This past week I found myself in Arusha, a town near Mount Kilimanjaro to attend a conference. The conference itself was interesting, but beyond that also I got to go on a site visit to a school and a Massai women’s group, and visited the Rwanda War Tribes Tribunal. The most interesting thing at the school was the biofuel that was being used to in the kitchen (the school was boarding school). The biofuel was made of compacted sawdust. It is less expensive than the alternatives (wood, charcoal, or kerosene), burns extremely hot and for long periods of time, and produces no smoke. Absolutely fantastic!

The Massai women sung and danced for us. They make bracelets and necklaces to sell to tourists…seeing as all the money goes directly to the women, I couldn’t help but buy a few things. The women watched as I tried on different bracelets and admired the necklaces. Then when a woman pulled a necklace off her neck similar to the ones I was admiring, it was impossible to not buy it.

The Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal has been going since the end of the Rwanda genocide. As it is in Arusha and open to the public, it seemed that I should attend. Most of the people wore black robes, and one even had a wig. I sat listening with my headphones to the translators as the lawyers, judges, and witness went between French and English. Nothing earth shattering, but it was good to simply sit in a trial and see how they are done.

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