Awoke to the call to prayer by the local imam. Did not sleep well. Sinus headache due to the ever present charcoal smoke. We left Butare for Kigali to meet with with the president of the senate (2nd in command of the country) but he was suddenly unavailable. Something about the presence of UN VIPs. I guess that trumps us. Instead we met with the a key person at the ministry of mental health. She lamented the need to use BA level psychology grads and lay helpers to do the vast majority of their counseling. Lunch at Moucecore where we learned more about their ministry to prevent HIV, to protect children’s rights, teach the bible and train individuals to be community leaders.
After lunch we met with the rector (dean) of Kigali Health Institute. They confirmed the need for masters and doctoral counselors with knowledge of mental health problems. They have no problems with specifically christian counseling training and would like us to help them create a masters program and also teach or do distance ed for them. From this meeting,we drove across the city to Barakabao Foundation another ministry of the Bishop to care for over 5000 orphans. These orphans are in either foster families or child-headed homes–and they do it all with 12 staff. As some of the staff spoke, you could see their own stress and trauma. When it comes to orphans, they see 5 different types: genocide orphans, orphans whose parents died in refugee camps in the DRC, orphans born through rape, those whose parents died due to HIV, and those whose parents are in jail.
The day ended in Gahini at the retreat house. The hot meal and bed are welcome sights after such a long day of meetings. On the good note, I had a 2 minute call home. Sam answered and was overjoyed to hear me. Told Kim I was fine. Not sure if I’ll get further opportunities. I admit I’m homesick. I’ve not gone this long of a time without talking to Kim.