When I was young I attended church with other children in my community. I remember a small hut with a manger inside in the front of the church and other ornate decorations around us. There were programs for children to sing and the opportunity to hear a pastor preach the days’ message.
Now, as an adult, I have the chance to spend Christmas Day with my mom and siblings. It is amazing for all of us to gather and share meals. Our meals are typical Rwandan food: rice, beans, and potatoes. Since it is a special day, we had to find meat. The drink for these special celebrations in my family is sorghum beer, which is my favorite.
As I was enjoying this day with my relatives, I also reflected on the group of women TWB is currently training in Kigali. I called some of them, wishing them a “Merry Christmas”, and some of them, like Liziki and Faith also called to wish me a special day. I became excited to continue our training with them, to find out what they did for the holidays and to learn more about their own family traditions.
On the first day of our Phase II training – continuing from Phase I, ending before the holidays, I asked how they spent this day and the answer was fairly similar to mine. They attended church in the morning, came back and prepared meals together as family. Faith who is from Kanombe (the eastern part of Kigali) told me that she went to church and then cooked “umunyigi” which is smashed plantain, her favorite dish. Vestine spent her day near her hometown in the North, near the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. When I asked her favorite memory during the festivities, she said, “I was so amazed to see many people leaving Kigali to go spend the days in the rural areas with their relatives.”
Though many work in Kigali, if people are able to earn money money and other opportunities, there is a chance to visit home sweet home. Two days before Christmas, it was so difficult to get buses from Nyabugogo bus station to neighboring provinces as many people wanted to share the festivities with their relatives.
The holidays were an interesting, busy, and special time for myself and the women of The Women’s Bakery. We were able to find some sense of rest and now, are excited to keep moving further into training and bakery business launch.
Happy New Year from The Women’s Bakery!