The SAME SKY delegates have returned from their wonderful trip in Rwanda with beautiful, inspiring images of the country still fresh on their minds. Learn more about the delegation trip and how Rwanda has grown in the last 20 years through the eyes of SAME SKY Ambassador Ann Lovell. Below are excerpts from her blog with direct links.
JANUARY 21, 2014
Where to even begin…for years I have heard these artisan's stories, seen their photos, seen their signatures on their lovely creations…but meeting them in person! Our first stop was Avega Agahozo, the Association of Genocide Widows of Rwanda formed right after the genocide was by dozens of genocide widows. The organization promoted welfare of genocide victims through weaving, beading, craft making that are income producing. Same Sky has been working with this particular group of artisans for 3-4 years thus far.
JANUARY 22, 2014
After our wondrous visit with the Same Sky artisans, we grabbed lunch (we are definitely do not going to go hungry here!) and headed to Parliament to meet with the Forum of Rwandan Women Parliamentarians (FRWP).
We were greeted by very high level leadership including deputy speaker, President of the FRWP and were able to have everyone introduced and then began an in-depth question and answer session in which Senator Connie Bwiza Sekemana provided incredibly full responses. She has been a Member of Parliament since the first elections held after the genocide (2003). Afterwards we were able to visit over coffee and refreshments – it was fabulous!!!
JANUARY 23, 2014
All packed up and ready to go this morning as we said our goodbyes to those not heading up into the mountains and loaded up into our safari type vehicles for the ~2 ½ hour drive to Lake Kivu and tomorrow's GORLLA TREKKING adventure.
The road begins it ascent right after leaving Kigali and the countryside is GORGEOUS! Hill after hill blanketed in green and still clean – and I mean CLEAN. People were out walking along the road all along the drive: men, women, children – many carting or carrying water or rice/supplies.
We met in the lobby at 5am, loaded up and headed to Volcanoes National Park. This park was established in 1925 and was the first national park to be created in Africa. Six volcanoes make up this mountain park in the Virunga Mountains (a Transfrontier Conservation Area that includes protected areas in Uganda and the DRC). The park has within it Rwanda's highest point, Mount Karisimbi (4507 meters - the 5th highest mountain in Africa AND two active volcanoes. The entire park, though a little less than 80 square miles is absolutely gorgeous and filled with lush mountain forest that include bamboo/vines/Golden monkeys/buffalo (we saw a great deal of their "leavings"/bushbuck/a vast variety of birds/elephants (though very few are thought to remain/AND…. fire ants). Thank goodness for our helpful guides and porters who worked very hard to keep us as “ant-free” as possible!
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