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Entries "August 2005":

Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Nothing for a week and then twice in a row

Wow, I know, you've heard nothing from me for a week and now two days in a row.  I've been getting a lot of emails and comments from people wanting to know how things are going and I'm sorry that I can't respond to them all.  I just got word that I have 10 minutes before we're leaving to go back to the guest house.  I'm downtown Kigali right now in an internet cafe and we have just finished our supply shopping so we're all stocked up and ready to go off to our new houses.  So on Saturday the headmaster of PTTC Mbuga will take Geert and I off to our new house and new village.  We bought lots of interesting things at the Chinese shop in town ( a sort of cross between a dollar store and a Rwandan department store run by a Chinese family) and now we're ready to move in. 

I'll probably be starting into work on Monday and I'll be thinking of you all at Heart Lake and Fletcher's who are about to do the same.  Shout out to the POol, I'll miss you!  Val, I will write you a long message as soon as I can.  I tried to text message you but I don't know if you do that.  If anyone wants to send me a letter or package my new postal address is\

BP 30

Gikongoro, Rwanda

I'll post again soon


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Written by: cathie78    in: My travelblog
Tuesday, 30 August 2005

I'm here

Hi all!

I'm here in Kigali actually sitting in the VSO Programme Office.  It's been a very busy few days and we have had no contact with the outside world until now.  And the internet connection is slooooow so if I don't respond to everyone's emails that's why.  I'm very excited and happy and doing really well.  Thanks to everyone who wrote me cards, letters or messages in my little book.  I appreciate all the great advice (especially Dave's (Salon Red) advice on not letting people convince me to braid my hair).  You may have to wait longer than expected for photos too so please be patient until I figure everything out

What else can I tell you?  So far two mosquitoe bites, a huge beetle and a few geckos in my room at the guest house but no snakes or hippos Adam, so so far I haven't been able to put my training into use.  I had my first experience walking down the street in Rwanda on Friday.  A few of us decided to go for a walk just as school was letting out.  I shook about 150 little hands in the street.  All the school children in their cute uniforms were walking down the street and were captivated by the three white ladies walking down the street.  We were greeted with "bonjour" and sometimes "good afternoon" and often heard little voices shouting "mzungu" from the side of the road - which means white person.  People are very friendly.  I'm writing very fast as we are on our way out to the centre of town for the first time.  Tomorrow we will go shopping for some provisions for home and that's when I'll get a cell phone.  I'll keep you posted on that.  Saturday our employers will come to take us off to our placements and apparently on Monday I will start teaching!!  A bit nervous about that.


Anyways, love and miss you all

I'll write more soon


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Written by: cathie78    in: My travelblog

Modified on August 31, 2005 at 8:55 PM
Wednesday, 24 August 2005

I'm off

What is the feeling when you're driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? -it's the too huge world vaulting is, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.

~ Jack Kerouac

Well I'm off. I'm feeling surprisingly calm for the day of my departure, in fact for this whole week. Maybe it's a side effect of the anti-malarials: "Warning, this drug may cause numbness and an inability to express emotion. It may also diminish one's capacity to grasp the reality of a situation." In any case, I'm leaving this country feeling pretty zen. I'll miss you all tremendously and I look forward to lots of letters, e-mails, pictures and even the occasional phone call.

Thanks for all the last minute words of advice, gifts (even though you've pushed my packing skills to the limit), and meals (although if I have any more 'last suppers' I won't fit in any of the clothes I'm taking with me). Keep an eye out for my first update from Rwanda. I should get to a computer within a week.

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Written by: cathie78    in: My travelblog

Modified on August 24, 2005 at 6:10 PM
Friday, 19 August 2005


Thanks to EVERYONE who donated to VSO!

Special thanks to

Ghenwa Yehia

Tamara Houghton

and Heart Lake SS S.A.C. for their generous donation.

Also, special thanks to my dad, John Nichol for his generous donation.

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Written by: cathie78    in: My travelblog
Friday, 19 August 2005

Back to Boring Blonde

Well, it's good-bye time. No, I don't mean my friends and family... I mean my hair! Good-bye long hair, good-bye pretty red highlights, good-bye braids and buns and low pony-tails. Back to "au naturel", easy to wash, easy to brush, and no roots! After all, there will be no long showers, hair dryers, straightening irons, 'product' or Ryan where I'm going.

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Written by: cathie78    in: My travelblog

Modified on August 19, 2005 at 5:24 AM
Friday, 12 August 2005

All trained, almost packed, and excited to go!

Back from a week long training session in Ottawa, feeling pumped, anxious as usual and surprisingly prepared. The week in Ottawa made everything feel a little more real. I met some incredible people and it was just great to be around others who are doing the same thing. I was really bummed to say good-bye to everyone. We bonded in such a short time and now are all being sent off to different corners of the world: Cambodia, Nepal, Ghana, Gambia, Zambia, Uganda, Guyana and Rwanda. I sincerely hope our paths will cross again. Saying good-bye was like a dress rehearsal for the good-byes I will have to say in less than two weeks. That's right less than two weeks!!!! I got my flight information and I'm leaving at 8pm on the 24th.

There's lots to do before then and lots of people to see, one very special person in particular, little Savannah Moon (2.5 weeks old).

Ride the Wave!

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Written by: cathie78    in: My travelblog