Ingoma Nshya

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:

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The performance includes both drumming and elements of Rwandan traditional dance:

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I was very impressed by the large number of women who came to drum:

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Some of you may recognize Clementine and Marta (pictured below) from their recent trip and many performances in DC, NY and Holland:

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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:

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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!

 

 

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Guestbook

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.

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Finally, here are some pictures visitors have shared with us and we would like to share with you:

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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!

 

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Monkeys

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!

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Monkeys across the street from my house.

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See the baby monkey holding on??!

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…

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Today’s flavors

Ever wonder what flavors we serve at Inzozi Nziza? Here’s a look at our regular flavors in both English and Kinyarwanda!

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English Class

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.

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Study time!

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.

 

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Cakes!

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!

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Eugenie is a very skilled cake decorator!

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Eugenie begins writing out “Happy Birthday!”

 

Licks!

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Brianna’s enjoying her ice cream cone!

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.

Umaganda

Yesterday was the shop’s monthly umaganda. The last Saturday of each month Rwanda has a national day of working with your neighbors to clean and better your community. Inzozi Nziza has its own umaganda once a month to thoroughly clean the shop.

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We clean all of the chairs outside…

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We mop all of the floors inside…

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We clean the welcome mats…

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We even make sure to clean on top of the refrigerator!

My favorite part of the shop’s umaganda is that after all of the cleaning is done, the women prepare a delicious meal! Throughout the month, the women save up their tip money and spend it on having a wonderful group meal on umaganda. It is a very nice reward for a hard day of cleaning and a nice and relaxing time the women can all spend together. I’m looking forward to next umaganda at the shop!

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Chantal begins serving potatoes with vegetables!

 

Coffee Roasting

A year and a half ago Inzozi Nziza set up a coffee program that enabled them to buy coffee from local coffee cooperative and roast it fresh at our shop. Returning a year and a half later, I’m so happy to see  the coffee program is still extremely successful! Today Chantal roasted up some fresh beans!

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Chantal watches the temperature of the beans carefully as she roasts.

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Chantal examines and cools the freshly roasted beans.

Want to learn more about the local coffee roasting process? Click here to see an earlier blog about a trip to the local washing station.

Tea Time

Although December is one of the drier months in Rwanda, we frequently get short rainstorms during the day. This morning we had a few showers that kept business pretty slow.

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View from the shop in the rain.

 On these chilly rainy mornings, the women often like to enjoy a cup of tea, icyayi, to keep themselves warm. The women at the shop like to use a lot of sugar in their tea. The women also use this tea time to correct my Kinyarwanda, the national language in Rwanda, and teach me some new words as I help them with their English.

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Julienne and Leocadie enjoy some tea.

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Julienne likes to take photos with my camera.

Luckily the rain doesn’t last too long and a little later in the day the skies have cleared up and the shop is busy again!