Having to Leave

This is our last day, and I can hardly believe it. This trip definitely went by faster than I wanted it too. I've learned so much, but I think there's still so much Rwanda could teach me. I don't know if I've changed, but I hope so. The idea of going back to a life where you do exactly the same thing every day no longer seems very appealing. These past few weeks have been so much fun. I love going around and meeting students (young or old) of schools in Rwanda.

There's so much to love about this place. I think I'll miss the people most of all, though. We've made so many friends, and even most of the people we only met once are pretty friendly. Leaving homestays was one the hardest goodbyes I've ever had to say. Of course, I'll also miss the fruit here and the animals. I doubt I'll ever see a wild monkey in America. I'd like to see my family again, but it's going to be so hard to leave.

Welcome to RWANDA 2016

And so marks another year, another adventure, for this transformational project led by Harwood High School. This site is maintained for the use of the student and adult participants in the 2016 Rwanda Journey. We hope -- and anticipate -- that students will be updating this site during their trip, posting stories, short observations, photos, sound, videos.

YWP will be managing the site. Parents, friends and passersby are encouraged to comment on the students' work but please understand that the comments ARE being moderated so they won't appear immediately.

Students, YWP has created accounts for you. All of you should have received emails with the username and password information. PLEASE test before you go (and even post some thoughts about what you are expecting from this journey).

Also, YWP will be looking for exceptional pieces to post on its main site -- youngwritersproject.org -- and its publications. We encourage youths to create their own accounts on youngwritersproject.org to get a wider audience for their work which has been, historically, fascinating.

Stephen Rand's picture

Our Travel Itinerary

The flight and ground itinerary is attached. But also you can check the daily calendar in the left hand column.

Here's a map:

New Beauty

So much about Rwanda is beautiful, but it's all different. I'm learning to appreciate this new kind of beauty. The people obviously look different from us, but they have their own kind of beauty and pride in the way they look. Food is just amazing. We eat some of the same things that we would eat at home, but it's all prepared differently. Everyone says this, but I need to mention the fruit. It is a million times better than what I've had before. I don't know how I'll be able to go back to eating half-ripe mangoes and polished apples.

The mountains remind me of home, but so much in the landscapeis different. The houses are rarely made of wood. Most are made of bricks or a special sort of mud, and they are all grouped so closely together. I love going outside to see palm trees and butterflies in February. A couple of us have melted in the heat, but I have been loving it 100%.


Everyone is so sweet here. The kids are super adorable. The greet you by a hug or a highfive. Yesterday we went to the Good Samaritan and we taught them some songs: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Hokey Pokey, which was tons of fun; and the story of The Three Little Pigs. I met a girl, though I dont know her name because I couldnt understand her, who really liked playing with my glasses and dancing with me. 

Overall I'm enjoying my time so much. I already know that I am not going to want to leave. 

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