As we packed up getting ready to leave we started to feel sad but remembered this incredible trip changed and inspired us all. Life long friendships were made and tighter bonds between the US and Rwandan students was achieved. The 2011 Richards Rwanda IMPUHWE service learning trip was overall amazing and couldn’t have been better!
We gathered on our last day with the girls at the Green Corners restaurant which is a local restaurant in the village of Nyamata. We call it our final celebration because ever since my first trip in 2007 we had carried on a tradition of saying our goodbyes, having a feast, and saying our beloved thank you’s to all those who supported us throughout the trip.
This celebration was truly motivational. Each Nyamata girl said a few words, along with each American student. Tears were shed from almost every person in the room. We encouraged our girls to remember that the key is to continue studying and striving to become a leader. There was a true sense of family and community in the room and we were all together as one.
I myself could not hold back tears of joy and sadness. I have seen this organization grow and I am proud to say it is truly making a difference. I can’t explain how incredible it is to see how an education can alter one young girls life forever. Her family is so appreciative, she can become more independent, she leads her fellow friends and stays healthy.
In conclusion the goodbye celebration was touching and truly concluded our journey in the best way possible. We can’t wait to return to Rwanda next year!
Until next time..