The Azizi life experience

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There is no perfect spice to your wildlife encounter than experiencing culture in rural setting and for Rwanda visitors, Azizi Life Experience is unmissable. Time taken at this remarkable community-based experience will be one of your unforgettable days as quality time will be spent learning about the day-to-day lives of traditional Rwandans. Just picture yourself joining a traditional Rwandan woman at her home- tending to her garden, preparing local cuisines and feasting.

This experience is created and hosted by artists and artisans to offer a remarkably exciting way of getting a taste of natural beauty as well as rare glimpse on the rural life as well as culture of Rwandans. The Azizi Life Experience mainly hosts mission/voluntary teams, family travellers and school visits through a wide range of activities that include;

An unforgettable day in the life of a traditional artisan

For this experience, travellers can be part of a weaving cooperative for a day. During this activity, you can join the local artisan hostess within their villages as they go about family chores that range from preparing home-prepared meals, fetching water from the village spring, cutting grass for farm animals, weaving baskets, harvesting the day’s produce especially during the harvesting season to learning art and craft skills.

Rates here include $80 for adults, $60 for children between five and fifteen years, then free encounter for younger children.

By afternoon, visitors partake of the local meal with the host family with enough time for interacting and learning about their day to day lives. Weaving is normally done after lunch and while here, you will be amazed by how natural fibers are used for making beautiful sisal jewelry, to mention but a few.

The Traditional pottery experience

With the pottery experience, visitors take a step back in time by learning how to make traditional pots and plates in the olden days. The day normally begins with digging up clay from the nearby fields as well as various materials that will be required for the craft. The activity is done in the company of experienced artisans who take you through the process of cleaning and preparing the clay ready for molding into different designs of interest. Having made your own beautiful pot, piggy bank, plate or candle holder, it will be left in the sun to dry as you partake of a meal with the host family.

In the afternoon, fire is made to burn the different clay creations using traditional methods and once cooled, you will leave after a cold drink.

The Coffee Experience

Another way of taking a step back in time is by joining the traditional coffee experience to go through the simple ways of picking, washing, roasting and hand-grinding. The adventure starts with a drive to the nearby village where the guide will receive you and offer introduction to the ladies in the Cooperative.

Having finalized with sharing pleasantries, you will head to the coffee farms to identify ready coffee beans to be washed before removing the pulp. To make it more interesting, you will head to the Valley to fetch water for washing. About this time, lunch is ready and therefore a delicious meal is eaten with the host family. Roasting, grinding and sieving of beans is done after lunch then get a taste of traditional Rwandan coffee.

Imigongo Experience (Cow dung art)

You will be amazed by how cow dung makes amazing art designs during the Azizi Life Experience. This art dates back to the pre-colonial period where a Prince decided to design his house by creating geometric shapes onto the hut wall with ordinary cow dung. This slowly became a famous traditional Rwandan Art known as “Imigongo”. Learn about the history as well as intricate skills of the art. Enjoy a meal by noon with your artisan teacher while sharing experiences of their daily lives and complete by evening.

Banana Juice making

Banana juice and beer are some of the items that don’t miss on traditional weddings or any kind of celebration. For your Azizi Life Experience, you will join a rural host in collecting green bananas and leaves to start the process. This is followed by digging a pit and burying the bananas for ripening. Given the fact that ripening takes up to 4 days, you will use already ripened bananas but first, fetch water from the Valley spring. Afterwards, bananas will be peeled, mashed and strained traditionally for your sweet and natural banana juice.

Traditional construction

Tall buildings are common in Kigali City but with the Azizi Life Experience, you will go through the simple and traditional building skills of local artisans. Starting early morning, you will dig soil and fetch water to learn about brick laying. Having made your own bricks, foundations will be dug followed by laying bricks for a strong house. By the time you are already hungry and therefore savor on a delicious meal with the host family. After lunch and resting, collect some banana leaves for making strong ropes for lashing wood together, to put up a roof.

Other activities during the Azizi Life Experience include Craft workshop experience, the traditional cooking day where wide range of seasonal cuisines are prepared with some of the organic and fresh ingredients, traditional drumming and dancing by the local troupe, the candle dipping and bee-hive making experience from local beekeepers, the unforgettable homestay experience to spend overnights at the traditional huts, bonfires and so much more.

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