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Entries "March 2008":

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

As an update on the lastminute.com... the leap of faith went badly and I'm in full reschedule mode.  Turns out the training is going to be 20 days long (some still say 10 though) and worst of all my husband has to go along, leaving me all alone and bored for the holidays. I'm hoping that they'll cancel it all last minute.

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Written by: cathie78    in: My travelblog
Thursday, 20 March 2008

last minute . com

A long time ago Antonia gave Rwanda a different name. A name that says so much more than it's original name. She called it lastminute.com. She is a wise woman that Antonia. It was clear how appropriate a name it was when the Minister of Transport banned motorcycles in the centre of kigali effective tomorrow and then recalled the decision a week later.  It was clear the day before International Women's Day 2007 when we waited with baited breath to find out if it would be a day off.  It was decided the morning of that it would not be a day off but rather that at 10:00 am everyone would stop working in their workplaces and have a ceremony commemorating women.  It was clear at the beginning of every year when 5 days into the school year students finally showed up, noticed that there were no desks in their classrooms and the school authorities said "Right, time to move the desks into the classes!" Once again the name has proved to be descriptive as well as catchy. I was placed at the district of Muhanga to work as a teacher training, which involves (as you might imagine) organizing workshops for teachers. I was told that I should try to organize them on weekends and during the holidays so as not to disturb the functioning of schools... fine. We are coming up to 3 weeks of holidays and I thought I'd be able to whip off 2 or 3 two day trainings in that time. The second week is genocide memorial week and so I knew that it would be a no go for workshops but I went ahead and made my training calendar for the other weeks....ha! how very naive of me. About a week ago rumours started to circulate that the government was organizing a political / military training for all primary and secondary school teachers during the holidays. I said "when? for how long? who? everyone?". There was no answer to my question only impenetrable stares that seemed to say "you ask too many questions lady!" So I went around asking everyone I met about the training... this by the way is how I find information in Rwanda (lastminute.com). I never ask one person and then trust the answer a) because if someone doesn't know the answer they generally try to make one up b) information changes daily c) yes and no questions are not to be trusted because - almost universally - when a Rwanda doesn't know the answer they say yes! So I've asked every man, woman and child I know - including some I don't and have had various answers, including:

  • training? what training?
  • The training will last all 3 weeks
  • The training will last 1 week.
  • The training will last 2 weeks, the first two.
  • The training will last 2 weeks, the last two.
  • The training will last 10 days.
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
  • I don't know
My most recent sources of information tell me that there was a meeting in Kigali either Wednesday or today to determine when and for how long the trainings will last. I was told by one person that it was the last week of holidays by another the first ten days. I trust the latter information slightly more and so have booked a training for the last week of holidays. A leap of faith to be sure.



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Written by: cathie78    in: My travelblog

Modified on March 20, 2008 at 12:15 PM

Time is ticking on and I only have 4 months left in Rwanda.  It is shameful that after 2 and a half years, there are still parts of Rwanda (a very small country)that I haven't seen.  What is even more shameful is that of the 3 national parks, Nyungwe is the only one I haven't visited and it was just down the road from where I used to live.  Well this weekend I'm going to be able to tick that box on my list of things to do before I leave Rwanda.  We've got a nice long weekend starting tomorrow so Elson and I will be going down to Gasarenda on Friday, seeing old friends and colleagues and then Saturday morning about ten of us are going to Nyungwe for the day.  Nyungwe is a mountainous rainforest, the biggest left in East and Central Africa.  You have to get up pretty early in the day to see the Chimpanzees but there are plenty of monkeys to be seen.  We're then going to just chill out in Kigeme on Saturday night, do another walk in the countryside on Sunday and then it's back to the grind.

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Written by: cathie78    in: My travelblog