Sunday, 21 June 2009

"Imana yirirwa ahandi igataha i Rwanda."

"God spends the day everywhere, but sleeps in RWANDA!!!!!!!!"

Yes, dear friends and family, I am off to Rwanda!

About 6 weeks ago I was put in touch with an organisation that is run by Harvard university (yes, the Harvard in America!!!) called WorldTeach. They basically send teachers into developing countries to help rural (and sometimes urban) schools in developing countries. Volunteers are specifically placed in countries that would otherwise be unable to afford or locate qualified teachers. The application process was rigorous, probably to weed out people who were just ‘look-seeing’, and after a very late night telephone interview I received an email to say they were reviewing my file and that it would be up to 3 weeks before I would hear. The very next day I got an email saying:


“Congratulations! You have been accepted to the December 2009 WorldTeach Rwanda Program!  We were impressed with your application and we hope you will join us on our remarkable journey to vibrant and diverse Rwanda.  This program will offer you the opportunity to gain hands-on teaching experience in one of the most historically rich and culturally dynamic settings in the world.”


To say I was excited would be understating it ever so slightly. I also got an email that day off a very dear friend in Uganda telling me all about this NGO she was involved with. It basically provides short term support for teachers in rural schools in Uganda. They go out for 3-4 weeks and work in a school helping to improve the teaching. Many of the teachers are not trained teachers and do it out of the love for the kids and the profession. As she worked with me in SA, she asked me if I had any spare time to go out and help her.


So the plan looks a little like this at the moment:


  • 2nd week in November -travel to Uganda and work there for 3 weeks.
  • Beginning of December - travel to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda and meet my WorldTeach posse for training.
  • End of December/Beginning of January - travel to my village and find my school.


The WorldTeach programme is a year long commitment with the possibility to extend for a further year. I have yet to decide on how I will travel to Kigali from Uganda as I am torn between two options. I could fly which would be fine or I could take a bus. There is a bus that goes between the two capitals of Kampala and Kigali and only costs about £10. It takes about 8 hours but goes through the most beautiful scenery ever. The only draw back is that it is quite uncomfortable and I will have my entire luggage with me – that’s luggage for a year plus!


I will do a separate post giving you all an update on Rwanda and the situation there, as I am sure many of you are like me and only know it for two things: genocide and gorillas!


For the time being I have to learn yet another language: Kinyarwandan. French used to be the official international language there but it is slowly being replaced by English. So hopefully I will not have too much of a problem communicating and getting around.


However, for now, mwirirwe or goodbye!

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