Rwanda 2017: The Journey



This space is for students to share, publicly, their observations, sound, images and reflections before, during and after the Harwood High School travel study to Rwanda in February 2017.



ggevalt's picture

Welcome to RWANDA 2017

This site is intended to allow students of Harwood High School write, share images, sounds and music as they experience the transformational journey to Rwanda.

The intent of this space is for students to share their thoughts and observations before, during and after the trip in February 2017. The students may keep some of their content private but can make other posts public for all to see and comment upon.

This site holds the Legacy of this project -- shared experiences of students from as far back as 2010. Enjoy.

This site is maintained and monitored by Young Writers Project, a small nonprofit based in Vermont that helps youths across the world improve their writing and digital media skills. YWP is proud to have played a small part in this project all these years.

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

A Gospel Song

A Special Rendition of The Beatles Classic

Meet Sarah The Broom Maker

Hi all!

Although Joy. Eleanor, and I did the initial part of this project that consisted of the interview, pictures, videos, and going to see Sarah twice I can't take any credit for putting together this amazing video. Andrenae from Woonsocket was a HUGE help with editing and making the video. So I wanted to give her the credit because she worked super hard on it. Thanks Nae, couldn't have done it without you!!!



A Song About Peace

The Song "Hallelujah"

Performed by students at the School of Art & Music in Nyundo, Rwanda. 

"Hallelujah" from HUHS Rwanda Travel Study on Vimeo.

The Grammy's In Rwanda

Having fun awarding Best Artist for 2017. 

Grammy For Best Artist of the Year from HUHS Rwanda Travel Study on Vimeo.

An Impromptu Jam Session

This is the song "Love Yourself." Enjoy. 

"Love Yourself" Jam Session from HUHS Rwanda Travel Study on Vimeo.

A Song by A Superstar

This is a boy nicknamed "Superstar" singing a song he wrote called "Unziziki". 

"Unziziki" by Kevin from HUHS Rwanda Travel Study on Vimeo.


This is an interview with a teacher named Clemence at G.S. Byimana school.


A Conversation with Clemence Final from HUHS Rwanda Travel Study on Vimeo.

A Conversation with Clemence Final from HUHS Rwanda Travel Study on Vimeo.

Volcanic Glow

The past few days have been spent at a religious center at Lake Kivu, called Kigufi. The last time I traveled here, the Congo was more of a word used to describe what lay beyond the boundary of the lake. Several days ago, however, the fog had lifted. There were hills, closer and larger than I had thought possible. The lake suddenly seemed less like an ocean full of unanswered questions, and more like something I would expect to see clearly defined on a map. 

I sat and watched the sunset that night. Beams of light streamed through the crags at the top of the mountains, and the clouds rolled into shapes seen only in Renaissance paintings. The whole thing was entirely unreal. Every few moments, the view shifted into different shades of cotton candy and gold. It seemed like we had reached an entirely new plane of existance. 

My First Week in Rwanda

We have been traveling in Rwanda for about a week now. Each day brings new and exciting experiences. At first it was very hard to adjust. I found myself staying up all night and missing my family but as the days have passed it has been easier. We explored Kigali which was overwhelming yet beautiful. All of the people are very welcoming and surprised to see us. In Kigali we visited The Good Samaritan school. This school has kids from ages 2-6. They thought us and the cameras were the coolest thing in the whole world. Laughing, singing and dancing with them was one of the best experiences of my life. On our third day we traveled south the Gitarama. Here we visited the Days for Girls school where I took many portraits and made great connections with the students. I have been really enjoying the media aspect of this trip. We also saw a couple traditional dances which were very cool. I wish I knew how to dance like that. A few days ago we transitioned into home stays. It was very scary at first but I was more nervous than I should've been. My host family is very sweet and welcoming. So far I've had an amazing trip and can't wait for the rest of it :)

One Week in Rwanda

Rwanda is everything and nothing like I expected it to be. I have been here for a week so far but it has felt like much more than that. The people are so much more friendly than I could ever have thought possible. I have not felt unwelcome so far, despite being an extremely rare presence in Rwanda. I feel like less of an intruder and more of a welcomed guest. I have also notidced how everything is so bright and colorful averywhere you go, pretty much the exact opposite of America. The children we have visited in schools have been amazing. They are so curious and eager to speak in English to you, somthing American children may be less than excited about. Homestays have been such a cool experience in themselvs. The people have been so welcoming and totally open to having us in their homes. Overall, I could not have asked for a better start to this trip.


In the midst of it

We have officially been here for one week, though it feels as if it has been months. We are all finally on the Rwandan schedule so we can sleep through the nights. But we still get exhausted at noon and wide awake around 8 pm. Being here so different than being in Vermont, or even in the US. Not only because of the vastly different climate and landscapes, but just because of the people. When we walk around people will stop and stare at us. It bothered some people at first and it sort of wigged me out because they were staring, but now I hardly notice the staring. Something people will do here is just come up to you are start a conversation. I think this is so unbelievably nice. Not that many people in America would walk up to you and welcome. Just the fact that they take time out of their day to talk to us surprises me so much. 

Second Time Around- part 2.

Hello Hello!
We are currently in our 2 day of homestays, and things are going well. We are all adjusting to not being with the group 24/7, and as expected it is a little weird for all of us. We have been able to meet up with the group a few times, yesterday morning we all met up at Umuganda, and this morning most of us met up with a few other pairs of kids to go to the market. The market was very fun but very overwhelming. I remember this from last year, the market is very crowded and in very tight quarters, so being there for extended periods of time is a lot for us. We decided to not go as a whole group this year, when 30 muzungus walk into the market together the people working all get excited and jack up the prices. We all got a lot of good stuff I think, a lot of gifts for you guys back home! Just to touch a little on my last post, homestays are going way better than I thought it would and I have been feeling much better, but we are all still very excited to go to Lake Kivu in a few days.

Stephen Rand's picture

Dancing Travelers

Harwood & Woonsocket break it down Rwandan style!

Second Time Around

Hi Everyone!

This is my first blog post of this trip, but my second time in Rwanda and let me just say there are so many different things about going for a second time. The first is obviously the group, I had such an amazing group last year and ended up with some amazing friendships from it, but going into this year I was already close with so many people here, its cool how relationships have changed since we have arrived.

During one of our debriefs a few days ago we did a high and a low for the trip so far, and my high was how easy this group is to be with. I just get along with everyone so well, even the people I wasn't super close with before. Looking at the rate this group is going, I feel like we may even hate each other by the end, but hopefully not.

My first four days in Rwanda

We're only four days into our trip to Rwanda and it's felt like weeks. Our days have been filled with trips to schools, the streets of Kigali and a museum. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and cultural experiences.


Eamons second blog

Hello everyone,

We have been on many adventures and seen many things but most of all a lot of pictures taken! At the first place we stayed Center Cristus we made a friend...a monkey. We have done many great things but I have enjoyed meeting many kids so far we've visited two different school one for very young kids and one thats more of a middle school, high school kind of place. When we go to the schools I feel like a professional athlete at a post-game interview, so many question asked and so many high fives.

Thank you for reading up on my trip so far there is more to come,

Eamon Gilhuly

Rwanda yay

This is my first blog post. I'm pretty excited for Rwanda, but I'm also pretty nervous. I haven't started packing yet and we are leaving in 72 hours... pretty stressful. I'm excited to start traveling and having an amazing trip.

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