18 August 2017

Our First Two Weeks

Our first two weeks in Rwanda have flown-by and yet it feels like it has been longer than two weeks that we have been here. Our parents dropped us off at Heathrow airport on Friday 4th August and after some emotional farewell’s and a very pleasant family meal, we boarded our Rwandair plane bound for Kigali. The night flight took eight and a half hours and after some restless sleep and movie watching we landed at Kigali airport on the morning of Saturday 5th August. The staff there were very pleasant and helpful and we proceeded through the various checks and form-filling stations smoothly. As promised outside of the airport a member of staff from Kigali International Community School (KICS) awaited our arrival with a minibus to  transport us and our luggage to our new home near the school in the Gacuriro district of the city.

Within two hours, Gareth was off to the MTN Centre to purchase a phone and exchange some of our pounds into Rwandan Francs. After a little unpacking, we were off to the Director’s house for a gathering of new staff (there are a lot of us). At the gathering we were informed that we would be eating our meals on Sunday with two staff families. These occasions were very welcome, as it provided the opportunity for us to get to know some of the people we will be working with and presented a chance to ask questions – you can imagine we had lots!

On Monday and Tuesday we received our ‘new staff’ orientation and from Wednesday to Friday we were taken as a family on staff retreat to lake Kivu – a truly beautiful place! At the retreat, Corinna, Lillia and Anabelle were able to participate in a children’s program whilst we engaged with team building material and sessions to encourage us to reflect on our Rwandan school context. A highlight was our boat trip and hike on ‘Bat Island’. We all left lake Kivu happily, but glad to be looking forward to some down-time over the weekend.

After a weekend of exploring some of the city by foot walking up and down the hills that make up the city, we re-entered school on the Monday to engage with more training and to prepare our classrooms and materials for the academic year which begins on 21st August. This second week has been challenging, with trying to learn and adapt to existing school procedures, learn the many new procedures that are being introduced for the school year on top of trying to work out the school curriculum and ensure our classes resemble an environment conducive for learning. On top of this has been the challenge of helping our children to adapt.

The highlight of the week was on Thursday 17th August, when we had the school ‘Meet and Greet’, when we welcomed all of the children and parents to the school and had a ceremony of prayer and blessing for the school and the year ahead. The occasion was a good reminder of why we are here.

We will initially be worshipping at the Anglican Cathedral in Kibagabaga. The fellowship is small and international and engaged in the wider-life of Rwanda. There is a growing Sunday School for the children and a familiar structure to the services. There do not seem to be any English speaking Baptist congregations in Kigali.

Prayer points
Please pray for…
Corinna and Lillia as they start school.
Anabelle as she adapts to being with her nanny (we have seen positive signs here already).
Rachel and Gareth as they begin the academic year.

 The girls at the airport before boarding the plane.
 A boat trip to 'Bat Island' on Lake Kivu

Our new home

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