Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Home Again

I am home from my Rwandan experience. I need some rest and to catch up on some stuff. Tomorrow I will fill in the blanks about the trip and add the pictures.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Why I am in Rwanda

Ahh, some free time to put thoughts and ideas together. Below is an explanation of the organizaton that I am travelling with. The website is

Amahoro is a word of traditional African origin meaning peace. Although used widely across Africa, it has particularly deep and significant meaning in places like Rwanda, Burundi, and Congo, where violence and genocide have inflicted unimaginable pain and suffering. When people from various tribes embrace, shake hands or kiss, "amahoro" is used as a greeting to express a deep hope for peace to come into their world. Too often in the colonial era, Christian missionaries in Africa spread a message of grace and forgiveness for life after death, but did not integrate that proclamation with the profound Biblical message of justice, peace, and reconciliation in this life on earth. Many spoke longingly of amahoro in the afterlife, but missed Jesus’ ultimate point: peace enters our story now, not just in the far-off future!

In recent years, innovative Christian leaders around the globe have been observing their world and reaching a similar conclusion: the modern colonial world is giving way to an emerging postmodern, postcolonial world. The methods, values, ideas, strengths, and weaknesses of modern Western Christianity have dominated for many centuries. One of the most damaging effects of modern Christianity has been the idea that we don’t need to learn from each other.
Many of us are realizing that a new day is here - a time for emerging leaders from South, North, East and West to learn and work together in unprecedented partnership and dialogue. Together we face a new world - full of new problems and still riddled with old conflicts, but primed for fresh vision, new questions and a season of true promise. We need to summon new ways of thinking, connecting and moving to forge ahead and ignite transformational change in our communities.
Around the world, a conversation has been growing among an emerging generation of young Christian leaders - often encouraged by thoughtful and forward-thinking older mentors. This conversation isn't just about exploring ideas; it is also about considering new frameworks, building relationships and creating networks. That's why Amahoro exists. We seek to encourage and facilitate a conversation and network of friendships among leaders engaging with the postcolonial African world in the name of Jesus.


At Amahoro, our overarching mission is to motivate and accompany the local church, both in its development as a community of the Kingdom of God and as an agent of transformation in its African context. We seek to walk together to prepare the way for the local church to be a manifestation of the glory of God through love and justice in our African societies.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Return to Civilization

After several days in the Rwandan countryside, I am back in Kigali with internet access. I am bone tired, so I am not going to post much at the moment. Because our schedule has been jammed packed from morning to evening, I have not been able to keep up with the writing that I wanted to do. I am having a blast and promise to write about everything, it just might happen after I get back on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Food Musings

Well, I found a time that the wireless service works a little better, 5:00 am. I am up early because I went to bed really early. My malaria meds make me very sick to stomach and dizzy so I went to bed at 8:00 pm last night. So now I am sitting in the bathroom using the toilet as a desk for some quality computer time ( I don't want to wake my roommate up).

The first night of the conference was more of an introductory thing. Most people were dead tired and could barely function.

Being a foodie, I will talk about the food. I was suprised at breakfast with the western influence in the food. Eggs and pancakes were part of the buffet. I asked one of ladies I met from Kenya about the food. She said that hotels in these parts of Africa tend to service a generic type of food that does not represent any particular country or region. It is not the food you would have if your were in someone's home. It reminds me of hotel buffets at home. They usually offer a variety of food that is not really good, but not really bad which is the result of making large quantities. There are lots of bananas and passion fruit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Well, I wanted to start showing some pictures, but the wireless is too slow and won't make the connection. So, I guess that I will start talking without the visuals.

First, the people here are so nice. I was sitting on the floor of the balcony area of the hotel while connecting with the computer. A member of the staff brought me out a table and chair without me asking. Everyone has been so pleasant.

This is my first trip to Africa. I believed I came with realistic expections. The interesting thing is the area is so nicer than I expected. One could easily believe that they are in a remote area of Europe. One of the pictures that I will add later shows houses on a hillside. The scene is extremely similar to Northern Portugal. The homes are built on slopping hill similar to the ones that vineyards are planted on. The size, building materials, style and colors of the homes are reminescent of Pinhao. I had this mental image of row after row of tin shacks which are common in many areas including some we flew over in Ethiopia. But these are made from masonry.

Our group is haveing a dinner wit hte Mayor of Kigali that starts now, so I am heading down. Spell check will not engage so forgive any errors. Hopefully I can add more later.

slow internet service

I have lots of things to talk about. but the wireless connnection at the hotel is really slow. Hopefully I can download some pictures later today.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jet Lag

Sunday morning I left the house at 7:00am to begin my journey to Rwanda. Our 10:05 flight left Dulles at 11:30. This was the beginning of a long day(s). We had an 8 hour flight to Rome to refuel and change flight crews. Then it was another 7 and a half hours to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. That was the worst landing ever. We hit the ground hard and bumped and shook before finally stopping. In Ethiopia, we changed to a smaller plan and had a 2.5 hour trip to Kigali.

Kigali has a very small airport, but we got in and out real fast. By the way, the we I keep talking about are the conference participants for . There were about a dozen of us on the flight out of Dulles. The conference will have 200 participants, 160 from Africa and 40 from the US and Austraila.

Because the flight time was so long I spent more time that I usually would standing and talking to other people. I only had a total of three hours sleep and that is starting to catch up with me. Rwanda is 6 hours ahead of the east coast. I think I am going to have to seek out some hot tea for the caffine.

My roommate is an older lady named Wendy from Austrailia. I have not had a chance to get to know here yet, but she seems nice. The weather is very pleasant. I am sitting on a balcony at the hotel with a wonderful ccol breeze blowing. It is about 70 degrees. The conference program starts at 8:00 tonight. I have started taking a few pictures and will start posting them later.

Friday, May 16, 2008


People have been asking for pictures of my tattoos - so here they are. The peacock is a classic Sailor Jerry design with some additional color work done. I got this one a couple of months ago. It is on the top of my thigh. I really love the colors and the intricate work that was done.

The butterfly is on my back. This was a collaboration between the artist and myself. I like the use of the cross in the center as opposed to the more common 'bug body'. This one was done in 2003, a couple of weeks before I turned 40.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Falling in the Rabbit Hole

Hello world. I have entered a techno place that most of you have already visited. I will be posting some pics and notes from my upcoming trip to Rwanda soon. After that, hopefully I'll still have something to say.

Now, I need to learn how use that digital camera.