This weekend we had more time than usual to ourselves nothing major was planned. Saturday was our second market experience and I felt like I got a better hang on the bartering thing though it is still a challenge, It's how it works but I still can't help feeling bad asking for a lower price. In The afternoon we had our first full workshop experience at Inema arts studio where we presented our play had discussion and then we built a story together called Talking heals the Heart. It was a blast.
Dinner at Mr. Chips a Rwandan version of an American burger place was good, so much better than American fast food though it was a shock having so much grease after eating all the fresh Rwandan food we've been having.
Sunday Morning we went to church at a Zion Temple. The energy in the room was so amazing. I loved looking around the room at the people while they were singing, Such passion. The music was great. The rest of the service was preaching. There were some points that I just disagreed with. It seemed to me like the preacher was expressing that he had all the answers. His sermon was about describing the thoughts of God. I just don't think anyone can claim to have all the answers or have the only answer and definitely not claim to know the thoughts of God. That being said though he did have some really good points that really resonated with some of our experiences so far here in Rwanda.
Thanking before asking.
That is something that many Rwandans do that is so great. Our server last night after dinner said thank you for the opportunity to serve you. He then gave us each Kinyarwanda names. My name is Umucyo which means light. This is such a good way to live to first take in all that we are given even when it seems like little we can be so much happier. Then if there is still a need after we have thanked God for what we do have then we may ask for more blessings.
Peace before Justice.
This is so profound and it connects right into what we experienced at the prison camp. In America we are so focused on justice it is destructive. Justice is placed before everything else it seems. We always have to get even somehow. In a way justice becomes just a cleaner, more polite word for Revenge. If everyone continues to be set on justice all the time, if we always have to be right it will always be an endless chain. Be the one to break the chain. Seek peace before justice with your neighbor, your friend, your spouse, with the perpetrator. Put yourselves on level ground, see each others common humanity then later you can resolve issues as brothers and sisters in creation.
It was interesting to also connect this with a conversation we had later that night. Carl brought in a friend who was a professor and a survivor of the genocide to meet us and share some of his story. He told us about how he pleaded with the people who were going to kill him to let him tell his story first then they could kill him. The killers debated but then agreed to let him speak. After he spoke they debated some more but none of them was willing to kill him. What happened was that by stopping to listen to him they humanized him whereas in order to kill like they did they had to dehumanize their victims. He was now on level ground with them and they could no longer hate him. If we just let go or our intense need for justice and take time to really listen to and humanize the person with whom we have a problem we can make peace and and come up with solutions together as brothers and sisters. May we all be inspired by Rwanda and their power of forgiveness.
Though our weekend was less busy it was just as thought provoking. On Sunday afternoon Ashley and I had a nice walk and conversation with Pacifique and I bought some wonderful paintings from him that were painted by a 12 year old boy.
Murakoze na Amahoro - Thank you and Peace