Day 8 – Gahararo ( A Twa Village )

Thursday, February 21, 2019

After a normal breakfast and a quick hot shower for some of us ( because we suddenly had running water ) we packed our bags into the van and waited for Deanna to arrive with 2 pastors, Eric and Sam, who would be joining us and are currently ministering in the rural area that we would be going to see.

Deanna arrived at 9:30 am and after filling the van with diesel and picking up the pastors we headed east to Muyinga.   On our way,  Doug relayed a story regarding a memorial that we passed.

This memorial was built by the government in response to a horrible tragedy, in which hundreds students and teachers from a school in the area had been killed in the early 90’s.   A large group had been locked into a gas station before it was set on fire and people were waiting with machetes outside in case any people got out of the building.   Only a few individuals made it out and were able to get away.   The reason behind this brutal incident was that they were of the wrong ethnicity.  Below is a picture of the gas station, beside the memorial, in which the incident occurred.

We drove to Muyinga, where we transfered to different vehicles due to the rough roads we would encounter.

When we arrived at the village in Gahararo, we were met by the Twa ( more commonly ‘Twa’  or  Pygmy ) who immediately started to dance for us.

About 3 years ago Etienne, the site coordinator from the Harvest organization, started an outreach program with the Twa in Gahararo.   Prior to this, the area was mostly, if not all, a Muslim community.   Since then Pastor Jeff has been working with the Twa in the area.

We spent some time discussing the work and needs in Gahararo.  Houses have been built for the Twa in this village and a water pumping system with a tower has been installed to pump water up to the village.   This water is shared with the neighboring villages.   Unfortunately, the village doesn’t have a building to meet for church services or training, so they asked us to pray that this need.  

The new homes which are made of clay bricks that replaced the straw huts,can be seen in the background of the picture below.

After praying for the work being done, we walked to another village, nearby.

We were shown the huts where the Twa of this village live.  Pastor Sam entered one of the huts but there was barely room to turn around.  The particular hut he entered was used by a family of 4, but some huts have to accommodate larger families.

There are 40 huts in this village that Harvest is preparing to replace with clay brick buildings.

The Twa enjoy dancing and on our way back to the vehicles, Michele entertained the Twa with some dance moves, which they thoroughly enjoyed.

We made our way back to the vans, drove back to Muyinga, transferred to our van and then drove to Ngozi to check into our hotel.    On our way we noticed many rice patties in the valleys below.

After checking in we went to a local restaurant for a meal and finally made it back to the hotel at 10 pm.

The route we took was from Muramvya to Muyinga to the Twa village ( another 40 minutes by car ) and to NGozi for the evening.

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