Well, Friday marks 21 months living in Rwanda. I am very excited to be finished kinda soon! On dec. 5 I will have exactly 5 more months. My training group started with 37 and now has 22 making our Group- (Health 2) have 40% early termination rate. Most of my closest friends have left not making things easier for me. I got very very close to going home also. But I decided to stay for a number of reasons, the biggest being friendships, new travel experiences and the goal of just finishing.
So what am I doing now?
I am trying to keep myself busy and trying to stay in my village as much as possible. My organization lost a lot of its USAID funding and is now as a loss for what to do. For now they seem to still be paying staff and paying rent but as for all the activities, they have to be cut. It doesn’t really make much sense to me what’s going on; I think they are trying to do what they can with as little money as possible. Personally I think it’s for the best, they were getting too much money before anyway and not really doing anything useful with it. So now I get to be a true “community development & health volunteer”, which gives me a lot of freedom to do anything. The problem is knowing what is needed and where can I help. Lately I find myself hanging out at the health center. Here I can talk with women and families about hygiene and nutrition. (They never realize how good avocados and carrots can be, instead they by glucose biscuits and fried bread for the same cost.) There is a nurse there who is really good in English and can translate for me. I can say it very simply in Kinyarwanda and he then goes into detail. I talk about when hands should be washed and how children should not run around bare foot (if they can afford shoes) which almost everyone has a least cheap foam shoes, ect. Then when paperwork/names are being filled out I play with the babies and keep them occupied using my phone, my house keys, and sometimes even my earrings. After work I hang out in the town center, usually with my bike (as I have to ride it to the health center). Everyone wants to take turns riding it around so I usually let them for a short time. Then I head to a shop to take some tea. Last week I somehow managed to spill a mug of hot tea all over myself, the guy next to me, the bench and the floor. It caused quite a mess, but the shop owner happily cleaned it up and gave me a free new cup of tea. I had to sit and drink while everyone who came into the shop got told the story of how I spilled tea everywhere. But I do love Rwandan Tea. I also recently “designed” a number of dresses that I had a tailor make for me. They all came out great!
The school year is over now but I will maybe start teaching English again in January at the primary school.
In December I head to Zanizbar for a second time (because its just that amazing) and Zambia to see Victoria Falls!