My name is Pacifique Rutamu and I am in Senior 6 student (12th grade) at Agahozo-Shalom.  I am taking the combination Math, Computers, and Economics. I wrote the following blog entry about the ASYV traditional dance troupe's recent national-level competition.  I have been a proud member of Isheja Traditional Dance Troupe for many years. 

An “always forward, never backward” traditional dance troupe, Isheja Ny’Imihigo M’Imyato, has left a mark of excellence in Rubavu District, Rwanda where the National traditional dance competition took place several weeks ago. 

Though it took us traveling a long distance, we managed to show the rest of the country the best we’ve got for Rwandan culture,” said Isheja member Maxime in his speech during the welcome back party at Agahozo-Shalom.

This was the second time Isheja reached the national level. After earning third place last year, the aim was to be the best and take the cup home to Agahozo-Shalom this year. “We are happy but not completely because our goals haven’t been realized 100%,” said a student leader of Isheja named Ivan. “We don’t mean that we are not satisfied because we know that we did the best we could, so no regrets, but sometimes when you wish for something to happen you also wish that you can do it perfectly,” Ivan continued. 

This year Isheja earned second place at the national level.  The second place standing was appreciated by many around the world including our Agahozo-Shalom founder,Anne Heyman, who said that she was extremely happy that the troupe made it as far as it did. Most of all, the students from Agahozo-Shalom are known to live by values and always practice being role models to others. The members of Isheja are role models to the students at Agahozo-Shalom. 

When Isheja returned to Agahozo-Shalom following the competition, they were hosted by the whole Village who welcomed them as they came through the Village gate. The entire ASYV community showed so much pride and made everyone in Isheja feel as though they really, truly did so much on behalf of the Village. 

We are so thankful for the Village and what it has offered, the way you supported us. You are our engine that keeps us moving and we recognize that we have a hand in all of you that will never let us fall down,” said Ivan during a speech at the welcome back celebration. Isheja also showed gratitude to Anne Heyman, Agahozo-Shalom Board members who were present, and Village leadership, commenting that they were all people who always helped them in all the ways they could to get the troupe to the national level. 

We still believe that the best is ahead and we are looking forward to getting first place next time,” said Maxime.