Early this morning we walked briskly up the hill to the Kigali Institute of Education. We received a warm welcome from the the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Languages and the Academic Vice-Rector. The former expressed his feelings about the goals of Project Rwanda and the mission of K.I.E. to prepare its students to teach drama in Rwandan classrooms: “We need drama to help us rebuild the hearts of our communities.”
Afterwards we were met with hugs and hellos from the students, most of whom already knew Helen, Chris and Linda from previous visits. If our hearts had needed restorative therapy, they would have received it from these warm greetings and outpourings of affection. Helen and Chris led a large group warm up and getting-to-know-you session for the eighty or so participants assembled in the main hall. Then we, the CUNY MAAT students, implemented our first sessions in four sub-groups made up from all four year groups of the current KIE drama students. These were received with enormous enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. Practicing the work in another culture was thrilling and rich with learning for us all. Our first experiences truly promise mutual benefits to come in the days ahead!