Sunday, October 18, 2009

Settling In

I realized that it’s been just over 50 days since I’ve been in Rwanda. I’m counting – if just to remind myself to remember each day. At 365, I’m sure I’ll have wondered where the time went. Things are starting to feel more and more like home. I came home from work one day and walked to kitchen to find the phone and check my messages to see if anyone called while I was away. Funny thing is, I don’t have a phone let alone an answering machine! I like going away to visit friends, going to Kigali has its rewards too (Carmel Macchiato, peanut butter….) but I enjoy coming home afterwards.


Friday I had a fantastic visit with a school. The moto ride was beautiful – as always – and the rain stayed away. I took a video of the valleys as I rolled along the country roads, which I hope to upload on the blog. I arrived to a hearty welcome from the director. We met with the teachers and I conducted another needs assessment. Then, because students were done their exam and playing in the yard, we wandered around. He gathered the young children and they sang a few songs. The older children were putting together their garden and, because rainy season has begun, it should be green an lush when they come back to school in the new year. The director took me to lunch and it was the first time I’d eaten plantains in tomato sauce – and the first time they weren’t dry! After lunch the executive secretary of the sector happened to be there so he asked my impressions of the school. Then a moto ride back, a stop at the post office to check to see if a parcel from home had made it, and a quick meeting at the district office. That night I was going to take a bus to Nykarambi for a visit but missed the express bus – which takes about 40 minutes. Instead, I was stuck on a local bus which took, including waiting until it was full before driving off, took about 1 ½ hours! Arghhhh…..but I met some great people. Even though was don’t speak the same language, a smile goes a long way. There was a woman who was carrying a new born. I think she’s just had the baby at the hospital in Kibungo. I met a man who wanted to learn a few Englsih words. There was also two students from a boarding school in Kibungo who were going to home after exams. I eventually arrived after dark but to the great hosts in Kierhe district. We had a relaxing Saturday morning before I (missed another express bus and took a local taxi again) headed back to Kibungo to get the market. It had rained the mud was everywhere!. I bought some material for an ijupo (skirt) and then went to the shop that sells amagi mi bisi (raw eggs – probably spelled wrong) and always knows that’s what I buy from her. Saturday I was also treated to a phone call from my parents and then one from Aimey! I also met with my French teacher to confirm lessons and a rate. I begin on Tuesday (mardi!) and am really looking forward to it.


Today is a lazy Sunday and I’m absolutely enjoying sitting around in my pajamas, ready, writing, and puttering. It’s officially rainy season and so its wet and muddy out. I think the sun is trying to peek through the clouds. My gecko is active today. Normally they stay on the walls but one of the guys just darted across the floor – for something scrumptious I’m sure. Maybe I will watch a movie or read some more or give myself a “pedicure”. There is one magazine here that I haven’t yet read. Tina had brought Geographical and The Economist home a while ago and I’ve really enjoyed reading the magazines – even if the news is a few months old. 

Students spend their free time after exams preparing gardens before the rainy season is fully underway. 
Children bring their own hoes and shovels from home to do this. The grass in the front is tied with banana leaves and brought from home by the smaller children.
This only took about 2 hours to complete. Ready for the rain!
The younger children singing a song - and all jostling to get in the picture.

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