Yesterday we went back to Buffalo's sister city of Muhanga to meet the mayor and donate two cows to two families. In Rwanda a cow means a lot. It provides milk and fertilizer for the family and their neighbors. A cow measures wealth, it raises a families status significantly. Though the ceremony was long and I had a hard time understanding it I could see the immense gratitude in the people's eyes. I could really appreciate how much this donation meant to them.
We then went to visit a couple families who had received gifts in the past. One family we visited had received a solar panel which made a huge difference for them because it allowed for their children and the children of the surrounding neighborhood to perform better in school because they could come and study after the sun went down.
After a nice lunch with the mayor we were in for a fun afternoon. We went to visit Mama Arlene's school and youth home. Here we had our first teaching endeavor where we presented our play for the teachers at the school and had a discussion with them about the use of drama in education and the impact that theater can have. It was fun doing an improv to demonstrate the equation 2+2=4. It seemed that the teachers were very receptive. We then went to visit the children at Mama's home. Mama Arlene was this great old woman from Pennsylvania who had established this whole complex on several acres of land for these children and the surrounding community. We played with them for awhile and then had to depart but most of us could have stayed there all day.
This was the beginning of a hopefully long relationship between Mama Arlene and the Anne Frank Project. Special thanks to Melissa and GEI for introducing us and scheduling us to visit there.