Friday Introductions

Hi there!

It’s always hard for me to know how to start these blog posts; in a lot of ways it feels like my personal blog, but I’m aware, first, that this isn’t about me, and second, many of you don’t know who “I” am. So maybe we can start fresh(ish), I’ll give a few background details for those who don’t know, and we’ll build our “working” relationship from there.

 Terry, Chazzo, Tara, Myla, Moses, Innocent

Terry, Chazzo, Tara, Myla, Moses, Innocent

My name is Tara and I’m the founder of No.41. Most of the blogs you’ll read here will come from me. I’ve been living in Rwanda for the better part of 7 years and I just recently built a house here, so it would seem I’ll be here for at least a few more. I have a unique family; four grown boys (19-24) all living at home; they didn’t have the easiest start in life, but are determined not to be defined by it. At various levels, they are working hard to finish up high school and then take on life from there. We also have a sweet baby girl (10 months) who joined our family when she was just 10 days old. Our house is directly behind the current shop that we rent for No.41. We are in the (roller coaster) process of raising funds to buy/build a shop all our own and are praying and believing that this will happen this year.

 The Madre and Lacey, the Dynamic Duo

The Madre and Lacey, the Dynamic Duo

Our behind the scenes team at No.41 is small, but mighty, and though I have had lots(ssss) of help along the way, it has always been on a volunteer basis and, to-date, my mom has been our most consistent “volunteer”. Her name is Kerry, she lives in Oklahoma, and she is in charge of product fulfillment, occasional accounting fires, and any other random US operations that pop up. If you’ve ever sent an email to our website, it was probably my mom you were talking to (and she may or may not have been posing as me).  She’s also a social media bada** (wink, wink) so, if you’re a friend of No.41, Kerry Rollins Burcham will likely be your first like/love on any new posts. You’re welcome.

So, there’s me, my mom, and this year we hired our first, part-time, US employee. Lacey has interned with No.41 several times in Rwanda; she knows most of our team (they are obsessed with her!) and she has heard their stories and invested their hopes and dreams for the future. Lacey shares our heart for empowerment, and we are over the moon to have her as our voice on social media. It’s also worth noting that most of our team can do a killer impersonation of Lacey’s voice. (Insert lots of screaming and cackles of laughter.)

Now on to the stars of the show, our Rwandan team. Some of them you may already know and love, the others we are thrilled to welcome on board and they are equally excited to be here.

  Marie Claire, 28 years old   Favorite color: blue  Favorite drink: porridge  Favorite food: rice  Bible verse: John 3:16  Fun fact: "I like to sing."

Marie Claire, 28 years old

Favorite color: blue

Favorite drink: porridge

Favorite food: rice

Bible verse: John 3:16

Fun fact: "I like to sing."

  Solange, 31 years old   Favorite color: Blue and white  Favorite drink: Fanta Citron and Coke  Favorite food: Peas and corn  Three words to describe yourself: quiet, emotional, and headstrong

Solange, 31 years old

Favorite color: Blue and white

Favorite drink: Fanta Citron and Coke

Favorite food: Peas and corn

Three words to describe yourself: quiet, emotional, and headstrong

  Donatha, 34 years old   Favorite color: blue and white  Favorite drink: Sprite  Favorite food: potatoes, beans, and veggies  Fun fact: "I don't like noise." :)

Donatha, 34 years old

Favorite color: blue and white

Favorite drink: Sprite

Favorite food: potatoes, beans, and veggies

Fun fact: "I don't like noise." :)

  Angelique, 18 years old   Favorite color: red  Favorite drink: Fanta Citron  Favorite food: rice  Favorite bible verse: Psalm 93:1. The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.

Angelique, 18 years old

Favorite color: red

Favorite drink: Fanta Citron

Favorite food: rice

Favorite bible verse: Psalm 93:1. The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.

  Patrice, 32 years old

Patrice, 32 years old

  Vestine, 30 years old    F avorite color: pink  Favorite drink: porridge with maaany sugar  Favorite food: "Only one?" Potatoes and rice  Favorite Bible verse:   1 Peter 3:13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.

Vestine, 30 years old

Favorite color: pink

Favorite drink: porridge with maaany sugar

Favorite food: "Only one?" Potatoes and rice

Favorite Bible verse: 1 Peter 3:13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.

  Xavera, 34 years old   Favorite color: blue  Favorite drink: porridge  Favorite food: cassava  Describe yourself in 3 words: happy, emotional, decisive 

Xavera, 34 years old

Favorite color: blue

Favorite drink: porridge

Favorite food: cassava

Describe yourself in 3 words: happy, emotional, decisive 

  Marie Jane, 17 years old   Favorite color: white  Favorite drink: Coke  Favorite food: potatoes, beans, and rice  Favorite Bible verse: Luke 6:20 Looking at his disciples he said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Marie Jane, 17 years old

Favorite color: white

Favorite drink: Coke

Favorite food: potatoes, beans, and rice

Favorite Bible verse: Luke 6:20 Looking at his disciples he said, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

  Odette, 30 years old   Favorite color: white  Favorite drink: Fanta Citron  Favorite food: potatoes and beans  Fun fact: "I like to listen to the radio and I love to eat."

Odette, 30 years old

Favorite color: white

Favorite drink: Fanta Citron

Favorite food: potatoes and beans

Fun fact: "I like to listen to the radio and I love to eat."

  Geretlude, 28 years old   Favorite food: potatoes  Favorite drink: tea  Favorite color: red  Three words to describe yourself: faithful, independent, happy 

Geretlude, 28 years old

Favorite food: potatoes

Favorite drink: tea

Favorite color: red

Three words to describe yourself: faithful, independent, happy 

  Christine, 24 years old

Christine, 24 years old

  Imbabazi, 22 years old

Imbabazi, 22 years old

  Jean d'Amour, 35 years old   Favorite color: black and white together  Favorite food: beef burger  Favorite drink: Coke  Three words to describe yourself: happy, helpful, love to learn

Jean d'Amour, 35 years old

Favorite color: black and white together

Favorite food: beef burger

Favorite drink: Coke

Three words to describe yourself: happy, helpful, love to learn

So that's it for now, except that the best news for you is with the introduction of so many new team members comes so many new products! Our first launch is set for Wednesday, July 11th, and we cannot wait for you to see what all we’ve been up to… lots of new kitchen and home accessories, some things for the oilers, a few goodies for those of you with a green thumb, and of course, a few new bags. After that, we'll be back soon to introduce you to our three new artisan partners!

Thank you so much for following along with us. The lives of each and every one of us in this post have been changed because of you, your support, and your love. xo

 

**Photos by Sarah B. Sasson

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