Entries "January 2007":

Friday, 19 January 2007

Rwandan return

Well here I am  back in Central Africa and already experiencing some of the minor irritations of life - for example I labooriously typed out an entry into the blog on Monday only to have it disappear before my eyes, now I'm on the volunteer computer and there are a number of impatients volunteers queuing up behind me - so not much time to report doings so far!

The big news is that I now have a key to the library at school - Yes my very own key! Many injunctions from Frere Remy not to let anyone remove any book without asking him and to be extremely vigilant but nonetheless I can open it every afternoon and have children and staff look at books, do jigsaws and later maybe play games -Wonderful! We have already done some cooking with the older girls and the term is slowly creaking into action - I hope to be doing more English and some science and Geography. When Kath Watson comes I hope that we'll be doing some art.

It has been great catching up with all the volunteers and hearing about their travels and traumas and it has been most heartwarming to be welcomed by  so many of the Butare locals- special welcome from the regular street children and the moto drivers. I've also been warmly greeted by colleagues at school.

Inevitably my various dependants have been round with their hands out - one of them turns up at 7 am with stories about his little brother being ill.  The usual crowd of Deaf students - the building boys arrived on Sunday morning  but are quite easy to entertain - they look at photos and magazines, drink tea and the ones with some hearing listen to my CD player through headphones!!

Some of you may remember me writing about Stan the Polish man with whom I nearly came to blows about whether or not there are horses in Romania - well! he showed up the other evening and pronounced with absolute certainty that there are no rivers in England!! Then talks at me for an hour and a half in incomprehensible French - I think his version of recent history in Eastern Europe and his expertise in Apiculture!! Not surprisingly I don't intend to be disponible any weekend to visit his bees or building projects!


Another 9 new volunteers have arrived and several of them are to be in he South so Butare will be even more a centre of Muzungu activity!! 

 The spat with France seemed to have rekindled old memories of the Genocide and I've found that several people have been talking more openly about their experiences and reflections on the role France played. One of the teachers asked me whether everyone in Europe thinks that Rwandans are savages becuse of what happened and there are still so many unanswered questions. Why did it happen , how can it have been so savage and well planned?

I shall be putting pen to paper over the next week or so but in the meantime many many thanks to all my kind friends and hosts while I was home - I miss you all and am so grateful for your generosity and hospitality. 

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Posted by: Antonia    in: My travelblog