Thursday, July 24, 2014

Food to Keep Us Full & Focused

by Claire Morawski


Today was a very long day. After another work period at J Lynn’s, we returned back home to Moucecore. We freshened up and collected our bags  then waited for a Coaster Bus to bring us to lunch. It was our first lunch eating out in Kigali! We celebrated Serge’s birthday (Today, 7/23) by going to a Chinese restaurant…in Africa. Everyone ordered their favorite meal from the large menu. After receiving our food, the most popular meal we all shared was sweet & sour chicken. Let me tell you, it tasted just like it does in the United States. The only difference was that the meal did not end with any fortune cookies. It was okay because just like the breakfast food, Frosted Mini-Wheats, it kept us all full and focused. Following singing to Serge for his birthday and eating mango tarts and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes (which Jen K made at the bakery), we loaded into the van and began our 3 hour journey to Kiziba.

Our journey to Kiziba was absolutely beautiful. The roads wound around the mountains and we saw goats, cows and chickens. Today we could officially see why Rwanda is called the land of a thousand hills, they are everywhere! I loved leaving Kigali and driving around seeing more of the country, especially in a whole different setting like the countryside. Although at times I wished for the roads to lead right through the hills, I quickly realized we would miss the beauty of the country. The roads winding around the lush, lush hills and valleys is a sight one can only see in the land of a thousand hills. Life explodes in the plants, animals, and people living in and around the hills and valleys. Plants dominated the hills and only were defeated by the humans who have tamed them before us- creating paths for farming and transportation and where the plants have been domesticated for crops. Animals either roamed free or were led by humans for meat or products- milk or eggs. People milled around, waved to us in our passing bus, and children even stopped to visit with us while we took a bathroom/picture break at a waterfall. It was a wonderful ride and the beautiful scenery kept us more occupied than a little sleep or any electronic device would have (the ride went by very fast). 

Although summer is in full swing, I could connect our three hour journey to my human geography class I took this past year in school. I was able to see the subsistence farming throughout the countryside. I also could see the terrace type of farming that we learned about in class. Another connection I could make was the different economic sectors of Rwanda. In Human Geo, we were taught to identify that African countries are based upon a three tier system- the colonial and traditional Central business districts, the countryside and the market zone, Kigali. The biggest difference from the United States is that there are no suburbs. While driving through the valleys and around the hills, I could easily identify what I learned and how cool was that?! It made me very excited to see something I learned be applied in real life. Another application I made from Rwanda to my class is the different sectors of the economy. In Kigali, the main jobs are of the territory and secondary sectors  like education and retail and manufacturing jobs. But in the countryside, the primary sector can be found with jobs like agriculture/farming. Also, shoutout to Mrs. Brandt for leading such an interesting class! Once we reached Lake Kivu, where we are staying overlooks, I quickly realized why it is considered one of the cleanest lakes in Africa. You can see right to the bottom of the lake, even when you are looking at it from the top of the hills. 

After singing songs, observing connections and differences between both Kigali and the countryside as well as the United States and Rwanda, we settled down in the Catholic house we will be residing in the next few days by Serge giving us more insight to the refugee camp as well as sharing with us the story of his life. We all tried delicious tree tomatoes, which we decided are a cross between kiwi and tomato, debriefed and headed off to bed. It was an full, focused, beautiful, and exciting day! 

Claire "bravely" holds a Gecko

10 comments:

  1. What great connections with human geo! Now start sharing more stories and pictures of goats, please. Aren't you in the land of a thousand goats?

    ReplyDelete
  2. How funny to follow Amy's comment about goats! She does love the goats!

    Some people go a whole lifetime without connecting classroom learning to real-life experience. Look what you accomplished in a relatively short, winding drive!

    I loved Claire's reference to being without an electronic device. We parents are checking this blog and our Facebook feeds more compulsively this week, hoping to see updates from a group of teens who are entirely unplugged. Isn't irony fun?!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad to see your time at Glenbard West this year is paying off! We enjoy hearing the detailed descriptions of the scenery, lifestyle, people and interactions you are all experiencing. Ironically, have been in touch with Mrs. Brandt yesterday - still in search of your book. Did you pack it and bring it with you?! All stay well fed, safe, and keep writing about your adventurous travels for us to read and learn through you. Love, Dad and Mom xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  4. We love the detailed account of your days and all the wonderful photos. It is the highlight of my day to read about all of the things you are experiencing! I love that you are in Rwanda and have Chinese food (I bet Connor had the sweet and sour chicken). Can't wait to hear about the refugee camp.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your description makes me sad I'm taking Euro next year, that's so cool to learn about something and then see it in action!! It's also really cool that you all get normal food like Chinese and cupcakes-I was expecting to hear something else, which makes me wonder how many other incorrect assumptions I have about Rwanda/Africa. I'm sure I'll be educated by you guys by the end of your trip!! Can you believe it's been almost a week?? Anyway I can't wait to hear more about Kiziba and your amazing experiences!!! Love to everyone <3

    ReplyDelete
  6. It IS pretty cool to have a textbook come to life. And bless you for being able to remember it and then teach it to us. You probably made your teacher's year!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I loved reading your descriptions of the drive through the country, the connections with your GBW class and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes! What?!! I'm jealous, maybe Andy is bringing his back for me. Thanks for observing, writing and sharing. We can't get enough!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just wanted to say that your posts about the Genocide Museum were so thoughtful and perceptive. It was very moving to read about what you saw, and how it affected you. This is an unusually mature group of young people. Your parents and teachers and leaders must be so proud of you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. (from Melanie's aunt in NY)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Everyone's posts are so insightful. Love all the photos. The detail on the drive through the hills of Rwanda made me feel like I was right there. Enjoying everyone's observations and thoughts. Bless you all for your hard work as your journey continues on. Can't wait for the next one!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I really enjoy your descriptions of the landscape, Claire and Isaac!

    ReplyDelete