Sunday, 15 June 2008

A totally wasted day

June 9th

This is one of the days you wish you’d stayed in England.

At the office there’s no sign of Béatrice, and I discover she’s off on her annual leave for virtually the whole of June. Fortunately the census papers are still around, but the young lad who has been transcribing some of the data has them at his home and can’t get them today. I’m off inspecting tomorrow and up-country Wednesday and Thursday, so there’s no chance of doing any proper work on them till Friday at the earliest. I’m getting so Africanised that this doesn’t even bother me now; I just do a Rwandan shrug and move on to “plan B”.

What the hell was “plan B”? Come to think of it, I don’t think there was one.

Védaste breezes in mid morning, with my flash drive which he seems to have appropriated. Collects a lot of data from me and leaves a virus on my laptop which my checker won’t kill. (I suppose in fairness it’s a couple of months since I updated it). Then he’s straight off to do some other job, and taking my flash with him. He’s more trouble than help at the moment, and I want shot of him (and my flash back), but I need him to help me finish the translations on my presentations and look over my secondary stuff.

Venantie’s computer has the Odinga virus again so nobody dare use it except to print stuff that’s already on it.

There’s no sign of Claude at all, and I have an envelope with money for him – a delayed wedding gift from Bola Ojo. Oh well, it’ll have to wait like everything else!

Agnès, the Head at Kivumu, breezes in full of smiles as usual. They’re all looking forward to the jolly up to Rongi on Wednesday, and all keen that I come up there with them. Étienne is also in the office; he’s the Rongi secteur rep. I learn from him that the inspection on Wednesday will be at Kadehero (new ground to me), and the training on Thursday will be at Rongi school itself. Rongi was the second one that Cathie and I inspected, and the most dismal. I wonder if it’ll seem any better on a sunnier day and when they’re actually expecting us! Unfortunately nobody yet knows what time we’re setting off on Wednesday. All Étienne knows is that we’re going in a matata and we’re going via Kabacuzi – using the “road to the end of the earth” rather than the “great north road”. Seems an odd and cross-country way to go, but could be interesting from the scenery point of view. I’ll make sure I take my camera, and bag a window seat!

My newspaper has arrived in the post, so the only really useful things I do all day are to read the paper and RSVP to the British embassy ready for Friday’s bash.

I finally decide it’s time to do some more inspections. I try Sholi, but the head texts back to say he’s out at a Diocesan meeting at Kabgayi that day. True, or just another excuse to fob me off? I wonder! So I try Cyeza school and the headmistress texts back right away to say that’s fine by her. I’m very guilty when I realise it’ll be first formal inspection since my birthday in mid-March!

Tom brings William home for supper. William is the Texan intern who’s doing a week’s work experience with FHI in Gitarama. He seems pleasant enough, full of business talk and big ideas but without much of a clue as to how Rwanda works.

During the evening our water goes off, and we’re left with a tiny trickle from the taps.

I try and try to get hold of the priest at Rongi to arrange accommodation with him for Wednesday night, but his phone is off most of the evening, and engages the other times I try him. As a last resort I’ll have to travel back on Wednesday night and up again Thursday morning, but I really don’t want to if I can avoid it. And in any case I want to suss out the presbyteries as a long term solution to inspecting up in the far north!

Last thing before bed is to go through all my statistics and look up all the stuff about Cyeza. Its exam results are truly terrible, and it’ll be interesting to see what state the place is in.

Best thing about today – not a lot. Tom’s tomato sauce must be the high point of the day.

Worst thing – it’s so cold and grey, I’m not getting anything done and not helping anyone out here. Why am I here? Never mind. Tomorrow’s another day and I’ll be out on the road.

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