Welcome to the blog of Blue Marble Dreams, the non-profit venture of Blue Marble Ice Cream.
Check out the women in Butare’s new aprons and hats!
Each morning after some initial cleaning, the women put on their uniforms and get ready for the day. The women’s hats are made of the beautiful fabrics that are common in Rwanda- or ibitenge in Kinyarwanda.
When we are all ready, we place a sign out by the road so that everyone who passes by knows we are open.
Alphonsine and Leocadie are ready for customers.
With the shop already being a popular place for National University students to take their dates at night, Valentine’s day was an extra special occasion. We also decided to do our shop umaganda to clean and prepare the shop.
We began by decorating the shop with paper hearts and fresh cut pink and red flowers.
We also made special valentine’s day treats like these heart shape cookies with pink icing.
Alphonsine sets up our shop umaganda family meal!
Last Friday, I was fortunate enough to watch Ingoma Nshya, the drumming group that founded Inzozi Nziza and now make up members of the cooperative, perform. This special performance was specifically for a group from a project within Buffalo State University called The Anne Frank Project. You can find out more about their organization here.
Here are some pictures from the performance!
Before the show, the women heat the drums to improve the sound quality:
The performance includes both drumming and elements of Rwandan traditional dance:
I was very impressed by the large number of women who came to drum:
Some of you may recognize Clementine and Marta (pictured below) from their recent trip and many performances in DC, NY and Holland:
Valentine works at the shop and drums in Ingoma Nshya. She is not only a great drummer, but she is also particularly talented at Rwandan traditional dance:
Hopefully I will be able to put up some short videos of the drumming soon.
After the performance the group from Buffalo State came to Inzozi Nziza to enjoy lunch and ice cream of course!
Inzozi Nziza opened in June 2010 and since its opening, we have kept a book for our customers to sign and say who they are, where they are from, and to leave us any comments of suggestions they may have after their visit.
I would like to thank all of our customers who have signed our guestbook and share some information with you about their visits.
Finally, here are some pictures visitors have shared with us and we would like to share with you:
Once again we would like to thank all of our customers who have shared with us some information about themselves and their visit to Inzozi Nziza.
Haven’t stopped by Inzozi Nziza yet? We hope we will meet you soon!
Rwanda is famous for its gorillas. Up north, gorilla trekking in the volcanic parks is the main tourist attraction.
Here in the Southern Provence of Rwanda, where Inzozi Nziza is located, we may not have Rwanda’s famous gorillas, but we do have plenty of monkeys! You can see these monkeys running all over the streets of Butare. I regularly see them on my walk to the shop, down the road from the shop near the National University, and eating sweet potatoes that they steal from our neighbors on our roof in the morning. Yesterday, I finally took some pictures of these little monkeys across the street from my house and wanted to share them with everyone!
Wondering what other animals you are likely to see on the streets of Butare? Keep your eye out for a post on goats coming soon…
As a way of continuing to develop the women of Inzozi Nziza’s skills, while I’m here, a big part of my job is teaching English classes. A year and a half ago when I was working with the women here, English classes were normally a big group with all the employees in the afternoon. This time, because of their new schedule, English classes are normally smaller and more individualized. The women’s English and general education levels vary greatly, so for some women I am focusing on their ability to communicate with customers who may only speak English and a basic level of English. For others at a more advanced level, we are working on reading comprehension and new vocabulary.
This morning Leocadie, Alphonsine, Julienne, and I worked on conjugating regular verbs into many different tenses and using them in sentences that relate to the ice cream shop in an effort to improve and expand upon their interactions with customers.
Towards the end of the lesson, we reviewed the vocabulary of all of the parts of the body. The women surprised me by being familiar with the song “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes” and wanting to keep practicing it until they were able to sing the entire song by themselves. I was very impressed and excited by their enthusiasm.
Besides our regular menu items, Inzozi Nziza makes special personalized cakes to celebrate any occasion. The most popular flavor is a banana granola cake, yumm. The cake is topped with icing and decorated with Nutella writing and colorful decorations. They definitely show off the women’s artistic skills!
Don’t forget this Saturday is Inzozi Nziza’s kids’ day! Free ice cream for kids from 2pm until 8pm! Hope to see you there.