to the right, our chef Denise & the organization's executive & programming directors watch on.
Remember that summer solstice party? That night, I met Julie and Connor, two particularly warm and welcoming expats who work together at Gardens for Health International.
Julie co-founded the organization in 2007 in an effort to provide lasting agricultural solutions to chronic malnutrition. GHI partners with health centers to identify critical families, and offers education, training and seedlings to improve agricultural capacity as well as health knowledge of mothers.
I've been hearing about how beautiful their farm is since arriving in Kigali, and was so happy to finally get up there this morning. The visit started with community lunch - the entire staff (as well as some of their adorable children) gather around the long table to enjoy their meal together.
Julie gave me an extensive tour of the property, explaining GHI's work along the way. I was really struck by how committed GHI is to finding realistic, adaptable solutions to such major problems. They're constantly experimenting, working to gain further understanding of the land and the families they serve.
I was invited by Azizi Life to tag along on an Experience. These women are strong and so damn beautiful. It was an honor to spend time in their community, learning about their daily responsibilities and discussing our many cultural differences. And of course the many similarities.
Watching the co-op's eldest member lovingly quarrel with one of the men about the pros and cons of divorce (which simply does not exist in this rural community) was hilarious. Absolutely no translation needed.
The women specialize in weaving sisal to make beautiful earrings and bracelets. Their pieces are available through Azizi Life, a non-profit organization that connects many artisans and co-ops to the global market.