Thanks to our wonderful friends at Cricket Without Boundaries - a U.K. charity that is promoting HIV/AIDS awareness while also working to expand the reach of cricket in Rwanda – we received a very special guest on Tuesday.
On Monday night I received a call from Lee Booth, one of the leaders of CWB and a great supporter of our program. Lee informed me that among their team of visitors from the U.K. this week was the Duchess of Rutland and he wanted to bring her to the Rwandan Orphans Project so she could see the work we are doing with children.
Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon. I’m walking out of a classroom when I see a taxi rolling through our gate. Not some fancy taxi, mind you, but one of the typical Rwandan taxis; scratched and dented, a missing headlight and, judging by how it took the bumps in our driveway, no shock-absorbers. Out of the car stept four people in CWB T-shirts and there was Her Grace, with no airs or graces. Just a woman in a CWB shirt, sport shorts and cool sunglasses. I liked her already.
During her visit I told her all about the history of the ROP, where we are today and where we hope to be in the future. She was keenly interested in all aspects of our program, from how we run the organization internationally to the efficiency and technology behind the volcanic stone stove in our kitchen. She seemed genuinely interested in future of the ROP, asking questions covering everything from setting up a branch of the ROP in the U.K. to inquiring about in what capacity and for how long Jenny and I plan to be at the core of the organization. She gave us all sorts of advice on how we can move forward.
Aside from her impressive knowledge concerning charities and her desire to help the ROP grow as a program, I was hugely impressed with just how down to earth she was. Before she left she gave us a huge suitcase full of toys, balls, school supplies and other items for the kids. She also left a book that she has written about her home, Belvoir Castle, detailing its history and the history of her family that has occupied it for generations. After she had departed we explained who she was to the staff, and then we showed them the book. They were shocked to see where she came from, and even more surprised that this woman, who lived in that castle, was so normal. Celestin, the director, even mentioned that he couldn’t believe that she rolled up in an old taxi.
If Your Grace happens to read this post, we thank you so very much for paying us a visit and for being so interested in the work we are doing. We really hope we can build on our new-found friendship so that we may find ways to work together for the benefit of our children.
Thanks for reading.