I know that this blog seems really happy and some of you might wonder "Is Anna really that happy in Rwanda?" The truth comes in two parts. Yes - I am totally happy to be here and doing a job that is challenging (because of the work and the obstacles of working in development) and rewarding. But this blog isn't all that realistic....I don't share those times with you that I'm really homesick or totally frustrated at things here. What's the point? I'm learning (finally) that homesickness and frustration will always pass but the blog will live on indefinitley in cyberworld. Here's an example: Came home Sunday night at 6:30 so it was already dark. There was no power because I ran out while I was in Kigali. My system is a "pay as you go" system and I forgot to pay before I went - so to speak. It wasn't a big deal because it was my fault. So Monday I headed down to buy electricity at Electrogaz. It's all the way at the other end of the town. So I hoped on the moto and arrived to find no one there! I could have been frustrated but I headed to the post office because I knew there was a parcel there. Vincent had phoned me and so I went to get that and give Vincent a gift I bought in Kigali. Back to Electrogaz and hoping someone was there. Nope. Okay so choice one is to wait it out. I'd come all that way and it would be a shame to have to spend another 600Francs to come back or walk the 45 minutes back to work. I decided to wait it out and then was invited into the office by some other workers. They were so friendly! One lady even gave me her chair because the free one was broken. Of course, I had to refuse because she was so willing to do her work standing up. But I sat on the broken chair and gabbed with them until the power lady came back. I didn't know how much to by so I spent 15,000 Francs and got...105 kWh!! Whoa! Too much. It will last me a few months at least. Then back to work - where power was off. And then home to punch in my code to get some electricity. It worked! "Electrogaz said 'Let there be light!' and there was light!" Until 6:30pm.
The power was still off this morning. I don't know why. Chantal at the motorcycle co-op next door has power. I don't. It's frustrating because I want to be able charge things but....these are things life is made of here. At least this morning the power was on at the office so I could print a few documents for the workshops on Thursday. That was my main objective today. I had most of the things printed by 8:30 and so I could take a break. I'm actually feeling a bit under the weather and am trying to stay healthy for the week. I'm supposed to head to Gitarama next weekend for a party and would like to still go but need to take care of my health.
So....(whoops....just heard beeping...the power went off here....and so did the internet.....it will probably come back on soon.....I hope....)
I guess where I'm going wit this is that I could get totally frustrated with all of this and be cranky and miserable or I could suck it up and move on. It is frustrating – don’t get me wrong – that I have to print and prepare for three workshops in three days and the electricity is out and I’m not actually sure how I’ll do it……BUT…..It was, after all, my choice to come to Rwanda. No body is forcing me to be here. Yes, sometimes I just want a hot shower, a reliable source of power, yogurt, CBC, and my friends. But I know I will have those things soon enough. Right now, I'm here, in Rwanda keeping it real.
(NB: It’s November 12 today. The internet never got working on that day…..)