Final Thoughts on Rwanda…


Before the Cambodia Issue comes out in a few days, I wanted to link to some of the articles I wrote for the Rwanda Issue, because many aren’t posted on my personal blog.  They live on the World Next Door magazine app, but are also available online.

Life_mainLife After Death

“There is just no place for me in Africa.  Through friends and textbooks and CNN, I understand Africa has complicated needs and a million qualified people already… read more


normal_mainRedefining Normal

This is forgiveness, I thought. Not emotionally safe at all. Against all the “normal” forgiveness rules, right in the middle of his broken heart. Why? Because God told…  read more


memorial History Lesson

“Well, hello there! So you’re interested in learning about Rwanda’s history? Great! Have a seat, pour a cup of something hot (or cold?), and let’s chat! I’d love… read more


Ask_WND_mainThe Advice Column

“What are your favorite travel apps? Why help 3rd world countries instead of those in need here? What do you see missions organizations doing wrong?” read more


umuganda_2-385x255 Umuganda

“When I think of the phrase Community Service, I picture chain gangs in orange jumpsuits, kids on probation, and/or Lindsay Lohan. I also think of church and… read more


GorillaCulture Guide

Fact #1: Gorillas > Humans It costs $750 USD to see the gorillas here. The joke in Rwanda is that gorillas make more than the humans. In fact, they say, if the… read more



The Coffee Process
A photo album

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PLUS! There a bunch of other fun elements: Language Lessons, Jeff’s articles about a professional Rwandan Basketball player and a unique coffee plantation community, maps, interactive photos, lost in translation moments, must-have items for travel, the many uses of cassava, an info page about our Partner ministry ALARM, the personal story of the founder of ALARM and reviews of the book and movie As We Forgive. It’s jam-packed, and all right here. And it’s Rwanderful.


Useless (but funny!) Cultural Knowledge

GorillaIt costs $750 USD to see the gorillas here. The joke in Rwanda is that gorillas make more than the humans. In fact, they say, if the government was asked, Who should we save: the gorillas or the humans? The government would say, The gorillas! They provide more income! When foreigners come to the country and are approached by ministries or NGOs to feed the poor or help the Rwandans, they shake their heads with a sad frown, pull out their empty pockets and say, Sorry! But when you take them to see the gorillas? $750! People will donate any amount of money to help the gorillas! The gorillas require visitors to book an appointment far in advance to see them, and a magnificent naming ceremony is held each year to celebrate new gorillas births and to name each baby. It’s a black-tie event, and celebrities are invited from far and wide. [Brace yourself, I’m jumping tone: This crazy gorilla frenzy in a country where the entire international community packed up and left when humans were being killed. Okay, back to previous lighthearted content] I’ll be honest. I DO wish we could see the gorillas. They’re just so mysterious and wild out there on those volcanoes.

Things women traditionally don’t eat in Rwanda because it is an abomination: chicken and goat. Goat especially, because it will cause facial hair. If a woman is seen with facial hair, people whisper to each other, That one has eaten goat! They tell me women in the Congo eat goat, and that’s why so many of them have beards J.  Chicken used to be a specialty only eaten by village Elders or rich people, and only in private. Chicken is still the most expensive meat today, and women can eat it, but usually only the thigh. Men get the gizzards and breast. Wha?

People here talk about the Congo the way BZ talks about Guatemala and the way we talk about the… wait, who do we talk about? Kentucky? All in good fun, I think. Anyway, things people in the Congo supposedly eat: goats, flies, and snakes. And Rwandans say the Congolese say, If there is meat to be found, we eat it. I do not personally know any Congolese to run this by. Neither do they have people from Kentucky to fact-check whether or not Kentuckians actually marry their first cousins. They do, however, win National Basketball Championships