Welcome to the blog of Blue Marble Dreams, the non-profit venture of Blue Marble Ice Cream.
Last week we decorated at the shop, and now, Inzozi Nziza is ready for Christmas! Here are some of the decorations:
We even have a Christmas tree:
Stockings were hung by the counter with care; one for each staff member!
Even the refrigerator dressed up:
Although there will be no snow in Rwanda this holiday season, our windows will have snow flakes, and even a snowman.
We hope you can stop by the shop and enjoy some of our Christmas spirit!
We would like to congratulate one of our wonderful employees on getting married. Valentine has been working at the shop for one year and married her fiance, Albert, last weekend. The wedding was very beautiful and composed of three parts. The first, was the dowry ceremony, or traditional wedding. This was held in the backyard of Valentine’s house. There were many speeches, traditional Rwandan dance by both male and female dancers, and drumming.
The second part was a catholic mass located at the church very close to Valentine’s house. For this, Valentine changed into a white wedding dress. Her sister, pictured here in a beautiful blue dress, was her maid of honor and was constantly fixing her dress to keep it looking perfect.
Finally, the third part of the ceremony is the reception. Here there was soda, banana beer, and an impressive cake display. The newlyweds cut the cake, and we all enjoyed watching more dancing and drumming. Valentine and Albert even joined in with the dancing; they were great! This is also the part of the wedding where guests present gifts to the new couple.
Today was another successful shop umuganda. Both employees of the shop and members of the cooperative came together to clean the shop and, of course, enjoy a delicious meal! Thanks to everyone’s hard work the shop looks great! Here are some pictures from our day:
Inzozi Nziza would like to welcome a new staff member to our team: Mediatrice!
Mediatrice, like all of our employees, is part of Ingoma Nysha, the drumming group that helped found the shop. She is a mother of four beautiful children. The youngest of which is Cedric, who was a frequent visitor of our English class with the women drummers.
Everyone at Inzozi Nziza is excited to have Mediatrice join our community!
Although Halloween is not a popular or well known holiday in Rwanda, at Inzozi Nziza we brought a little bit of Halloween spirit to Butare.
A few days before Halloween, we decorated the shop with orange ribbon, little pumpkins, and information for the customers to learn about the mostly American holiday.
And of course, no Halloween is complete without Trick or Treat bags!
Happy Halloween from Inzozi Nziza
Although we haven’t written in a while, here are some updates from Blue Marble Dreams: I, Laura, am back in Butare working with the women at Inzozi Nziza. Thanks to many generous donations, I was able to bring over with me some supplies from the US and some great new t-shirts for the women to wear as uniforms! We would like to thank everyone who was involved in making this happen!
Inzozi Nziza now has a new facebook page- http://www.facebook.com/inzoznzizaicecream. Want to follow more of the day to day happenings at the shop? Be sure to “like” out page!
Also, besides helping around the shop, I am also involved in English classes for the women drummers who are part of the cooperative that helped found and own the shop. Twice a week, after their drumming rehearsals, I go by and teach an English class. Here are some photos from our lesson today:
I look forward to updating the blog on the happenings at Inzozi Nziza! Stay tuned!
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!