Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Koonce Family

The Koonces are like Claudine... they deserve a post all their own. Even more, because they had to put up with a teenage girl that they didn't even know living in their house for 2 months.

It was so hard for me to know how to tell you all about them. Just because they did so much for me, it's hard to explain it all.

I thought I would put some of the little things that they did for me.

- Louise talked to me and kept me company every day. I loved spending time with her.
- Marty drove me to another city so I could go on the gorilla trek.
- Tucker got Christmas songs stuck in my head. They still haven't left.
- Taylor and Tanner were so sweet to me and asked me to jump on the trampoline with them
- Trevor made me laugh and gave me hugs.

Okay, that ended up being one of each person (duh). I really don't know how to describe all the nice things they did for me every day to make me feel like I was a part of their family. I feel like I've known them forever.

Koonces, I hope you're having a great furlough. Ride lots of rides for me at Disney World! Love you all!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


My post about Claudine made me think of this post. I met so many people who helped me, taught me stuff and became my friends. I'm going to put a few picture on of people I met while I was there.
P.S.- This does not show everyone I met (like I would have wanted it to). Somehow, I didn't end up with pictures with everyone. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I feel so lucky to have met Claudine. She and her mom helped me so so much. I went to her house I think 4 times. One time she took me to the market. Even though she didn't let me buy anything, it was so much fun and so different! Another time, her mom made me lunch. I helped her sister with her English. She told me about her family. Her mom treated me like I was her special daughter and would talk to me in Kinyarwandan every single time I went there. She's the reason I know (or knew... it's getting harder to remember) how to say "I'm very happy". They would make me feel special and loved when I was having "I miss my family" days. They would give me gifts and not expect anything from me. Every time I would go to her house, she would walk me home. That was almost the only place I could go by myself without getting lost. Of all the Rwandans I met, they're the ones I miss the most. I really hope we will see each other again.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


When I arrived in Rwanda, Louise asked me what I wanted to do there. I said I would love to work with orphanages or really kids in any way. She has a friend who she was going to try to talk to about me visiting orphanages and helping out. A few days later, I had my "interview" at the nursery school and every day after that was busy with school. I love that what God wanted me to do was totally different than what I thought I would be doing.

I have to admit, I'm a school geek. I love buying school supplies, going to school everyday, even doing homework. I love that I got to spend time at this school. (although I have to admit, some days I didn't feel like going there... it's hard work!!) I really don't feel like I helped them at all... it seemed to me like they were doing me a favor by letting me spend my time with them.

The kids were so sweet. Even the ones that had behavior problems gave me hugs every day. I know this is because I'm white, but it still was so sweet. I loved hugging them. They made me not miss my little brothers and sister so much.
I love how we tried so hard to talk to each other, but no one understood a thing. I think it's so funny how I would try to explain their work to them. I would hold their hands and the pencil and try to write, sign language, writing on the tables with my finger. Pretty much anything to help them understand. Sometimes (or maybe most of the time) after a long time of trying, I would just call the teacher over to let her explain.
I love how, when I got to school every morning in my normal clothes, they would say "Good morning!". As soon as the teachers gave me my smock (?) that all the teachers wore, they would come up to me and start talking to me in Kinyarwanda. I guess they thought it was a magical smock.
I loved how, every morning, the first thing they do is sing, dance, pray and sing the national anthem. Every morning.
I miss them a lot. One of the nuns would tell me every day "When you get a break from your university, you will come here to see us. I know it." Who knows?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finishing Up

This week will be the last week of my blog. I should have done this earlier... and I wanted to, but we've been so busy with just life in general. My parents have been blogging about what we've been doing.

I wasn't really sure how to finish this. Mom gave the idea of talking about what I learned. The problem is I learned so much! It's hard to put that in words. I decided I'll be talking about the favorite parts of my trip. Hopefully I can do all that this week.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

After School

After my last day of school, the nuns invited me to stay and eat lunch with them. I did and it was so much fun!
The white one is Brazilian. She is so sweet! She made brazilian food just for me. It was so yummy! I think I was missing good brazilian food. After lunch, they took me to see their garden. It was so beautiful. The flowers in my header are from there.
Okay, I never thought I'd say this, but these nuns are so silly! Like making me crack up at goofy stuff.
After this, it was time to go say goodbye to the teachers.
I miss them all already!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I normally didn't take a camera to school. It's too much of a distraction for the kids and, since they do the same thing every day, it really wouldn't be that interesting. On my last day of school, I took my camera and took tons of pictures. Here are some of the cutest ones.
Aren't they precious?
Okay, this one has to be the cutest little girl in the school. Her name is Bernadette. 
In this one they're doing the traditional Rwandan dance. 
Singing the national anthem.
Um, so cute!
I love this picture! 
These are my favorite pictures from that last day. I already miss the kids and the teachers. I got an e-mail from one of the teacher's saying the kids asked about me everyday. I don't know if that's true or not, but it makes me feel loved.