From the clinic to the dance floor

Our maternal health education program is run by RVCP’s head of initiatives, Peter, and the initiatives secretary, who also happens to be named Peter. To make our lives easier, and because they are such a perfect duo, we have taken it upon ourselves to rename them P squared. We have recently vented a bit to P squared about how we would like to visit the health clinic more frequently. We visit every Sunday for the education sessions, but we love it there and want to help as much as possible! So this past Thursday Peter and the RVCP coordinator, Eliphaz, took us to the clinic to talk to the nurses and see how we can help them in the next few weeks. The clinic was fairly empty since it was late afternoon, but it was really nice to see it that way since we were used to seeing it with more people. We spoke to a few of the nurses who showed us each of the rooms. It’s clear that the clinic has come a long way since we started contributing to it’s improved capacity, but it still needs much more! We’re really excited that the waiting room is finished, because now the next step is to turn the former waiting area into much needed consultation and maternity rooms. Right now there are two consultation rooms, only one maternity room, one room for post-natal recovery that has three beds and is often used as a second maternity room (but is not very private at all), one lab and one “emergency” room for more serious cases. In our one year vision we made it a goal to make at least $16,000 next year. This money will allow us to purchase more land and goats for 50 more women, and make the necessary improvements to the clinic to put up walls for additional consultation rooms. It doesn’t include the supplies for the room, but we really believe that with our supporters’ help we can even purchase beds and medical equipment to allow the patients of Rukira village to give birth and get treatment in private, well-equipped rooms!
Thursday night our friend Gloria introduced us to two aspects of Rwandan life–food and dancing! First she taught us how to make their delicious banana dish where we boil bananas with an oily tomato sauce with onions and carrots, and then the banana “mush” is covered in a tomato-based sauce that has onions, peppers, and sardines. So good! Then she took us to the campus to watch her traditional dance group. They were soooo good! The traditional dancing here is so lively and energetic, with stomping, smiling and lots of drumming. It was so inspiring and motivating to be around people who are so in love with the famous art of their country. They were also so welcoming and were so happy to have visitors. We weren’t the only ones–it seems like many people are starting to come to the practices to watch the amazing dancing, and I completely understand why! I think we will definitely be going back to watch more, and hopefully we will be able to video tape it and eventually share it with all of you. It’s such a great depiction of the pride and happiness that people here, especially the students, have for their country!

All my love,
Alyssa

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