Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Tuesday in Kibungo

Nothing out of the ordinary on the agenda today and, quite frankly, I like it that way. I awoke to my view obscured by thick fog and caught a moto to Kibungo School. I arrived to a well prepared head master and staff and had a great meeting with him. I first observed Rose’s math lesson. It was a simple lesson on word problems and converting measurements. She taught the class (and by extension, me) an easy way to remember the conversion. Put the units (km, dam, m, etc) into a “place value”chart. Genius! So, I learned something to bring back to Canada. I spent the rest of the morning with Pascal, who is a beginning teacher. I watch a lesson two weeks ago and – with 60 level 2 children – his classroom management left something to be desired. However, two weeks later and he has made huge improvements. We then managed to go to the nearby football pitch where I helped out Team #2 and – after calling Mzungu!, the kids started to use my name. Our team lost though….


I headed over the St. Joseph’s for lunch and there I am, waiting for the mélange to be served, reading my book (Sideways by Rex Pickett) and who walks in by Dominique! He’s a volleyball coach around here – and on the national level. I haven’t seen him in forever and his timing was perfect because I have a bag to give him from Tina. We chatted a little and he headed off. I finished my lunch and realized that I’d forgotten my wallet! I asked if I could come back later and pay (and Jeremy kindly lent me the money) and of course, they said yes. It’s Kibungo, after all – the friendliest little town in Rwanda.


The afternoon meant group workshops at the school and so we finished up rice sack resource building with the Days of the Week. Rose – miles ahead – prepared some more math visuals. She doesn’t know this yet, but I hope to ask her to come to the Teacher Training Centre in May to show the students her work. We began English Club afterwards and half way through, Moses (from Moderne) walks in. The staff all new him and were surprised that I did too. He was a teacher there last year but teachers get paid so little in Rwanda, he makes more money working at the restaurant.


On the walk home, I stopped in at the district office to say “hi” to Jeremy and Dominique walks in again. Twice in one day…. He invited me down to watch the volleyball team practice and I met some visitors there that are in Rwanda for a year from Brazil. They are working with Rwandan Volleyball Association. Volleyball is HUGE in this country. It was totally unexpected when I arrived. Anyway, Paulo and his crew are here to develop the national team and then develop youth and sport activities. I’ve got his number and hope to get to a game or two if I’m Kigali.


Finally, I headed home and as I walked along the ridge toward my house I looked north east toward the valley. It was clear for the first time in a while (no  fog, no rain, no smoke) and it almost didn’t look real. For a moment it felt very Truman Show – ish and that if I walk far enough, there will be a door outside. It was just perfect.


I arrived home and read in the light until it was too dark to. I began dinner – just as the electricity clicked on – and then took a hot bucket shower. I’m spoiled here….I haven’t taken a cold shower since I discovered the beauty of a bucket shower. Ahhh….. Of course, I used up the last of the water I had (Julie was here to do laundry) but, just as I did the water also came back on. I filled up 2 large buckets and 2 large jerry cans and thought how nice it will be in May, when Amy comes and in July, when Aimey comes (yes, try to keep that straight!) when I don’t have to fill up jerry cans alone!!!

Here's the best news - I should be getting a new mattress from VSO tomorrow to get rid of the bed bugs, once and for all!!! (I hope)

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