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Monday to Monday

When our van pulled up to the Academy this morning, the scene was such a contrast to what we had witnessed in the same place, at the same time, just a week earlier. When we arrived Monday, June 14th for the first day, Rwandans were gathered in thick clumps all around the entrance and peered at us, silently. I stared back at them, wondering who was supposed to make the first move. After all, I was a visitor to their community- should step up and introduce myself, or wait to see how they welcomed me? Ultimately the children provided a buffer, crowding between us and the Academy participants. They struck cheesey poses for my camera and pushed to see the digital display. Eventually, I turned to the women and gave a sheepish wave, a ‘muraho!’ and an over-eager grin.

Today when we arrived, the children were not there; our presence is no longer novel or exciting. Some Academy participants— Marcelline, Marie-Jeanne, Christina— waved to our van as we rolled up, and I returned the greeting without hesitation. When I climbed out of the van, I shook a few hands on my way into the classroom, set up some supplies, then took a seat on one of the benches, between the women…

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