Monday, April 7, 2014


Thank you to West Music west for providing one set of 12 scarves. We purchased another set of 12 to have enough for our music classes.

This week we actually had a group of 8 college-age students that are taking a gap year with several months in Rwanda. They will be spending a week at Urukundo teaching English, helping at the dental clinic, playing with the kids and doing any work that needs to be done. One even wants to milk our new cow!

Four volunteered to go to the music room with six of our 8-12 year olds. A few teens also joined us. They quickly had the kids attention as they introduced new interactive songs. One about a moose, another about jobs and finally a UK version of the Hokey Pokey. What fun we all had.

Then the scarves came out. Emmanuel draped himself in scarves and Aline danced and danced. We can't wait to see how Rosemary our music teacher will use them in the classroom for the next term. I know they will love them.


Thank you Octaband for providing a discount for 2 Octabands that we brought to Rwanda. The Friends School's 6th grade class in State College had a bake sale that provided the funds for the 16-arm Octaband.

This fun, interactive tool is made of bright, stretchy material that stimulates movement and playfulness in a group activity.

Check out their website

Our kids had such fun playing with it. A bit chaotic the first time, but thanks to Nina and her songs they calmed down a bit. We were more successful today when we had fewer kids and the older kids were helping.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


A new initiative is being implemented into our school, a music program. This is new to schools in Rwanda but an important element for expression, healing, creativity, composition and learning about traditional Rwandan music.

We are thrilled to be partnering with the Kigali Music School and the director Aimable. Last week we visited the school and this Friday they came to Urukundo to meet with our teachers.

Rosemary our music and drama teacher was very receptive. As Aimable shared about the healing power of music using a holistic approach her interest was piqued even more. The other teachers weren't quite sure what to expect but as he spoke about Training of Trainers, meaning training ALL our teachers, they soon realized they have an important role too.

TOT,Training of Trainers will be an intensive, concentrated two weeks, every morning, in April during the teacher break. All teachers will participate. The focus will be music theory and our instruments (Inanga, drums and recorders). Teachers have already volunteered to learn one of these instruments.

Support is needed for the cost of this two week training as well as funding to have one teacher come once a week to teacher and give lessons. Let me know if you a interested in being a part of this important initiative.

*Aimable sharing how music comes from the heart
*With our teachers
*Inventorying the instruments
*Aimable and Rosemary our music teacher

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Goats are back on the farm. After selling off goats last year as well as providing some for the community we are raising them again. Three adults and now three kids. One mama had two girls and the other one girl.

*Billy goat

*Mama and baby



Thank you St. Paul's United Methodist Church' Sunday School for buying a male and female pig last June. We now have 9 piglets that are so cute. These piglets will grow and be sold at market.

If Carol Baney was ever missing we could usually find her at the pig pens. Talking to them. She says she is talking to the farmers but we have her on video talking with no farmers around. Yes it was just the pigs.

Funny how the simple things in life keep us entertained!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Food 1

Cecelia purchases some of our food at the market which I already wrote about.this shows the people making deliveries of the beautiful produce.

Potatoes brought by bike, fruits and vegetables carried on their heads!

Food 2

Food is also produced in our many gardens. We have 3 kitchen gardens which are tiered. Yesterday and today three more are being constructed. There are many other gardens throughout the property with onions, greens, green beans, eggplant, squash, cassava and beets. There are also avocado, mango, papaya, banana and lemon trees.

The food is mainly beans, potatoes, rice and a green sauce like soup. It is made of cassava leaves, onions, cilantro, garlic and other greens. For a treat we went to a cafe next door to have goat brochettes and chips served with onions and mayo.


Saturday mornings we get a treat for breakfast, Chapati. Anyone who wants to help gets up early, around 6:30, then goes to the kitchen and starts rolling. These are tortilla-like made from flour, egg, oil, salt and onions or peppers.

Two large batches of dough are made up then we get to roll them out. Almost 100!!! Bietta fries them over the bio gas burners.

Kids love chapati and we love them. This past Saturday we added tomatoes and peppers to it and rolled it up. YUM!