Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Down time, big time

July 15th

Boredom I write up a couple of days worth of blogs. I go to the bank (long queues again, only one person serving and the usual scrum of customers, mostly trying to pay their electricity bills). I go to the post office (no mail for either of us). I take a couple of rice sacks to the tailors to get them cut and hemmed. The cheeky rascal asks for RwF500 but I tell him it’s 80 a sack, so RwF320 or I’ll go elsewhere. I go to the office – Claude is in but no sign of a replacement for Venantie yet. I go to Nyabisindu school to see if Florent is there – I need him to arrange a venue for my August 19th training. But the school is deserted, just children playing in the yard. Nearly every single window in the newer blocks is broken, too. What a shame.

I come back home via the market and stock up on vegetables. Not many onions today, and the French beans aren’t as good as they usually are. The bakery opposite our flat is closed; it reminds me of Gacaca Tuesdays in January and February but just about everywhere else is open. I wonder if they’re having more alterations made – if they’ve got the builders in they won’t want to be ankle deep in customers.

And that’s about it, really. I try ringing Épi to arrange something for next weekend, but she’s not answering her phone. I have another go at bread making; it’s better than the last lot but still won’t rise properly or cook properly. I read a lot, and listen to loads of music. There’s very little I can be doing in the line of work. Can’t inspect schools, can’t do any training at this short notice, can’t even make up any more rice sack resources because I’ve used all my stock of sacks. I’ll have another four tomorrow afternoon, but I’m going to need them when I go up to Byumba to see Kersti on Thursday.

What we need to do is get a massive job lot of sacks in ready for the next wave of trainings, and get them all hemmed, but the sacks are stored at Kigeme which is three hours’ bus ride away. I wonder if I can get anything arranged with Anne-Miek?

Inactivity here in Rwanda is odd. If I were back home I would presumably just “be retired” and pottering around doing very little and not feeling in the slightest bit worried about it. Here in Gitarama I feel guilty as if I’m still at work but skiving for the day. I think it’s also the fact that most of my colleagues are so young and energetic, too!

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to going up to Byumba on Thursday and seeing Kersti and Irene. I wish Épi would get back to me; if she doesn’t want to go anywhere this weekend I could venture out to the far North East if George or Chris are still around.

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