Reflections on Rutendo’s Interview
These are reflections by the Pencils for Africa Editorial Team after
reading “Vegan and Glutton Free in South Sudan“, by Rutendo
This interview conducted by Pencils for Africa Founder Karim Ajania, is not just a meager interview of questions and answers, this is a story. This story tells us about many lessons in life. I believe that the main lesson it tells is that we should not take anything for granted and to be grateful for what we have.
For Rutendo, she hadn’t realized what it was to be truly hungry like many people in Africa so frequently are. After reading the story, it seems that something changed in Rutendo after she realized to be grateful. After she had experienced this, she became more compassionate to the needs of others, more kind to those around her. For me and the others who have read this interview, we can change ourselves by noticing these things for us to improve upon. We can always be more grateful, compassionate, and kind.
If we understand how to learn these lessons, I feel, we can make a difference in this world.
This story tells us about many lessons in life.
I believe that the main lesson it tells us is that we should not take anything for granted and to be grateful for what we have.
Colin, Deputy Editor
I am not sure how to talk about Rutendo’s visit to South Sudan.
She started off thinking that she would help the people of South Sudan, but instead became uncomfortable with her living situation and asked for a friend to send her food because she was so tired of rice and beans.
Rutendo is amazing because she can laugh at herself and stand back up and try another aproach to the situation. By looking at the lives of the people through a different angle she made an impression and a difference in the lives of the people she became close to.
The small things she did, like offering sanitation wipes to a girl and her mother, made the world a slightly better place than it was before. She also learned a lot about the desperate situations of the people of South Sudan, which she can use to spread the truth, and to find solutions for them and their village. I like that Rutendo has a sense of humor about herself.
Rutemdo’s story is inspiring and slightly humorous at the same time.
The small things Rutendo did, like offering sanitation wipes to a girl and her mother, made the world a slightly better place.
Carly, Assistant Editor
I loved reading Rutendo’s interview because it was funny and honest.
I sympathized with her when she talked about eating the same food everyday day. Also, it must have been very hard to sit in a crammed bus with almost no water. Some accounts of her trip reminded me of when I went to Cambodia to visit an orphanage.
Like for Rutendo, things were unfamiliar for me, but looking back I am so glad I went. Rutendo’s trip to South Sudan is very inspiring because she traveled to a new and unfamiliar place.
I appreciate her honesty about what she was thinking, seeing, and eating. We can learn from Rutendo because she took a chance, choosing the path of the unknown. She did this because she was driven to help others.
Rutendo is very inspiring and I hope to be like her one day.
Some accounts of Rutendo’s trip reminded me of when I went to Cambodia to visit an orphanage. Like for Rutendo, things were unfamiliar for me, but looking back I am so glad I went.
Charlotte, Assistant Editor
The first thing that I thought after reading this interview was that I would never be able to live on rice and beans for that long. That’s crazy!
If I was Rutendo I would have eaten the chocolate bar too!
Rutendo talked about all of the ramshackle shelters and how the food at the market was so expensive because it was scarce. The people that Rutendo stayed with sound very nice but some of the conditions that they had to live in sounded very difficult.
I never thought about how lucky I was, but now I realize how lucky I really am and how grateful I should be for my education, family, home, and many other things.
I thought that it was surprising that the family that Rutendo was staying with didn’t like the food Rutendo made for them. I would have thought that they would enjoy a different kind of food instead of rice and beans. This experience must have been amazing for Rutendo. I hope that when I get older I get to have experiences like hers. These kinds of experiences opens up your mind to new thoughts and helps you see the world differently, it makes you more compassionate to others.
I hope that when I get older I have experiences like Rutendo’s.
Experiences which open up your mind, help you see the world differently, and make you more compassionate toward others.
Ben, Assistant Editor
Rutendo Urenji is a very kind hearted, honest person.
She told us all about her story without leaving anything out. At one point, she could have lied and made herself look better, but she didn’t, her honesty about her situation that was uncomfortable for her, was an important lesson for me.
Rice and beans was the constant normal meal for Rutendo in South Sudan, she could not do it for very long and eventually broke. I liked that she talked about being hungry for something different and eventually ate the chocolate that she had brought for the host family. All of these lessons seemed to help Rutendo step back and look at her own life with gratitude, and at the same time she grew to have respect and empathy for the family and village she was living in. Rutendo changed her own narrative of Africa. I felt that I understood Rutendo more after her interview, I would have not liked eating rice and beans everyday too.
Rutendo changed her own narrative of Africa.
Her honesty about her situation in South Sudan that was uncomfortable for her, was an important lesson for me.
Blanche, Assistant Editor
I think Rutendo is a very interesting women that learned a lot through her adventure in South Sudan.
She seems passionate about food which is awesome. Rutendo must have been brave to arrive in a country she didn’t know and then she had to eat rice and beans every day, I would have hated it!
I think that today in our world we don’t understand the meaning of food, I mean it’s everywhere, every corner. The kids in Africa probably enjoy food more than we do because they realize how much their parents worked to get that piece of bread they are eating while we just eat it. But to the family Rutendo lived with, eating rice and beans seemed so normal and so important. Rutendo was lucky to see all that, to have an insight of what food means to other people.
Rutendo was brave to arrive in a country that she did not know.
Lucia, Assistant Editor
Rutendo Urenje is an inspiring person that everyone should look up to.
I learned that you do not always have to like what you are doing all that really matters is the way you act on it. Rutendo seems like the kind of person that always looks at the bright possibilities of things.
When I read this interview I became more thankful for my school, family, and food. Rutendo’s first impressions of South Sudan and the living conditions and food where a reminder of how fortunate our lives have been with all the choices we have available to us daily.
When I read this interview I became more thankful for my school, family, and food. This was a reminder of how fortunate our lives are with all the choices we have available to us daily.