After 27 hours of travel through three continents, we arrived in Kigali on Saturday morning. We were greeted by the warm Rwandan weather and two rotation officers for RVCP, Fred and Gloria. With our numerous bags and items in hand, Fred and Gloria showed us the beauty of Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. Among logistical tasks like exchanging money, we were also able to absorb some of the lush landscape of the land of a thousand hills. We explored the different markets, saw the famous Hotel de Milles Collines, and visited the Genocide Memorial and Museum in Kigali.
After an eventful morning, we took a bus to the city of Butare where we will be living for the duration of the GROW trip. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the coordinator of RVCP, Emmanuel, and the groundskeeper for the house, Nemwasa. After a restful night’s sleep, we were finally functioning people again, and experienced our first full day in Rwanda! Among other things, we were able to meet the majority of RVCP members during a party they threw for us. The party was an amazing experience, which really gave us some insight into RVCP as a group and Rwandan culture (specifically the great music!). Melissa and I both introduced ourselves in Kinyarwanda (however feebly), and felt truly welcomed by the entire RVCP. We look forward to the next eight weeks, working with the RVCP, and meeting the mothers of the Maternal Health Education Program!