Friday, 27 June 2008

Frustration Sunday at Gitarama!

June 22nd

Lazy morning, feeling headachey and out of sorts. Arrange with Tom to go to the FHI office to use their internet. I want to post some blogs, update my antivirus And try to send Sarah’s gorilla-point.

By mid-day I’ve been there nearly three hours and still can’t get an internet connection, so abandon. (Tom’s at church with his parents; I’m being a heathen).

Walking back home when I drop in at my internet café and find a good connection there. Curses - I’ve just wasted more or less a whole morning trying to get on line when there’s a good connection up the road. Blogging is quick, then it’s an hour-long wait for the antivirus programme to download. It will cost a lot to download, but it has to be done. But even this doesn’t go to plan, a third of the way through the download it stops, and doesn’t seem to have updated my system. Frustration, frustration. Or “se patienter” as we say here! Oh for broadband….

One nice thing happens – Irene texts to say that she’s coming to Gitarama for Mon-Wed on a JRC refugee workshop, and we arrange to meet up for a meal and to swap music. Also I’ve got to go and see Cathie to finalise stuff for the Nyabinoni training day on Wednesday. So I’ve only have Monday morning guaranteed undisturbed time to finish my census work and get my French phrases inside my head.

My voice is starting to improve – until I start to use it for any length of time. Like when Ward breezes into the internet café, very chuffed that Holland have been knocked out of the Euro Cup by Russia…. Good old Ward; he’s the most cheerful person I’ve ever met!

The afternoon is muggy and I decide to stay in the flat and work on my presentation for Wednesday. By teatime I’ve broken the back of it and feel a lot more confident about the veracity of some of the data. I really don’t know how Béatrice was adding up her figures – almost nothing mine matches hers!

In the evening we go to eat at Delta; this time there’s about twelve of us – Tom’s parents come, Ulrika is there and Ward. We also meet another two of the young Americans on the orphanage building project, a man called Andréas who is staying at the Franciscans’ set-up at Kivumu, and Israel – a black South African who is visiting Gitarama and who had been told that all the muzungus would be here on a Saturday night. Once again we cover about six nationalities, and converse in English, and sign language and writing with Janine. Janine tells me that Marion has been ill for some time in Kigali – seems we’re all going down like ninepins at the moment.

Best thing about today – getting some work done on my presentation for Wednesday, but it’s a pretty small bright point in a really flat day.

Worst thing – it’s just SO frustrating to plan things involving the internet and constantly find I’m frustrated by power cuts, broken connections, slow upload speeds etc etc.

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