Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sew-Sew (More Rwandan Travel Log)

by "Flat" Cauli II
MPL Flat Feline Foreign Correspondent







My Rwandan travel log continues.  On Tuesday, January 3, 2012, we visited Burema, a small village about nine miles from Kigali.  We met with Father James, who oversees the St. Joseph's mission (of the Evangelical Orthodox Church [EOC]) in Burema.  Fr. James began cultivating a variety of crops--including maize, beans, and sorghum--as well as garden vegetables during the past couple of years here.  But what caught my feline eye was his rabbits, or "hopping dinners," as Cauli Le Chat calls them.  [All January 2011 (or older) photos are courtesy of the EOC missionRwanda website.]

Fr. James' Rabbit Project
(Started in January 2011)


Father James began by raising three rabbits, which have now multiplied to 92 rabbits!  He is hoping to have up to 300 when the project reaches full capacity.  As a protein source, rabbits would be in high demand, and so this could become a staple provider to the local meat diet.  Father James served one of his rabbits to my travel group for lunch, and I must admit it was quite tasty.  (I hope this doesn't offend my friend Morgan the Library Bunny.)  Personally, however, I'm with the real Cauli--I prefer canned tuna-in-oil.

Frank Sewing Association, Burema, Rwanda
(January 2011 Photo)

Next we visited the Frank Sewing Association, which was created in January 2010 to provide employment for the first graduating class of the Peace Arts Training Center.    I was accompanied by Carol, who demonstrated the use of embroidery hoops to the head sewing school ladies.

"Students Patricia Musabyeyezu and
Angelique Mutuyimana at their classwork"
(January 2011 Photo)


The Frank Sewing Association has 22 sewing stations, each equipped with a sewing machine and supplies.  The sewing machines are manually operated by treadles (hence, they are called treadle machines).  Each seamstress learns a variety of sewing techniques with different types of fabrics.  Most recently, students have made clergy shirts for sale.  Could this have been in anticipation of the three EOC bishops who were visiting?  That's the entrepreneurial spirit!  With such well-attuned marketing instincts, the students' business success is assured.

Knitting is Another Valuable Seamstress Skill
(January 2011 Photo)


Standing Outside the Entrance to the
Peace Arts Training Center
(January 2012)

Carol also demonstrated a new design for a Czech-style baby blanket to the staff and students.  I have no idea about the correct spelling, for which I apologize, but the blanket is called a czavinavacha.  I was even allowed to model one for the class!

Moi Modeling a Czech-Style Baby Blanket
Called a Czavinavacha (sp?)
(January 2012)


Anyone who can sew, embroider, or use other craft-making skills to create beautiful items out of a vast array of materials, is truly amazing.  They are artists of the highest order, in my opinion.  Cats are better at playing with yarn than making clothing or other household items--this is particularly true for "flat" felines like moi--so I was quite impressed with the students' work.  It is another example of the terrific educational endeavors being undertaken by the Rwandans, with the assistance of generous charitable efforts by organizations such as the EOC.

My EOC travel buddies finished our Rwandan trip with many important meetings, organizing future projects and coordinating continuing cooperative enterprises with many Rwandan communities.  While this was going on, I usually just absorbed the local sights and sounds.  I had fun learning several intriguing games from the children.

Sadly, it was time to leave my new Rwandan friends and return to America.  But I have fond memories of a friendly, gracious, and caring people who welcomed us into their homes with open arms.  It was a wonderful traveling adventure, and I hope someday that I might return.  Maybe Father James will have his 300 rabbits by then.  Just saying.


Your "Flat" Feline Foreign Correspondent on the Go,
"Flat" Cauli II
Reporting for Cauli Le Chat


P.S.  I found this YouTube video of a Rwandan song with traditional dance, which I hope you enjoy.  The video did not identify the song by name, but it sounds beautiful to moi.  The dancing, too, is wonderful.  If somebody knows the song title (and the story told in the lyrics), please leave a comment.  Thanks.

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