Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kibagaga= Residence

I have an amazing story to tell about answered prayer! But before I do, I want to post a few pictures. (Please note that they took over 20 minutes to load)

The first is me with a "surprised" face when peeling the 'conjoined twins' bananas! These little bananas are delicious and so sweet- so you can only imagine how fun it is to get a bunch that has two bananas joined at the peel! There are really two full sized mini bananas in there :)

While walking downtown, we occasionally pass a store with a mannequin. There are not many, but when we have seen them they have all been white. The first one we saw was a white man with fake eyelashes and makeup on! This woman was just too hilarious and Jess and I wanted to be like her. Of course there were many people down the sidewalk who watched us take this one!

We passed a grandma and this baby on the street and I could not help but get a closer look. This is pretty much a brand new baby. I wasn't sure what to expect because a very young child started crying when it looked at me just a few days ago...but this baby just grinned the biggest grin I've ever seen!! Isn't it so beautiful!

After asking several people, following a hand drawn map, finding a translator, and then being personally directed- we had finally found the fabric hall. There are tons of piles of fabric people are selling and Marissa and I were being very indecisive...but we purchased fabric and will be having clothing made soon! My first skirt was plain purple- and it turned out great except that she measured me over my jeans so it is a little too large. but with all the carbs I've been eating...

Last but not least to add to this post--the Album Cover pic. We were waiting outside a house to see if we could see it. (This is the one we thought was ours, but it fell through yesterday) Someone said they thought the way we were standing could make a great CD cover, so we tried to get serious faces and snapped it. I'm learning the djembe drum for the band.

Alright---now for the really good stuff. Now, there is of course many stories I could tell or thoughts I could share (one of which is that after discussing the cost of toilet paper we decided to start minimizing the # of squares used, and later tonight I noticed that there are no squares on the toilet paper here...just a bit of info for enjoyment)...Instead I am going to tell you about our housing.
The house we thought we had didn't work out. As you may have gathered from other posts, this has been a difficult process. We thought we had a house in Kimihurura, and the other group thought they were ready to sign a contract too...but yesterday we were told that both fell through. Our reason was that the owner called our friend Charles (who is Rwandan and speaks Kinyarwanda) and told him they found someone to pay 200 more dollars a month than the original price...which is not true, he is just trying to make more money. So, that house is out. We were so discouraged. As you can imagine, there are many anxieties we are feeling as we attempt to get ready for the school year starting Monday. And even though living with a family is wonderful, we are anticipating moving into our house and getting settled. Well, we just slumped into my classroom and prayed about it. We were pretty close to tears...ok I had a couple. We prayed and said that we were trusting that if God sent us all the way here that He would provide for us to do what we were called here to do. We prayed for the ability to prepare our classrooms and for the gifts of being excellent teachers. Then while praying for housing, I was really reluctant to be trusting because so many places have not worked out. So, sort of unbelieving I just prayed that the landlord of the house we were going to look at that afternoon would just be a Christian or something so that they would treat us just like any other human and not just charge more because we are white. It was a pretty random thought, but I am so glad I prayed that specifically!
I was the only one able to go with the Headmaster to see the house, and it is in a neighborhood called Kibagabaga. Which, in case you're not familiar with the area, is extremely close to the school! Most every place is 10-15 min from school, but this house is just 7 mins away. The house is in good condition, has brand new kitchen cabinets (most don't even have any), brand new gas stove and refridgerator (Big Deal!), the right number of bedrooms, a small balcony with a great view, and is right in the budget we were hoping for. Now, there is no way I was about to get my hopes up, but I knew if by some miracle it actually went through, that this house would be great for us. So, Charles called the landlord. This is what he reported-- The landlord is out of the country, but left responsibility of the property to a relative. The relative was talking with Charles and said that we could move in this weekend. And then Charles told the woman that we were teachers (definitely the Spirit leading him to mention that detail) and she said- Oh, my kids go to KICS! AMAZING. She promised to hold the house for us, ask her relative if he could lower the price (he didn't, but it is still ok), and we are meeting her tomorrow to sign contracts and can move in on Friday! I don't know if there is a way I could possibly express to you how drastically different this interaction was than all the others. It was a miracle, and a specific answer to prayer.
Keep in mind---this WONDERFUL place to live came with an 'office', which the owner decided to provide a bed for...which means we have a room for any visitors that might want to come :) --this means you-- just let me know if you want to see Kigali!
I'll take pictures of the classroom once its finished, and our house too, and then you'll get to see where I'll be spending most of my time. I must go to bed is almost midnight and I haven't stayed up this late since I was back in the States.