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Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Sky Filled With Stars

Today we went on a tour of Rabona and a hike through the neighboring village. Every single one of us felt like a celebrity- we had trails of people (mostly adorably scrumptious little kids) following us for the three hours we were walking. My favorite moment was when Sarah taught the girls following us who may have only known a word or two of English, how to sing a song about peace in Hebrew called Ode Yavod. These three beautiful girls sang along with us for hundreds us yards and even taught us a couple songs of their own. While it was hard to see the poverty of the surrounding region, it is amazing to see how welcoming and kind these people are and that around the world kids can be kids no matter where they come from.
We then sprinted back up the hill to make it make it back in time for Havdala, a service marking the end of the Sabbath. For me, I can honestly say that the most meaningful religious, experiences I have ever had have been in this village. The service was all about tuning into all of your senses through the candle, the wine (i.e. water with grape flavored crystal light), and the smell of cinnamon. So no matter how people connected spiritually, that fact that we were singing both Jewish songs and “Lean On Me” under a sky filled with the most amazing stars you can ever imagine, surrounded by a village of passion, affection and love was truly the most amazing experience.
Matt Davis, Rachel Olstein and I were interviewed today for the ASYV newspaper. They students asked us questions like “Why did you want to come to ASYV?” We said that we came here to learn from them because they have so much to teach us. We also came because of the connection between Tufts and ASVY, because they are a sign of hope and because we believe in the motto – If you see far you will go far. They asked, “What is the greatest thing you see in ASYV?” We said the philosophy of Tikkun Halev and Tikkun Olam (Repairing your heart and repairing the world)..and many more questions that we will try to blog about later.
Also today, during the Umuganda community service time, I worked on the soccer field. And as was said before, a slight “slacking off occurred,” but it meant that I could have an hour long conversation with a boy about history- everything from the Aztecs to the Boston Tea Party. In return, he taught me about Rwandan geography and economy. This is just one example of many in which Tufts students are constantly blown away by their intellect and passionate curiosity.
One final amazing moment, just showing the amazing capacity for love in this village was at dinner tonight. The students always insist on clearing our plates for us and we tried to refuse tonight- culminating in a tug of war battle for a single plate. The girls were all laughing and when Daphne asked why it was so important to them, one beautiful and sweet girl replied, “Tikkun Olam.”
Signing off for now!
Hillary and Matt

*Sorry for any grammar mistakes!

1 comment:

  1. I like the expression ..."If you see far you will go far", but it also seems to me that you have all travelled far to see what is right before our eyes;

    No matter who the people, what the socioeconomic status, or the age, we are all seeking the love of another human being, to be touched in some way, and to share our journey on this planet together. To understand our differences is to know our similarities. what an amazing experience you seem to be having; Tikkun Olam