Saturday, 8 November 2008

Adieu Nyabinoni - a la prochaine!

November 6th

Final day of training. We feel completely at home here and will be sad to leave. On the other hand, neither of us are particularly looking forward to a long moto ride. So far we haven’t had any serious rain since Sunday; if it doesn’t rain today we’ll be OK; if it comes on a downpour during the morning we could have another horrendous journey.

We finish our training promptly at 12.00; we think we did it better with the second group. Our motos are supposed to be here ready for them, but there’s no sign. Soraya has confirmed the arrangements and they have promised to come.

We go back to the Presbytery. Father Bernard has arrived; he speaks very little English but perfect French so he and I chat for ages. Jean-Damascène insists we stay for lunch, and Claudine has catered for a small army. Sylvère is there, too, to formally thank us and see us away.

We give RwF10,000 each to the priests to put to any use then want in the parish. We also give RwF 500 to Claudine, who has washed my filthy trousers and cagoule so they look like new, and also washed some stuff of Soraya’s. We’re clean little bunnies for the journey home!

The motos eventually arrive at 1.30 – only 90 minutes late. There has been no rain, and the roads are fine. I’m hoping they’ll choose to use the mountain road because the views will be exceptionally clear after the rain, and Soraya has never been up there. But they are adamant they want to use the valley route, so back we go in a shower of dust and gravel.

All through the village of Nyabinoni people are waving goodbye to us. We are so sorry to be going; I am absolutely sure we’ll come back again either for training or to inspect the schools. (Three are Anglican and four are Catholic; with Michael and Tinks we could polish off the lot in a week and stay in luxury at the Presbytery while we’re at it!)

It only takes us 2hrs 40 minutes to roar back to Gitarama; the weather is warm in the valley and we are fine in shirtsleeves. What a contrast to he outward journey!

Back home everyone is incredulous at the story of our epic battle up the valley on Sunday; the talk at the muzungu meal was that we would probably have escaped the rain and arrived at Nyabinoni with little difficulty. How wrong can they have been…..!

The rest of Thursday is spent unpacking, putting stuff to the wash and doing my ironing, and generally relaxing.

Its nice to be home with all the comforts of the flat, but Gitarama feels noisy and jarring after the peace of the far north.

Best thing about today – feeling that we’ve done a worthwhile job; knowing that we’ve made friends in Nyabinoni; knowing that we’ll make sure we go back there before we finish our time in Rwanda.

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