Here, There and Everywhere

Imizi Children’s Center

Hello from Rwanda. We’ve had a great few months at the ROP, and we wanted to share some of our latest news with you. First off, a truly wonderful development – eight of our secondary school graduates performed so well on their national exams that they have been awarded government scholarships to university, bringing the total number of ROP grads who have earned government scholarships in the last five years to thirteen! As you can imagine, all of us at the ROP are extremely proud of their achievement. Our students are making the most of their opportunities, and we are extremely grateful to you for supporting their journey from the streets to higher education. Thank you!

We are also happy to let you know that we are now well settled into our new location in Rwanda’s Eastern Province. We still have much to do to fix up our new home, but we’ve made great strides already. In February, we built a new set of toilets. More recently, with the support of Norwegian charity Metamorfose, we constructed a brand new, open-air kitchen with eco-friendly stoves that reduce our use of firewood and create significantly less pollution than traditional wood-burning stoves.           

Our new kitchen and toilet facilities.

Thanks to a generous grant from the KLM charity Wings of Support, we are also making significant renovations to the children’s dormitory that will provide them with more light, ventilation and comfort than they ever had before.

Renovations are 80% complete

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Back in February, we opened our primary school to serve the ROP children and our new community in Rwamagana. In addition to our 70 boys, we have also admitted 70 girls and 50 boys from our local community’s poorest families. This is more students than we have ever had before, and it’s possible thanks to the much larger and improved school facilities we now have. We are also proud to have already developed a good reputation amongst our local community and the local government. Having moved from the city of Kigali to a much more rural area, we quickly realized that our new pupils haven’t had the exposure to lessons on important topics like gender equality that the ROP children have. This gives us the opportunity to educate these children on such things so ROP can have an even broader impact on our community.

ROP boys teaching the outside students to include the girls in sports and activities

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All of these achievements are possible thanks to our wonderful supporters – people like you – who generously give throughout the year to help the Rwandan Orphans Project continue our mission of not only caring for former street children, but doing our part to help Rwanda’s vulnerable people in any way we can. From all of us at the ROP, we would like to once again say THANK YOU for your support!

From its creation, our center has been called the Rwandan Orphans Project, Center for Street Children. However, the Rwandan government recently informed all organizations that the words “orphan” and “project” were no longer allowed to be used in titles and instructed all organizations using such words to change their names. We asked the children to choose a new name for their center and after some discussion they came up with the name Imizi Children’s Center. Imizi is a Kinyarwanda word meaning “roots of a tree”, and the children felt like the name was representative of the center’s role in helping them grow. The children also said they sometimes felt embarrassed telling people that they lived at an “Orphans Project” and preferred the term “Children’s Center”. The staff enthusiastically accepted their choice, so that is now the name of our new home here in Rwanda. Don’t worry, the organization you are supporting is still called the Rwandan Orphans Project, both in the US and the UK. Rather, it is just the name of the center in Rwanda that has changed, and we now say that the ROP is supporting the children of the Imizi Children’s Center. 

Our new Imizi sign

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We are gearing up for our annual fundraiser in San Diego, which will take place at the beautiful Museum of Photographic Arts on May 13th. It promises to be a great night and we hope to see many of you there. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit www.rwandanorphansproject.org.

We are also pleased to announce we will be holding our first ROP UK event this June. More details to follow; please email Jenny at jclover@rwandanorphansproject.org for more information. 

Thanks again for everything you do for ROP,

 Sean Jones

Executive Director

Kigali, Rwanda

 

 

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Welcome to Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily

Coming soon at Fire and Ice YA Publishing

Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn’t right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape’s life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape’s life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy’s friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models’ parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.

Available at Fire and Ice YA Publishing and Amazon.

Connect with Libby at: Good Reads Instagram Twitter Facebook

Review of Tell Me a Secret

TEll-Me-a-Secret-by-Ann-Everett>Review of Tell Me a Secret by Ann Everett. Narrated by Sarah Pavelec.

He spun the chair around and straddled it like he was doing it a favor.”

That is the effect Jace Sloan has on women at college, and is one of the many wonderful metaphors used throughout this love story. His charm works on everyone accept Maggie, who is in graduate school and works as a nurse and tutor. Jace and Maggie’s personalities are like oil and water, but they must find a way to work together when she is assigned by her professor to be his tutor for anatomy.

Just when you think this story is following the usual boy meets girl, girl losses boy, and then they get together again, plot line, there is a twist. Actually, there are a number of twists that will keep reader’s wondering about the character’s futures. The dialogue shifts from chapter to chapter, between Maggie’s perspective and Jace’s, providing an intimate microscope into their internal thoughts, emotions and perceptions. Author Ann Everett did a good job keeping the dialogue and situations real, as well as the couple’s reactions.

As an avid reader, and past reviewer for The New York Journal of Books, I must confess that this is the first audio book I’ve listened to and reviewed. Though it was quite long, the narrator’s voice, Sarah Pavelec, was pleasant and engaging. Her tone for both the male and female characters was spot on, as well as the intonations for specific dialogue and action.

Tell Me a Secret is a good book to take on a long trip, or listen to for a period of time each day. It is a sweet romance that shows opposites can not only be attracted to one another when the pheromones are intense, but may also stay together through misunderstandings, tragedy and jealousy.

Gabriel Constans Interview on writing and Loving Annalise.
Interviews by Dante 10 November 2015

Guest author for today on Interviews by Dante is Gabriel Constans. He is an author of Contemporary Erotic Romance. His latest is Loving Annalise.

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Please tell us a little about yourself.

Raised in a lumber town in Northern California, where father worked in the mills for over 40 years. Mother worked as a bookkeeper, later remarried and took in 9 foster sisters and 1 foster brother. Biological sister lives and works in same town.

Been writing since first publishing an alternative newspaper in high school against the Viet Nam war, for civil rights and sex education, for which I was threatened with arrest. Am practicing parent for 5 adult children (2 adopted) and 4 grandchildren.

Tell us about your latest book.

Loving Annalise is based on a true story for a woman I used to work with at hospice. She was kind enough to sit down with me for extensive periods of time and tell me about her life, which I then made into a fictional romance (keeping many of the actual events that took place).

What do you have coming out in the future?

I’ve been teaching about mindfulness meditation and mental health for loss and trauma for almost 40 years, and will start to put together a book about it next year.

Is your book a stand-alone or a series?

Loving Annalise is a stand-alone romance.

Why romance and what makes your particular brand of romance special?

Love and sex are two wonderfully pleasurable aspects of living. Loving Annalise is not only unique, because a lot of it is true, but also because it involves a lot of background and insight into the characters and how Annalise eventually has the courage to stand on her own and be the person she chooses.

Is romance the only genre that you write in or do you write in other genres? If so what other genres do you write in?

All of my romances, Loving Annalise, The Last Conception and Buddha’s Wife, have twists and turns that are not usually found in most romantic genres. I also write children’s fiction and non-fiction for adults, that include books about grief, loss and trauma, sexuality and smoothies. I also write screenplays.

From where do you draw your inspiration?

The primary inspiration for my stories come from personal and family experiences and people I admire, some publicly known and other’s close friends and role models (such as my Judo and Jiu-Jitsu teacher Prof. Jane Carr).

Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?

All the time. Observing people I’ve known in the past and present, and situations and families I’ve been involved in through work in hospice, hospital, coroner’s office, prisons, etc., are a big part of what brings my character’s to life and makes them realistic, flawed and believable.

What authors inspire your writing?

A variety of writer’s have, and do, inspire me. Bell Hooks, Alice Walker, James Baldwin, Isabelle Allende, Ruth Ozeki, Pat Conroy, Chitra Divakaruna, and Zora Neal Hurston are the first that come to mind.

How have your real life experiences influenced your writing?

I’ve been married three times, once when I was very young. Each marriage, and other relationships in-between, have influenced who I am and how I see the world. Each partnership provided emotional, physical and psychological experience that shaped who I am and how I write.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Some of the things I enjoy are film, reading, playing music, gardening and sculpting stone.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

Loving Annalise captures both the reality of other people wanting Annalise, as well as her learning to love herself.

Read entire interview and much more at: Interviews by Dante.

Rainbow

This stone had little carving or shaping. I spent most of the time sanding and polishing it, to bring out the beautiful greens, browns, blues and whites. It is Mariposite. It is the largest stone I’ve worked on and was difficult to move into the sun, to have a better view of the colors. Am calling it Rainbow.2015-11-06 14.37.17

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Marmalaide

This is my latest creation from a block of orange alabaster stone from Colorado. I’ve taken longer on this piece than any previously, trying to get it to shine. The impressions (in case it’s not obvious) are supposed to be lily stems and petals. Here are some views and the spot in the house where it fits perfectly with the surrounding color.IMG_0072

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Witty & Spicy Story of Love

zoenorthbook-new-2Here is a short love story from the same publisher (Melange Books) who published my novel, The Last Conception. It’s called Zoe North and is written by Joanne Rawson. It is a categorized as contemporary, women’s, and mainstream romance. The heat level is rated “Steamy”.

This is a witty, spicy, story of love, friendship and never expecting the inevitable. A night dancing at a salsa club leads to more than Zoe bargained for – an ultimatum that could change her life forever and a honeymoon she will never forget!

Excerpt:

The church organist hit the first chord to the bridle march, whereupon the congregation instantly reared from their pews and turned around trying to catch their first glimpse of the leading person for todays’ show. That would be me by the way, Zoe North, and giving the finest performance of my life.

Walking down the aisle, aware that all eyes were on me, I knew I should be savouring this moment; the smiling faces of approval of my couture gown; tears of joy from my mother, who thought that this day would never arrive; laughing at my friends, acting like teenagers as they pulled silly faces and gave me the thumbs up sign, as if it were my first date. Yet all I could focus on was the man at the altar the man that, in a few minutes from now, would be promising to spend the rest of his life with me.

I turned to pass my bouquet to my matron of honour. Is this really happening? Am I really getting married today, or is it all just a dream? God knows I have dreamt of this moment for what seems like a zillion years.

The vicar smiled at me and then addressed the congregation. “God is love, and those who live in love live in God.”

This is it; this is usually the moment I wake up. Feeling a hand clasp mine, I turned just to be sure, he was real. Sure enough, standing next to me, smiling nervously was the man who had asked me to marry him.
Oblivious to the organist striking up the hymn, Love Divine, all I could think about was how it all started two years ago.

About the Author:

Joanne Rawson was born and raised in Derbyshire England. In 2005, Joanne and her husband gave up their hectic lifestyle, after ten years of managing branded restaurants around London’s M25, and now spends her time in England, Goa, and Malaysia, writing romantic novels and short stories.

Available at:

Satin Romance (Melange Books)
http://www.satinromance.com/authors/joannerawson/zoenorth.html

Amazon US
http://www.amazon.com/Zoe-North-Joanne-Rawson-ebook/dp/B00NG8YNFQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411035243&sr=8-1&keywords=Joanne+Rawson

Amazon UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zoe-North-Joanne-Rawson-ebook/dp/B00NG8YNFQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411034457&sr=8-1&keywords=Joanne+Rawson

All Romance eBooks
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-zoenorth-1631543-177.html

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