Sunday, May 22, 2011

Next Week

My days in Kigali are numbered. I just got word the other day that next week I will be moving into my new home/office in Kamembe. Tomorrow I will start getting everything together for the big move. So excited!

Today there is a marathon in Kigali. MANY Peace Corps Rwanda staff and volunteers are running. I am not feeling well, so I stayed behind; I don't have the energy to be part of the cheer squad. We all had a party last night to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps and to load up on carbs for the race; I had been working these past couple of days to get everything together for it. I have been running around so much...this morning I just didn't have any energy left in me. The party went well, though, so that was nice.

Good luck, runners!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mail Call!

Check out the Mail Call! section. I added some items to my wish list. I should be moved into my new house by the end of the month, so feel free to start sending packages and letters again. ALL house-warming gifts will be accepted and appreciated. Thank you all in advance.
God Bless!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Check it out

This link was just sent to me.


Rubona Visit

Yesterday I visited my old site, Rubona. It was a great time. I got into Rubona around 10/10:30 am and went directly to the health center. I got to see Dion, Rukumbuzi, and Claude (Sundays are pretty slow at the health center, so there weren't many nurses on duty). I met up with Schadrock there and we walked to Gakwaya's (Rutambi's dad) bar to get something to eat/drink.

I pretty much spent the entire day sitting in front of his bar eating goat meat, drinking beer, and greeting people I know as they walked by. I didn't really call anyone to tell them I was coming besides Schadrock. I called him because there were some documents I needed to pass his way. I didn't call anyone else because I didn't want to be swamped with people to visit. News travels fast in the village and I knew my dance card would be full soon after my arrival. Also, I figured if it was a surprise, it would be more fun for them anyway. I did call Nehemie in the afternoon, though.

Anyway, I was able to get a lot of socializing done, which is very important in Rwanda. I bought my friends some beer, fanta, etc. I was able to see Rutambi and his family, catch up with Nehemie (Rwamagana's mayor), and distribute pictures to everyone. They got a big kick out of the pictures that Yolanda gave me. They love her so much. (Yols, if you are reading this, I think they miss you more than me!) They also enjoyed the pictures of my family. My mother dressed up in the traditional Rwandan gown I bought her for Christmas and Paul wore his U.S. Army uniform. They loved it. Both of my brothers are bigger than me, so people had a hard time believing that I was the oldest of the three.

There was one problem, though. I forgot my camera. So, no pictures this time around. Well, I guess I'll just have to visit again soon.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kamonyi Training

I just got back from helping out with the training at Kamonyi. It was pretty cool. The new volunteers are great. They are a smart group and they're very excited to be in Rwanda; I could tell by the quality and quantity of their questions. I think I gave them some pretty good tips (I never realized how much I knew about Rwanda). It was great to meet everyone and help out.

Besides answering questions and giving presentations about culture, my main duty was to get the water filters up and running. Every volunteer is given a water filter to use for the duration of their service. For whatever reason, some of them were not working. I spent the better part of two days working out the kinks. Fun stuff, I know, but important.

Oh yeah, one more thing, there is NO electricity there. I am used to frequent power outages, but no power at all was a new thing for me. I pushed through it, though. I guess it is better for the new volunteers this way. If they can get used to living with no electricity now, then they should do just fine when they get to their sites, which will probably have electricity.

It seems like they are all having a good time with their host families too. Two of the volunteers have already left, but the other 18 seem to be going strong. Anyway, I might be going back there to help out next week; I don't know yet, but I really hope I get to go there again soon. I think the work that goes into PC trainings is very interesting.

At any rate, I am back in Kigali. I still don't know what is going on with my new home/office in Kamembe; I'm suppose to find out more on Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Until I move, I'll probably be hanging around Kigali and working with staff on projects. I am staying at the new guest house that PC Rwanda has bought/built and it is freaking AWESOME. It can accomodate like 30 people; it has a full kitchen; and it has HOT SHOWERS!

That has been my week, pretty much. Tomorrow I am going to Rubona, my old site, to visit some friends. I am really looking forward it. If I get some time tomorrow, I'll let you know how it went.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rwanda: Round Two

I made it back Saturday night. The flights were pretty cool. Every time I have flown from Belgium to Kigali it was always night time; this time it was during the day. I got to see the mountains of Europe and the deserts of North Africa. They were pretty cool to see from the air.

Anyway, I got in just fine. Right now I am on my way to Kamonyi to help train the new volunteers that came in last week. I'm looking forward to it; I have never really got to participate in any other training besides my own. I'll be there all week.

This is the fifth group of volunteers that have come to Rwanda. They are the third health group. These new volunteers are living with host families, instead of on compounds, for the duration of their training. PC Rwanda staff want me there this week to help answer questions and ease their transition. I am also there because I don't have a house yet.

Before I left for the states I was in Kamembe looking for a home/office. I found an awesome place and since April the PC Rwanda staff have been working on getting it ready for me, but it is not quite ready yet. I am VERY excited to get down there and start working with the volunteers and the community.

This year should be pretty cool. I don't have much new information right now, but I bought a computer when I was in the states and the home/office should have an interent connection. In short, expect more frequent blog posts from me.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Goodbye, America. Thanks for the ride.

Well, this last month has been pretty fun. I got to spend a lot of time with family and friends, get some important errands done, catch up on movies, and gain about 15lbs. Ha! Seriously though, it was great to touch base with everyone.

Thank you, family and friends, for such a great time.

It has been fun, but I am ready to return and get to work. I leave tomorrow and I am very excited about starting my new position in PC Rwanda.

As always, more to come.