Regular readers will remember that a couple of months back I ran an appeal to help my housekeeper Damascene to rebuild his family home, which was washed away in a flash flood. We raised over £500 to help him rebuild and put a roof on the house so that the rain can't wash it away again.
Today, I was invited to go with Damascene to his home village in Muhanga, about an hour south of Kigali, where I was treated as guest of honour at his table and got to meet his family. I wish everybody who had donated could have been with me. This meal was in your honour, and the whole family wish me to pass on their heartfelt thanks.
|Damascene outside the new house.|
|New house under construction.|
|Banana trees from back window.|
We went for a walk through the valley to visit the house Damascene and his brothers were born in.
|Family farm animals.|
|House Damascene was born in, with his older brother.|
|Special meal in honour of my visit:|
ibirayi (potatoes), brochette and beans with rice.
Damascene on the right in the white shirt with red and blue stripes, on the far left is Emelina, his wife, holding son The Best. To her right is Damascene's mother Josephine, sister-in-law Olive, me, Damascene's nephew, friend, elder brother (Olive's husband), Damascene, his elder brother Dominic, nephew Alex and Olive's son. At the front is another of his elder brothers and sister-in-law.
|Me and Damascene|
|Damascene's best friend Cyprien who translated for me.|
|Damascene with Emelina and The Best|
|And with mum, Josephine|
|Cyprien is a little taller than his best mate Damascene.|
This was the only time I got close to their son without him bursting into tears. The sight of a muzungu (white person) was just too much to take - scared the bajeezus out of him.
|Farewell from the bus!|
A lovely day. Although we didn't speak a common language, we broke the ice when someone found one of the children's bouncy balls and we started playing handball with it, rolling it across the table faster and faster until someone missed it. My main opponent was Damascene's mum, who is very good at this game.