Sights and Sounds of Rwanda

January 23rd, 2014 by TOMS

Rwanda is known as the Land of a Thousand Hills ( it’s also where our Spring catalog takes place!). It’s a very hilly country, and very beautiful, especially during the rainy season because of its lush, green surroundings. Some of our best days were the ones driving on the local terrain, getting to and from locations where our Giving Partners work.Rwanda 1

Because of its hilly terrain, Rwandans use a method of farming called terrace farming, seen in this image. The main cash crops grown are tea and coffee. And a typical meal consists of potatoes, beans, maize and a lot of fruits.

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Colors are an important part of Rwandan culture. From the bright blue school uniforms to traditional dress for dances and celebrations, we saw vivid colors everywhere, painting an incredible sight for us throughout our journey.

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We learned that people — especially those in the countryside — have a lot of pride. The dirt roads are swept every morning and everything is super clean. They paint their little houses with chalk and draw flowers on them. Rwandans really take special care of their environment, household and homestead.

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Just like parents in the United States, mothers and fathers want the best for their children. One Rwandan shares: “My hope for my children is that they are able to sustain themselves and that they go beyond just learning academics…I want them to have a skill, one they can lead by.”

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In Rwanda, everyone is interested in forward progress, and learning about self-sufficiency. Their desire for change is evident in our Giving Partners innovations and how hard Rwandans work every day for the next day.

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Hope is expressed in daily conversations. While on the road, we constantly heard people talk about “ibyiza biri imbere,” which means “good things are in the future.”

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Want more? Click over to our instagram and see behind the scenes photos and videos from our travels through Rwanda.