Entries "April 2006":

Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Different cultural attitudes to age?

 Just a quick entry with an amusing anecdote. I was visited on Sunday evening by a rather nice young Ugandan whom I'd met at a party some weeks ago. He asked me how old I was
"I'm 57"
" Oh! I thought your age was nearer 70"
With heavy sarcasm" Thankyou very much"
" You're welcome"
So now I feel about 100.
Djuma, ( nice Congolese) came to visit on Monday evening bringing the person whom he always refers to as"This Polish Man", whose name Ithink is Stan. He is a kind of polymath, builds houses, cutivates a variety of plants and knows a lot about keeping bees but is also a bit of a knowall.Stan speaks only French and very fast and somewhat indistinctly so I only understand about 1 word in 10 - just enough to make roughly appropriate responses ar ask vaguely relevant questions! Having said that we nearly came to blows about whether there were horses in Romania. I know that there are, Stan said "No, oxen and donkeys". We glared at each other for some minutes before he went off on some other ncomprehensible topic!! Don't think Djuma will bring him again! I'm not sure if Romania is yet part of the EU, is it waiting to join - can anyone enlighten me? I know that London is full of Romanian gypsies and, I gather, Albanians.
Term is very slowly getting underway but not enough children to start teaching except in the Primary school where I teach English. Have spent part of the last 2 days maworking with some of the older girls to make a beautiful teacher for the Global Education Week theme "Every Child Needs a Teacher" Here, they get paid so little it's not surprising that they are demotivated and disgruntled.

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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog
Different cultural attitudes to age?

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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog
Saturday, 22 April 2006

Back in Butare

I'm now back in Butare after a night in Kigali where I went for a Disability working group meeting. Mainly we heard about the DFID grant for Disability for which VSO  has had verbal assurance that it will be paid!! Despite this rather vague promise every kind of belt and brace seems to be imposed on the spending of it but I think that we will be able to proceed with the production of the Sign Language Manual that Lies and I have already started work on: she has printed out some of the signs that the Deaf students have demonstrated and they look great.

This morning 4 of us went to have a pedicure!! Unimaginable pampering- warm frothing water and a chair that massages your back at the same time!! Washing and scrubbing, massaging and trimming - altogether amazing and now I have smooth, apricot scented feet with scarlet nails!! All carried out by delightful Kenyan Esther from Nyeri!!

Term starts on Monday but I think in a rather desultory fashion as the pupils have to come from all corners of Rwanda by a variety of taxi buses and accompanied by parents so I think there will be quite a bit of sitting about and catching up on other teacher news and gossip.

Coming back from Kigali Annemeic and I were exclaiming how fresh and green everything looks - paddy fields full of water and flourishing rice. Sometimes after rain when the sky is clear you can see the volcanoes in the distance which is a wonderful sight as they rise up from nothing and look so grand even from far away.

Many thanks to Harriet, Martin and Pat for their wonderful hospitality while Cathie and I were in Rwanda - Hot water, delicious food, good company and great opportunities to discover more about Uganda - letters are on the way!!







































































Coming back from Kigali th

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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog
Thursday, 20 April 2006

Pictures 3

Road to Antonia's huis... it's in the grey building on the right side, at the end.

Main road in Butare.

Butare, main road.

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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog
Thursday, 20 April 2006

pictures 2


Party at Lies's place with Tamara, Guillaume and jamal.

At home, with newly purchased artifacts.

Geert's birthday party. Food supply is a problem in Rwanda!

At home... wouldn't dare to wear this in Bangor!

Lake Muhazi... a volunteers life is tough!
undefinedAkagera National Park with Megan and Collin.

Full committment to the part... dissability workshop.

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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog
Pictures 1: in Antionia's house...

Reading letters...

Antonia & Nicky...


The Kitchen ...

The front of the house...

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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog

Modified on April 20, 2006 at 12:55 AM
Back in Butare

Cathie and I got back to Butare last night after a really great night at Ntugamo where we met up with lovely ruta whom I'd met training in Birmingham last June; This was her last night having spent 9 months working with a lemongrass growing and processing co -operative.

 She lived in a lovely little house up in the hills with the most spectacular views - especially from her loo!

We slept while she packed and then had a quick dawn tour of the factory, bought some candles and into the town where she took off for Kampala and we had breakfast before catching the matatu for Kabale, taxi to the border and then taxi bus to Kigali; all very easy!

I've today been to the interrement of my Domestique's husband's little brother; His old mother still alive - very feisty and quite spry- something about the grave digging displeased her and she went into a big sulk and had to be coaxed back to the graveside for the lowering of the coffin. She had 11 children and there are now only 2 left. It was in a field on the side of a steep hill - all very peaceful - a bit of spontaneous singing and a couple of prayers then back to the house for fanta and chat.When I said to Leonidas, the son who drove me, and Renathe's husband, how sorry I was, he replied "C'est normal" and added that it had to be done in the morning because at this time of year there is heavy rain in the afternoon, which looks like being true as the clouds are gathering!

Will be in Kigali againg for a disability meeting on Friday. 




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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog
Sunday, 16 April 2006

A new departure in Uganda!

I'm here in Fort Portal staying with Pat Heathcote, and Cathie has helped me set up this "travelblog". Who knows whether I shall manage to keep it up but I thought it might be a good way to keep in touch with everyone during those weeks when I'm rushing about and can't afford the time or the francs to spend much time in the internet cafe!

We've had a great time here in Uganda and done a variety of things including SHOPPING, 2 nights by the Bujagali Falls, had a lovely day - thanks to kind Pat - driving to the Semliki valley where we visited very hot and rather smelly springs and saw lovely monkeys, met other VSO volunteers and had the usual exchange of experiences and views on development -is it a GOOD THING or not? and really enjoyed the beautiful scenery here - especially the spectacular Mountains of the Moon which are apparently geologically quite interesting - formed by the magma forced up by the volcanic activity in this area. The region has many crater lakes which are quite beautiful.

We went for a walk to one of them this morning and it was a glorious pastoral scene- goats, cows, moutains and a perfect temperature as well.

Tomorrow we set off for Mbarrara and hope to get back to Butare on Tuesday.

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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog

Modified on April 16, 2006 at 10:17 PM