The following is a post from one of our 2014 Village Fellows, Danni Falk.  Danni and 8 other Fellows will be spending the next year volunteering in the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.  Danni and the other Fellows arrived in Rwanda one week ago.  Danni hopes to write a blog post every 1-2 weeks.  Her posts can be found here:

uraho from Kigali!!

Watching the small white plane inch forward – this is what I have been doing for the past four hours. Partially because it convinces me that I have some control over the safety of the airplane, but mostly because I cannot believe I’ll be in Rwanda later tonight, or very early tomorrow morning.  After a 9-hour trip to Istanbul next to a very talkative religious Jewish couple, and then another seven-hour trip from Istanbul, the nose of the plane is nearly touching the yellow circle marking Kigali. I can hardly wait!

Those are some notes I wrote while on the plane – and now I am sitting in Bourbon Coffee, a place I know I will frequent, in Kigali.  It is hard to believe I left New York a week ago; in many ways, it feels like I have been in Rwanda much longer.

A quick summary of what I’ve been doing: we spent last Friday and Saturday in Kigali, exploring the city, eating delicious food, and riding motos (yes – motorocycles!). We left for Agahozo-Shalom on Sunday morning and spent the next couple days at a Seminar with other Village staff and moving into our new homes. The Village itself is so beautiful. Rolling green hills, lush gardens, and mango and avocado trees sprawl the 144-acre campus. The Rwandan staff at ASYV are quite possibly the warmest, most beautiful people I have ever encountered. I cannot wait to live, work and learn from them this coming year.

We have now returned to Kigali for a short break before returning to the Village to welcome the new students in the Enrichment Class. These students will be formed into families of 16, by gender, with a Rwandan Mama, Big Sister or Brother, and cousin (one of us!). I cannot wait to meet my Mama, Big Sister and family of girls, and the rest of the returning students. We have had the privilege of meeting some of the recent graduates and current students, and they are nothing short of exceptional.

FellowsJill RadwinFellows, 2013