Today we visited the family of Jean-Pierre (Carden House’s sponsored child) and helped them with their field work. We walked through their little village gathering a crowd of small children who enjoyed staring at us and shaking our hands. By the time we reached the fields we had attracted an audience. We were using hoes and cultivating the soil. We got to work and Callum managed to bruise Mrs Hunter with a stone, I managed to break my hoe and Shannon almost fainted. After half an hour we were exhausted, only to find out that Jean-Pierre’s parents would do this everyday with no breakfast, no lunch, no water, only rice and beans for dinner. We worked for about 3 hours and were then taken to see Jean-Pierre’s house. This is where he lives when he is on holiday from boarding school and we could understand why he dreaded the holidays. He showed us the best room in the house which is where the goats live, followed by the kitchen which was just twigs under the cover of some leaves. We were then taken to the shower which was a bucket next to the pig sty and finally the toilet which was a hole in the ground.

After lunch at Mihabura, we headed up to Gihundwe boarding school where Jean-Pierre goes to school. It was incredible to see how happy he was there and how well he is doing with his studies. He told us that he was top of his class and has dreams of being a Business Manager. We were taken on a tour of the school which revealed a fabulous view and a giant pig.

We are now going to get lots of sleep before working in the fields again tomorrow!

Lots of love,
Meave, Shannon, Callum and Jack

(And Mrs Hunter and Ms Rigby)




Mihabura at Last

On Monday we visited Mihabura Primary School. When we arrived we were greeted by several pupils who came out of their classes to say hello. They were all very interested in us and asked many questions about where we came from. We all took part in an English class, and we all had to do a test, which most of us found quite difficult and probably failed. Afterwards we helped serve porridge to the whole school, and Callum thought that the porridge was very yummy. At lunchtime we played football and volleyball with the children (I think we need to improve on our volleyball skills before the tournament takes place!)

We went back to class, which was COCA (sports, music, drama, etc) and the final subject of the day was science. We were all very impressed with the level of difficulty they are taught at, considering they are only P5/6.

Once that class had finished we gave the teachers of Mihabura the volleyball net and balls we bought for them. They were very grateful for this. Once everything was set up the teachers joined us for another game, we were definitely getting better at playing. Our game was interrupted a few times because goats ran across the court.

To get back to St Francois we obviously had to go by motorbike taxi, the view while driving back down to the Hostel was beautiful. I was unaware how close we are to the Congo!

Lots of love from Team Rwanda 2014


(And Mrs Hunter and Ms Rigby)



Sunday’s Story

On Sunday morning we had the pleasure of visiting a church. Fortunately they had a service that was in English although we had to be there by eight o’clock. However we were made to feel extremely welcome by every single member of the congregation as many came and shook our hands. We were all amazed at how lively and enthusiastic everyone was, and they put 100% effort into each second of every song. We recited our traditional Celtic blessing that we had painstakingly memorized the night before. After that we packed up our things and set off for Cyangugu by minibus. The six hour journey whizzed by as we were able to see the beautiful scenery as we progressed from the urban bustle of Kigali to the natural wonders of the Rwandan countryside in Nyungwe National Park. We saw a signpost which pointed to the rivers of the Nile and the Congo in opposite directions (thanks to eagle-eyed Mrs Hunter) and also a wee monkey scarpering across the road. 

Then we arrived at St Francois. We met Fulgence (another RSVP Trustee) and Japhet, Head Teacher of Mihabura School. All in all it was a very interesting but tiring day. We were looking forward to getting down to work the next day.


Callum, Jack, Meave and Shannon


(And Mrs Hunter and Ms Rigby)


Mixed Emotions

Today, our first full day in Rwanda, was filled with mixed emotions, and inspiration. The day started with a motorbike taxi ride to the genocide memorial, the motorbike was a first experience for all of us pupils (and one of the teachers) and was great fun, however the smiles were quickly drained from our faces when we entered the memorial. As said by one of the team, it was harder hitting than the Auschwitz memorial. It filled me with anger, sorrow and inspiration all at once. The anger came from when I heard of the build up to the genocide, when so many good people were influenced by a few powerful people. It later turned to sorrow when we saw a clip of a small amount of the massacres and pictures of over 2 thousand victims of the genocide. The inspiration came when I read that the amount of soldiers sent to evacuate some of the criminals of the genocide could have stopped the genocide long before; it made me realise that watching over something terrible won’t stop it, and action has to be taken. This experience was a first for me all together, and really hit hard.

After this emotional experience we headed to the mall to see a really different view of what I thought Rwanda would be: there were high rise buildings much bigger that you see in the ‘Deen! We then headed to the Uburanga art studio, which was a massive inspiration to me. The 7 professional artists had no care about money, the only thing that mattered to them was their passion. The place had an extremely laid back vibe, so much that they even let us loose on their own artwork! The day was rounded off at a lovely restaurant where we met another man who cared more about his profession than money, he had given up a well paid job in the UK to help people in Rwanda. He really inspired me with his words of never giving up on your dreams. To round up it was an incredible day with memories that will stay with me forever.

Love from the crew
Jack, Callum, Shannon, Meave

(And Mrs Hunter and Ms Rigby)



We have arrived in Rwanda after a very long journey. The flight consisted of Al’s Casino and lots and lots of food! When we arrived everyone was so friendly, helping us with our bags and sorting out our rooms. We have obviously brought Aberdeen’s weather with us as it has been raining since we arrived. Everything is very different so we are all feeling a bit weird but excited about fully starting our trip (and also the bananas!) We have attached a picture of one of our hotel rooms – the grounds are so lovely.

Lots of love from
Meave, Shannon, Jack and Callum

(And Mrs Hunter and Ms Rigby)