Photo Friday: Children of Rwanda, Part II

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After a five-hour (unsuccessful) chimp-tracking mission in the Nyungwe Forest, we pulled up to a pygme village on the edge of the jungle.

Rwanda children | Camels & ChocolateI was expecting very small people, but…they weren’t.

Rwanda children | Camels & ChocolateMaybe a little shorter than your average person—I’d say the women were between 5’2″ and 5’4″—but it was hardly visible with the children.

Rwanda children | Camels & ChocolateI would venture to say that this village has seen very few muzungus (white people) during their days, based on their reaction to the six of us.

Rwanda children | Camels & ChocolateBut they were the most welcoming of anyone we met in Rwanda (which is saying a whole helluva lot based on the kindness of everyone we met).

Rwanda children | Camels & ChocolateWhereas others weren’t too keen on us snapping their photos, the pygme children were all for it.

Rwanda children | Camels & ChocolateThey’re run ahead of me, strike a pose, then say “photo, photo!” because they wanted to see the result.

Rwanda children | Camels & ChocolateIt was all too much cuteness for this muzungu to handle.

Rwanda children | Camels & ChocolateAnd while many other places we visited, we unabashedly ask for money at every opportunity, a few small children kept asking me for something in their language that I didn’t understand.

Rwanda children | Camels & Chocolate“What’s that?” I asked the driver. “They want pens,” he said. “Pens, like writing utensils?” I’d ask. “Yes, that is all.”

Rwanda children | Camels & ChocolateBroke my heart. And for a journalist with pens normally coming out the wazoo, for once I came up empty.

Rwanda children | Camels & ChocolateNext time, I’m back in Rwanda, back in the pygme village, I will bring enough pens for the entire town.

Rwanda children | Camels & Chocolate

 

COMMENTS
  • April 2, 2010

    So beautiful. I love your updates from the road.

  • April 2, 2010

    I would mail those children pens in a heartbeat. They are beautiful!

  • April 2, 2010

    Love, love, LOVE that picture with the little girl in her mother’s hands. That’s the type of thing that you see in professional photography books, or blown up on someone’s wall. Those eyes just pierce my soul. Beautiful.

  • April 2, 2010

    Wow, gorgeous pics!

  • April 2, 2010

    I want to send them all pens!

  • April 2, 2010

    This is achingly beautiful.

  • April 2, 2010

    Awesome, wonderful, beautiful photos! (Also, I want to send boxes and boxes of Bic pens to them!)

  • April 2, 2010
    methodpam

    Your photos of the children in Rwanda have been absolutely amazing. I never imagined that they would move me the way they have. Thank you SO much for sharing them.

  • April 2, 2010

    Excellent portrait shots Kristin! Children are so real to their world. Who would have thought that pens would be their happy gift. Nice to see where you are. Safe travels.
    BTW, iChill arrived after I left so I may be using it on the next trip.

  • April 2, 2010

    I am loving your photos from this trip. Well, all your trips, but this one especially. In case I haven’t told you that yet. Sometimes I think I’ve told people things, but I’ve really just told them in my head.

  • April 2, 2010

    These are fantastic.

  • April 2, 2010

    Amazing pictures. A friend of mine was over in Rwanda working with children this past summer. It amazes me how happy these children can be when they seem to have so little (compared to our North American standards anyway).
    Raven, send pencils and chalk. Each teacher gets one pencil per school year and in the classrooms my friend was in, they have one piece of chalk!

  • April 2, 2010

    This made me tear up. It’s humbling to think that I long for so many thing, yet these kids just want pens. I would mail them pens in a heartbeat.

    Love these updates, friend. Such amazing stories.

  • April 2, 2010

    This trip seems so incredible. Thanks for sharing it with us. (And gorgeous shots, as always.)

  • April 2, 2010

    I want to mail them pens! Your pictures are beautiful.

  • April 2, 2010

    Oh, wow, Kristin. I’m so glad you’re sharing these with us.

  • April 2, 2010
    SVV

    Your imagery never ceases to amaze me. MonsteRawr has it right. Their souls are shining through these pictures!

  • April 3, 2010
    Sarah

    I always enjoy your photos…but this series, the 5th from the top (the hands, the orange fabric, the beads?)…breathtaking. Love. It.

    Best wishes to you !!

  • April 3, 2010

    They are all SO beautiful. Amazing.

  • April 4, 2010

    I LOVE these pictures! Such beautiful children. And that baby in the 5th pic I just want to squeeze.

  • April 5, 2010

    Great shots kristin!

  • April 5, 2010

    what lovely shots – such happy kids!! i’d take them pens in a heartbeat, too.

  • April 5, 2010
    Kate

    That’s crazy, when we were in Yemen the kids were always asking us for pens too!

  • April 5, 2010

    Lovely photos and writing!

  • April 6, 2010
    N.U

    Hello,

    Thank you for portraying our country through our children! I like you’re writing too, very fresh and entertaining!!
    May I just ask, why is it always kids from the village, and the poorest? what about the middle-class?
    I am just mentioning this because it feels like, we, Africans, are always portrayed as poor, not clean, torn clothes, etc….Is there any particular reason for that? I am not saying do not take pictures of them, but why single out just one type?

    Good luck with the rest of your journey,
    Kind Regards,

  • April 6, 2010
    N.U

    Hello,

    Thank you for portraying our country through our children! I like your writing too, very fresh and entertaining!!
    May I just ask, why is it always kids from the village, and the poorest? what about the middle-class?
    I am just mentioning this because it feels like, we, Africans, are always portrayed as poor, not clean, torn clothes, etc….Is there any particular reason for that? I am not saying do not take pictures of them, but why single out just one type?

    Good luck with the rest of your journey,
    Kind Regards,

  • April 6, 2010

    Long time reader, first time commenter… and, Wow- I’m in love with these kids and the pictures are so great! you can tell the personalities of all of them! Can’t wait for more photos from your trip!

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