I am in utter awe of the community that has been created on a simple blog page. This web log has become an altar of sorts... a place where prayers are connected, and goodness and love have woven together a tapestry that spreads it fibers over each one of us.
It is a monsoon here in Kigali, this old red earth reddened more with the blood of millions of hopeful and joyous people. The rain came down so hard last night it woke the whole house. I wonder from my bed of 700 thread count sheets how dry the village slums are right now... what about all those babies crying, hanging on their mothers legs, hungry and fending off the mosquitos? For here a mosquito can be as deadly as a lion. I toss and turn, feeling the bones beneath me, they must be here where I sleep, for they were everywhere in Rwanda. If you came you would feel it too... the history is in everything. It breathes just like us, constantly keeping itself alive without effort.
Somehow people from all corners of the world have gathered here on the internet to witness and be part of this mysterious journey of ours... and what I know is this: this is not just our journey. This journey, the one since Trace really, has reached and touched many more lives than I can even count. For sure, this blogspot and the hopes and fears and prayers shared here are growing daily. People seemed moved to take time from their own challenging and hectic lives to be part of the love and sometimes pain that is offered up. Not to say that the journey is becoming anyone else's story, it doesn't feel like dramatic like a reality series...just to say that we are making ripples and affecting people, using love to raise consciousness and awareness. This comment board has been a classroom of sorts... for me to be sure, but also I suppose for all of us here. What is written for me is applicable to anyone of us and blesses all. Go back and read the comments... we have wise people here speaking up even when I have never seen their own faces. And maybe, just maybe, this love that is being witnessed here can extend to the dear people and soil of Rwanda. God knows they still need boistering up. Or maybe just to your own very precious beings within.
I talked to the agency today in the states. "Go to the orphanages," they directed me. "I was going to go today," I say, "but it is raining." When I return I will be a shadow of myself. I will have this place in my own bones... for I have taken in everything that is Rwanda. Perhaps not really a shadow, but perhaps only that I will have stripped more of my ego self away and remembered a little bit of who I really am. I am now slowed by the rain. A time to stop and just be.
The family I stay with has a dinner ritual called "What was the best part of today?" The kids seem to like this at ages 4 and 7. Last night I was asked. After thinking I said, "Well... the best part of my day. You know the roundabout? The big traffic circle? Well... in the middle of the roundabout were a group of about twelve Rwandese. They sat on the ground in the hot sun among two heaps of what looked like grass, giant piles of long, lined up grass. They were sorting thru it or something. I wanted a photo, but it is a very busy traffic circle with no place to pull off. So, Happy and I drove around and around the traffic circle fr a good twenty minutes until I had successfully captured the photo of the group sitting sorting grasses. It was a very hard task in a moving car with windshields and traffic in the way. But it was so fun and silly to be spending our time driving round and round!"
I showed the girls my picture and then the parents explained what was happening with those workers and that grass. The roundabout is a very high visibility place and it happens to be where government officials like Bush come when they visit here... (unless you are have the sad fortune of being Kofi Anan who was driven away by hissing and rock throwing when he came.) So what does that have to do with grass? Well apparently while the grass (mostly crab grass here) looked fine to the average passer-by, it was not good enough for someone. Those people have dug up the old grass and now have the very tedious task of taking the ordered-from-somewhere-else grass-complete-with-root systems one plant at a time and nestling it in the soil. A grass transplant if you will. This takes months as you can imagine, but the end product is as neat as a head of glamorous African braids.
I look out the window through the monsoon to the slums on the hillside and wonder what any one of us can ever do to touch others who need it most. I guess the answer is, we do what we can, exactly what is being done here on this web log. I am in awe. Bless you all.