Settling in

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

One week ago, we stepped off the plane and into the warm afternoon air in Rwanda. We were met at the airport by good friends and colleagues, Christian and Anne, and we headed off for the YWAM training centre in Kigali, where we've been staying. It has been a week of many changes and challenges, but also a week where we've been able to see how well our kids have adjusted to all the changes around them. 
At first, the differences between life here and the life we left behind in Denmark seemed overwhelming. Sleeping under mosquito nets, while romantic the first night, got claustrophobic very quickly. The food is so very different, and most days the kids just eat rice for lunch and dinner. The much higher altitude here gave me dizziness and headaches for the first 2 days, but I was thankfully the only one who seemed affected. Most of all, we had to change the way we relate to water.
Around here, we need to fetch our own water. We use that water for flushing our toilet, washing our hands, bathing (we heat some up in the kettle), washing our clothes by hand, and washing our dishes (which are then washed in bleach). That's an awful lot of water! We have two buckets, and usually have to fill them 3 times a day. Thankfully, we only have a short walk to get the water, and there is also clean drinking water available. Even so, it certainly makes us rethink whether we need to use so much water, if it's really neccesary to clean something, and if we can reuse the water. Fetching water is also very time consuming. Living like this really helps us to understand what many people in Rwanda, and other places in the world, are living with every day, often in conditions worse than what we have now. 

It's been great for us to see how well our children have responded to all the changes. They have taken it all really well, asking to help carry water, trying all the unfamiliar foods, remembering not to throw toilet paper in the toilet, and being the object of interest of lots of strangers, even when they didn't feel like it (side note...Christian and I are no longer interesting!). They have made friends with some children here already, and have (mostly) happily shared their bikes and balls with them. All of us are learning that you have to say a very firm no if you want them to understand, but the interactions with local kids has been positive.
We've had a great start to homeschooling, starting with Alexander's school books he was using in Denmark, and a bunch of fun preschool printables for the girls. Tomorrow we are heading north, where our box of school supplies is waiting for us in the house we'll call home for the next little while. We have done all we need to do in the capital city for now, applying for our longer term visas, and buying necessities (mosquito nets, water filters, bedding, and pretty fabric!), and we are now ready to move on to a more permanent location, where we will have the opportunity to make our own food, get unpacked and get settled. We're excited about what lays ahead!

Sorry for the poor photos, but our laptop hard drive died two days before we left Denmark (typical!) and we are waiting for a new one to be sent to us. In the meantime, we are just super thankful that we have an ipad, so we can keep in touch with the outside world, and all the photos here are courtesy of the ipad. Yes, it's very unhandy for taking photos, but I have no way of getting my photos from my camera onto my ipad, boo hoo!

9 comments :

  1. Hvor er det dejligt, at læse at i har det godt og er faldet nogenlunde godt til. Det bliver dejligt for jer, at komme til jeres hus så i kan få pakket ud og skabe et rigtigt hjem :)
    I får da også at se og føle hvor nemt vi har det i dk mht. Rent vand. Hihi.. tænk at vi i dk tager det for givet!!
    Hos os går det godt. Nicklas var til skolefest igår med diskolys, sodavand og popkorn. Det havde været hyggeligt. Her er stadig koldt og sneen er ikke helt smeltet endnu men heldigvis har solen skinnet de sidste par dage. Jeres hus ligner stort set sig selv endnu ;) vi går forbi hver dag når hundene skal luftes og så får vi en snak om hvad i laver nede i varmen :)
    Mange kærlige tanker fra
    Jannie

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  2. Hvor er det dejligt, at læse at i har det godt og er faldet nogenlunde godt til. Det bliver dejligt for jer, at komme til jeres hus så i kan få pakket ud og skabe et rigtigt hjem :)
    I får da også at se og føle hvor nemt vi har det i dk mht. Rent vand. Hihi.. tænk at vi i dk tager det for givet!!
    Hos os går det godt. Nicklas var til skolefest igår med diskolys, sodavand og popkorn. Det havde været hyggeligt. Her er stadig koldt og sneen er ikke helt smeltet endnu men heldigvis har solen skinnet de sidste par dage. Jeres hus ligner stort set sig selv endnu ;) vi går forbi hver dag når hundene skal luftes og så får vi en snak om hvad i laver nede i varmen :)
    Mange kærlige tanker fra
    Jannie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great with an update and pictures. Boy, does that seem challenging with the water! What a change you all must be going through. I'll check back in soon. I'm swamped in final exams in all my subjects so gotta get back at it! Lots of thoughts from us to you!

    Jennifer

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  4. Thank you for sharing, Fiona. Life certainly is more challenging, but well done for giving it a go with such good spirits! I hope your new home is wonderful and that you enjoy sewing something pretty. These photos certainly haven't put off Elise or myself from visiting you all. We love you. Christina

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  5. Great to hear how you are doing. You telling about the water brings back memories from my short stays in Africa. I think rather we have too much water outside here at the moment. We are very happy all the plumbing works well here and we get water from a tap in the house.
    Looking forward to hear more from you. Greetings to the Bracks.
    Gunn-Mari

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  6. Wow. Wow. Wow. Fiona!!! Can't believe it! I am looking forward to checking in a lot more frequently here. What adventures you will be telling us about!

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  7. Hej Fiona
    Dejligt at høre fra jer, dejligt det går godt og især at børnene falder hurtigt til.
    Glæder os til at høre mere nyt.
    For resten så skal vi have en lillesøster..
    Hils din skønne familie
    knus Mirjam

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  8. Somehow I missed this post!! While I am sure the hauling of water is so time consuming, there is a part of me that longs for that kind of life. I can't wait to see more photos and hear more stories about your adventures Fiona!

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  9. so glad you made it and are settling in. it sounds like it's intense, but that you are handling it all in stride! many blessings as you embark on this new adventure. :)

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