Back in October, I had the privilege of attending an Experience Day with a longstanding, respected local organization- Azizi Life! If you haven’t heard of Azizi Life, they are doing really incredible work in the Muhanga area, and offer a wide array of ways to support their programs- whether buying highest-quality goods from one of their boutiques (in Kigali, at Heaven Restaurant) or attending one of their numerous experience days.
I was asked to attend a new experience that was about to launch- pottery! There are many different experiences you can choose from- jewelry making, basket weaving, candle dipping, even traditional construction. Each day typically includes preparing and eating a traditional Rwandan meal in an artisan’s home, in addition to the specific craft or experience.
My first question was- can I bring my kids? As a stay at home mama of 2 little ones (4 and 1), I don’t get the chance to get out often without them, so their participation (or at least observation) was key. Of course, Azizi welcomed them wholeheartedly, and they had a great day!
We had a shorter time span than most people do for experience days, but Azizi tailored the day perfectly to when I was available. We arrived, toured the home, met the artisans, and got to work sculpting freshly harvested clay into candle holders and piggy banks under the eye of the chief artisan. The kids loved it!
We ate a delicious, ample traditional meal with the women and were sent off with dancing. It was lovely. Even though I’ve lived in Kigali for 2.5 years, I felt like I learned things about Rwandan life from those women, and really got to experience what life is like for them, and their families.
Whether you’re a long time Kigali resident, planning an outing for a group, or coming to visit yourself- I highly recommend participating in an Azizi Life experience day! There’s sure to be something that piques your interest, and it’ll give you a taste of Rwanda that’s hard to come by in the main parts of the city.
Have you participated in an experience day? Comment below and tell me what you did- and how you enjoyed it!