A year ago tomorrow we landed in DC returning from Rwanda... it felt so much like HOME (DC that is).
This year, we vacation in DC and it feels so far from home.
Funny how experience and perspective makes you see things differently!

Peter (above) is in the US with his pregnant wife and 2 children.  He hopes to attend school at Trinity in Chicago.  Here is a blog to keep up with him or support him...

1 comment:

Miranda said...

This is so cool! I'm so glad you all could go do that, how fun! Love Hope's hair.
We would be lost in DC and the whole Metro thing would totally take us out of our comfort zone too. :)