Hope Shines Inc.

Hope Shines Inc.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

College T-Shirt Day and RUGBY!

Hello world!

This is Sarah. It is my first year volunteering with Hope Shines. I have been voluntarily interning as the fundraising coordinator since December 2014. I am so happy and grateful to be here!

Today was the fourth day of camp. Each day is more and more fun because the kids are getting more comfortable and coming out of their shells! Joking around and having a great time. And learning lots of course!!

Overall, it was a great day in every aspect! It was college T-shirt day at camp. I spoke a little bit about the University of South Florida. I am sure that all this talk about universities from the volunteers and the translators will stick in the kids minds and hopefully inspire them to go to a university once they graduate high school!

What was really cool is that Benji, the captain of the Rwandan National Rugby team came to camp this morning! First, he spoke to the kids about where he came from and how he got where he is today. Nama translated for us which was very helpful! Everything Benji said was fantastic, but what really stuck out to me was when he recommended that the kids do not think of challenges as a challenge or a hardship. He told them to think of it as something that you overcame, an obstacle you have conquered, and now you can move on to bigger and better things. After that, we went outside to play some rugby!! It was awesome because many of us, volunteers and campers, had never played before. Benji taught us how to throw the ball properly, and then we played a fun game.  Fabiola is in Michael and I's group, the Super Starfish, and she was the last girl left in the game! She made it very far and I was proud of her!

Our Rugby "Game" where Benji tossed the ball and if you dropped it you were out. We had ONE camp winner at the end.
Today we also learned about HIV. The Super Starfish worked on the topic of transmission. He assignment was to create a newspaper article on your subject. It took the kids a little bit to get into, but they totally got it at the end. Jean d'amour wrote the article on the paper because he has very nice hand writing : ). During this lesson, towards the end of the day, Claudia went up to the chalk board and started drawing. She drew a complete diagram of the heart! Full out diagram! Next, she drew a complete diagram of the female urinary system. Talk about smart! She is only eleven years old!! She told Steph she wants to be a Doctor! Good to hear.

Working hard on their newspaper article

Example of a drawing used as graphics for the HIV Newspaper activity.
I love playing futbol / soccer with the kids because you don't have to speak the same language in order to have fun and make friends! It's interesting how you establish relationships with some kids right away, and with others it takes more time. Lilliane, one of the older girls, asked me to take a picture with her today (on her own phone) so I was pretty honored and hyped about that! 

That's ME! I was the LAST Mizungu in the game!
Camp is so fun I don't want it to end!!! I can tell you right now that I will not want to leave camp tomorrow, and I will not want to leave Rwanda when the time comes! The people are beautiful and so nice, the kids are fantastic, the food is fantastic at camp (super yummy rice, beans, potatoes, and goat!). Life is good. I will be bummed to go back home, but let's not think about that right now. 

Tonight all of the volunteers were lucky enough to see Carl Wilkens speak at the Discover Rwanda hostel. A 40 minute film was shown about his experience here, which was unbelievably awesome, but I have already seen it, so what I really enjoyed was the Q & A. Just so interesting to learn and hear about. Funny how things work, didn't know he was going to be in Rwanda until we were here. Perfect timing! I took his email down and I am planning on sending him one soon to ask if he could recommend anyone to speak at our annual fundraiser in September! We will see, I hope so!! 

Amazing day, amazing night, amazing experience. Happy to be alive! Wondering why I have not been here before, but hopefully I will be back sooner rather than later. 

Goodnight friends,
A very sleepy Sarah 

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