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A Note for New Readers

Urukundo Village is an independent home for Rwandan children created and funded through Hope Made Real and its incredibly kind donors. We are not funded by any particular denomination or organization and welcome all who seek to help the children of Rwanda and create a better world not just for a child, but for us all. 

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Cooking Food, the Price of Gas, and our New, More-Efficient Cooker

I'm sure everyone is well aware that the price of fuel has been going up.  It's been straining us here too.

Charcoal has become very expensive here because of the ban by the government on cutting trees.  This is, however, our least expensive way to cook.  Electricity is currently not possible for us and gas is expensive and can only be purchased in Kigali.  So we spend $20 to retrieve it and for $86 purchase a small tank that lasts less than a month.  There is no truck to deliver gas like in the US.

Looking for a solution, we discovered a new, much more efficient design for a cooker.  We had it build in a single day.  It is made of cement but has three cooking holes and uses a third of the charcoal and can burn scrap wood.  We have lots of that from old scaffolding.  It's a step in the right direction and makes sure we all have properly cooked meals.

Our new cooker

It may be reaching a bit, but it reminds me of the old Iron cook stove in my Gram's house when I was a kid.  Any way you look at it though, we're please to be doing more with less, making better use of the materials and gifts available to us.

Playing Football in the Fields

An open field

One day, a day care or clinic will be on this land, but until the funds come, the land will not sit idly by.  As children tend to do, praise God, our boys see the open land and immediately use it to play football (aka soccer.)  The boys are now using the basketball court and the cement is hard on the balls as well as the knees and elbows of the boys when they fall which is often.  Much like life, soccer is a fall down, get back up, and keep on going kind of game.  I think we need some kind of protection for the knees and elbows but until then falling on dirt will be much better than cement.

The Season's Disturbance is Global

In Rwanda, we are dealing with the change.  The dry season has finally come.  The wet season which normally lasts three months, lasted five.  You would think that is good but it surely confused the crops and those waiting to begin the harvest. Even though the rains continued, the growing season stopped.

The farmers are not sure when to plant the next crop.  We wonder, will the dry season also last five months?  When should we prepare the soil and plant?  This was not my problem but now that we have farm land and plan a garden, I also am concerned. I will however leave these decisions to those who are more experienced than I.

Visitors from the U.S. in June

I had hoped to share pictures of Cindy Grieshaber and her daughter Jillian from Bethlehem, PA teaching Tennis to our kids, but alas my computer crashed recently.  Hopefully they will be recovered soon and I can share them as well as pictures from the visit of my Grandson Timothy Brown from Williamsport, PA.

I want to thank them for all the help and work they did while they were here. The kids want to know when are they coming back.  Me too.

Computer Problems Slowed My Correspondence This Last Month

Today, I'm posting all the great news that took place in June.  I am fine even though you have not heard from me.  Computer problems continue to plague me.  This time it was not the internet, but actually my computer that took a turn for the worse.

Most computers can be repaired in Rwanda, but the Mac is not yet supported here.  The repair people won’t even look at it, which I guess is good since they could do more damage by not being trained for that work.  There's a job opportunity for someone versed in the Mac who'd like to come to Rwanda.  More and more people are needing that service here, not just me.  The Mac seems to be very popular with Americans coming to work in Rwanda.

Fortunately, two wonderful people from the U.S., Paulette and Rich Whitekettle, parents of my friend Christie who works with Food for Hungry, were ready to return to the US and offered to take the very sick computer to the Apple store where they live.  The sad part is that the technician at the store said there was water in the PC and the cost of repair would be over $800 USD.  This is a lot of money for me.

I am currently working on a Dell now and a gentleman from Austria gave me his old computer, a Toshiba, but alas I know his intentions were good but the thing is in German and I do not know German. Oh, he did tell me I can go on line and get the words I need to use it.  We’ll see.

Enough about the communication problems. I’m back with the Dell and am praying for the return of a good used Macbook to replace my old one.  Fortunately, I still have a backup of all my files.