Bloom Day in May: Mugongo

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My parents were visiting us last week, and we took an overnight trip to the north of Rwanda. We made a stop at Mugongo, the former home and plantation of long-time American resident Roz Carr, who founded Imbabazi Orphanage in 1994, reworking her old farm buildings.

You can read about Roz’s life in Rwanda, from 1949 to 2006, here.

The long English-style flower borders looked particularly colorful as we near the end of the rainy season. Among the many plants blooming were calla lilies, hybrid tea roses, crocosmias, cannas, calendulas, fuchsias, violets, ageratum, hydrangeas, borage, sedum, Santa Barbara and Shasta daisies, azaleas, irises, dahlias, begonias, and day lilies.

It is a credit to Roz’s good strong design and to the continuing dedication of the gardeners she trained that the garden is still so beautiful, almost eight years after her death.

Click here for more information about the Imbabazi Foundation and how to visit the Mugongo garden.

You can scroll through more (and larger) photos by clicking on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any of the thumbnail images.

Thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day (the 15th day of every month). Continue reading “Bloom Day in May: Mugongo”

Lake Kivu fishing boats

While we were in the southwest of Rwanda last week, we stopped at a small cove in Cyangugu to visit the Safe T Stop project, which helps members of the local fishing and fish-selling communities organize to prevent HIV-AIDS.

Safe T Stop is supported by PEPFAR through USAID.

The project has sponsored a brightly painted traditional fishing boat. When the fisherman see it on the water, they know they can get condoms and health information.

Rwandan fishing boats are actually three connected boats. The nets hang in the spaces between them.

The boat’s builders re-used parts of old tires.

Organizing to fight HIV-AIDS has helped the communities organize to improve their businesses as well. They showed us cages for farming tilipia and a new commercial refrigerator.

The Rwandan boats always remind me of cranes coming in for a landing.  The hills in the distance are in the DR Congo.