Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day 7 in ASYV


And just like that, we had completed our last full day in Rwanda at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village. The week had been full of highs and lows (mostly highs) and to be honest I wish we had a little more time here. We began the day with a project, watching the baby goats frolic by the plantain trees from the kitchen window as we chopped vegetables and talked about regrettable high school experiences. Afterwards, we toured a solar power plant less than 5 minutes from ASYV, the largest in Rwanda and second largest in sub-Saharan Africa, which supplies Rwanda with 6% of its total power. We wound down afterwards with group downtime, avocado sandwiches, and sitting in on the students’ extracurricular programs in art and science. While we didn’t get as much direct 1-on-1 time with the students, I hope to maximize our time before we head out tomorrow and bid a heartfelt goodbye to all of the friends I’ve made at the village.


After a few days of jam-packed scheduling, it was refreshing to have a normally scheduled day at the village. I really enjoyed being able to hang out and eat meals with students whom I have befriended over the past week. One of my highlights of the day was joining in on the students’ kitchen skills class, which involved making mass quantities of amandazi, a traditional Rwandan pastry, to be sold in the village canteen. We made over a hundred of these desserts, deep-frying them over a bonfire. We’re definitely planning on recreating this treat back in Boston! Later in the afternoon, we had two group discussions. We first focused on our opinions of how one can best allocate money to helping others and then we later discussed the meanings and implications of tourism and travelling. Although our discussions often lead to more confusion personally, they have also really led me to think deeply about the meaning of our time here, the experience of ASYV students in general, and a lot about my purpose and presence. I am sure that the rest of our time here will be bittersweet, but I am looking forward to enjoying every moment we can. 

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