Friday, May 21, 2010 

A wonderful tradition that the volunteers honor in the village is a Shabbat celebration together every Friday at sundown. We welcome the sabbath bride and the much needed rest we were deprived of during the work week. We sing, feast on homemade challot, and reflect on the moments during the week in which we were most happy. This week was a blur of meetings and art classes, but two moments really stood out. The first was in preparation for Shavuot, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the day the Torah was given at Mount Sinai. I was elated to discover that because of its agrarian roots, CHEESE is a common food served. I love cheese, and I miss cheese.  And Amy, our volunteer on the farm, knows how to make cheese from scratch! So, I learned how to curdle cheese. It was fascinating to watch boiled milk and apple cider vinegar clump into the rich calcium godness I have craved so desperately. After we drained/ dried the hot cheese we mixed in onion and rosemary. It was truly a treat.

My second highlight of the week was during family time with my girls. Every night, as a family, we have an hour to come together and talk about our days, to vent, just to be together. But on Tuesday night, my counselor, House Mother, and I planned an activity. We made a posters with each girl's name at the top and had everyone write on them, "I love _____ because". The messages were in English, Kinyarwanda, and French. At the end of the exercise, each girl received their poster. As I watched each of them read how much their sisters love them and why it was hard not to be affected by the contagious smiles in the room. 

With cheese and love life ain't half bad.