I Wish You Were Here to Experience This Place

By Cynthia Perry, chaperone and Operation Day's Work director

Thetford Academy teacher Cindy Perry kept in touch with family during the trip. What follows is an e-mail she sent to her partner, Thetford Academy teacher Marc Chabot, on our third day in Rwanda. It describes a meeting of Amahoro Association, a group providing support for children affected by AIDS, to which we brought gifts of athletic equipment and clothing.

"I wish you were here to experience this place and its people. It is amazing, wonderful, spiritual, and extremely sad all at once. The children are resilient and strong, and can sing and dance like there is no tomorrow, because for them, there may not be. We met a Belgian man here who said it all in one sentence: "People in Africa live very close to life, and very close to death." Living and dying are equal parts to their days, not to mention suffering and joy.

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