Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 9 --> ASYV/Rubona

Today was our last day of service work at the Village, one of our last days to spend time with the ASYV kids, plus we just got back from seeing the Murambi memorial. With that in mind, as leaders of the day, we decided to make today’s Kavanah “connection.” There have been a lot of different aspects of our trip -- the service work, the genocide education and mourning, intense discussions about how we should be giving back to the world, and bonding with the Village and with each other. We decided that today, we should try to think about how all those pieces fit together. We also wanted to emphasize that it was one of our last days to connect with one another and with the Village kids, and with the labor we were doing.
The day started at 6:00am for the enthusiastic bird watchers in the group. After the 6:30am breakfast, we started our service work, which included more wheelbarrowing, rock-carrying, and cement-mixing. The benches we’ve been working on are almost finished! They will be completely finished and polished by the time we leave the Village tomorrow morning. During this time, a few people also helped bake Challah (a type of bread typically eaten on the Jewish Sabbath), which ended up being DELICIOUS and was eaten in its entirety within a couple of hours.
From 11-2, we walked into Rubona to experience the Friday morning market. It was slightly stressful and surreal, very hot, and extremely fun! Popular purchases included samosas, vegetables, lamb skewers, and sugar cane. When we got back, we had lunch followed by some free time before Shabbat. During this time, some people went on a tour of the bee hives with Jared (shout out to Tali for her multiple stings). Also, many of us played soccer with the Village kids, who totally kicked our butts.
At 5:15pm our group reconvened for Shabbat. Our service was less traditional than last week’s, and included a special round of roses and thorns where everyone went around and shared their most positive or meaningful experience from the past ten days. After our Shabbat service, we headed up to the cafeteria for Village Time, a weekly one-hour meeting where everyone gathers and talks about what’s been going on at ASYV over the past week. After dinner on Friday nights, the Village youth do a fun activity together. This week (as with last Friday), there was a dance party on the porch of the dining hall. A few of us stayed for that, although it was just embarrassing because the ASYV kids put our dance moves to shame.
The rest of the night was pretty relaxing. I think that we did establish a lot of connections today, especially with the Village, the kids who live there, and with each other. Every day our group gets more familiar with the Village physically and emotionally, and it is clear that, within the group, the connections between us are strengthening as well.

-- Say and Doreen, 6/3/11

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