Example Schedule: Imigongo (cow dung art) Experience
|09.00||Welcome & Introduction at Azizi Life in Ruhango.|
|09.20||Introduction to the experts in cow dung paintings. They then explain the history of this king’s art in Rwanda.|
|09.35||Preparation of raw materials needed to create your own Imigongo art.|
|09.40||Guided by your translator together with the artisan, you will learn how to craft the foundation of your painting.|
|12.00||Lunch: We will serve a cooked vegetarian meal typical for local families, such as cassava, sweet potatoes and beans.|
This is a good time to ask experts artisans about life in their community. They may have questions for you too about life in your home country.
|13.30||Continue to work on your painting by sanding, painting and making it look beautiful!|
|15.00||Close your Imigongo Experience day with a cold drink and a chance to reflect on your Experience.|
|15.15||Finally, there will be opportunity to peruse all of the beautiful, handcrafted goods on offer from our artisan partners- including the cooperative of your artisan teacher! This is a wonderful way to gather gifts and souvenirs which you can be confident are fair trade and making an impact.|
How to Prepare for Your Visit:
- Men may wear trousers or shorts. Women should wear trousers or a skirt that covers the knees, as Rwandan women usually don’t show their knees.
- We recommend that you wear closed-toed shoes: Walking shoes are useful on the paths, which can be steep and slippery.
- Be prepared to spend time in the sun.
- Bring a camera or video camera if you wish; the artisans won’t mind.
- Bring reading glasses if you need them for craft work.
- There will be a translator with you; feel free to ask as many questions as you wish.
- Please let us know in advance if you have any food allergies. Food served may contain nuts.
- Ensure that you have health insurance to cover your visit. We do all we can to ensure your safety during your visit. In the case of an accident, we will ensure you get appropriate medical attention. However, you must cover the costs through your insurance.
You Should Also Know That:
- You will be supplied by Azizi Life with plenty of bottled drinking water.
- The food is thoroughly cooked: no previous visitors have become ill after eating it. However, if you prefer not to eat, or to eat just a little, you will not offend your host.
- Soap and water are available for washing your hands.
- We provide first aid kit, hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
- The artisans are a lovely group of men, young and older. They know that you are coming to gain an understanding of what rural this art is like in Rwanda and will encourage you to join in with each step to get your own painting.
- Very occasionally, in the community, a neighbor may ask you for money. People often ask each other for money here, and are not offended by a refusal. They are all the more likely to ask a white visitor, as Rwandans often think that white people are fabulously rich. If asked for money, it is best to say no. Your visit is already benefiting the community: the artisan group earn a fair wage for your visit, often saving their payment in a joint account and then spending it on something substantial such as a cow. Their families benefit directly, and so does the wider community. This is because a host will often pay a neighbor to work her fields while she is busy hosting your visit. Additionally, we donate 5% of tourism revenues to our local nonprofit, Azizi Life Impact, for community development work.