by Kyle Vondrak (KJV)
Greetings from Rwanda,
After a long journey from the depths of Illinois, we finally arrived in Rwanda! After two longs flights, and a short layover in Istanbul, we arrived in Rwanda around 1 am. After completing customs, we met Serge, our host, and Stephanie and Robbie, who are interns and we were then whisked away to Moucecore, which is where we will be staying for most of the trip. Upon arriving, almost everyone immediately fell asleep, to prepare for the next day.
Our day began at 8 am, where we were hastily woken up from our short slumbers. We then took the time to empty our bags, and sort out our things from the ministry supplies. We then ate a nice breakfast of eggs, bread and pancakes, and met with Jen, who is Serge’s wife and our host. Jen took the time to get to know us, and then led us through an orientation about Rwanda. After this, we made a short drive over to J. Lynn’s which is a bakery that Jen and Serge own that helps women gain skills, earn a steady income, and provide for their families. The bakery was previously owned by French missionaries and specialized in making bagels. Once Jen and Serge took over, they continued on with the legacy, so when we got there, we were treated to a nice meal of bagels and bagel sandwiches.
After lunch, it was time to get to work. Jen and Serge were getting new furniture for the bakery the next day, so it was our duty to help set the foundation for a new gazebo that was to be put into place once the new furniture got there. So for the rest of the day from lunchtime until around 6 we were all hastily working on finishing the gazebo. This included leveling the ground, breaking up stones to mix in with the concrete, mixing the concrete, and bringing it down from the back to put into place. It was a lot of tough work, but it was worth it once we realized how much this will help business grow for J. Lynn’s. While working, we met some cool people, like Teo, who is the daytime guard for the cafe. He helped us the whole time we were working, and he was really good at mixing concrete also. There was also David, who was also an exceptional concrete mixer, and he managed to keep his white shirt clean the whole time (unlike the rest of us, who ended the day covered in concrete dust).
After leaving J.Lynn’s we drove though Kigali in our bus, with our driver, Leon. The streets are full of with motorcyclists, who act as taxis. It was exciting to finally land in Rwanda, but it was even better to roll up our sleeves, and get to work, and meet some cool locals. Even though we were all jet lagged, and were expecting a non-strenuous day, we all had fun at J.Lynn’s and are now experts in concrete mixing. We can’t wait for what the rest of the trip holds!