Tuesday, 10 February 2009


February 10th

Into the office on a very cold day. As the morning goes on it gets colder and colder. It rains just before lunchtime and by the time I get to Tranquillité I’m so freezing that I have to order a cup of tea to warm up!

I don’t really get any work done at all. I spend the entire day with Claude’s modem, upgrading various programs, catching up on emails and blogs. Why do I feel so guilty? Claude’s off to inspect G S Nyakabanda; it’s one of our better performing schools so I’m not sure why he’s there. I want to pin him down and get decisions on things like which primaries we should go and visit, and also which secondaries, and tie down various dates. But if he isn’t in the office I’m left floundering.

In the afternoon I have great ideas like redeeming myself by translating some more Social Studies chapters, but somehow it never comes to fruition.

One funny point in the day is when I get a hand delivered letter at the office. It’s from Vérène, the head mistress at Munyinya. She’s got a quote from Electrogaz for putting electricity into her school. She wants to know if I (personally) can help with the cost of putting in pylons and cabling to the tune of 830,000 francs – around £1000. If I wasn’t committed to water tanks I might be interested, but there simply won’t be that sort of money around.

Also it’s a typical Rwandan response to a situation. We have a need, now who can we get to pay it for us because we’re poor Africans?

Well, have I earned my pay today – No. Have I worked hard today – yes, but at things for my benefit. My blog is well up to date and that’s about my only real achievement. Some things are really frustrating, like when I finally track down a Congolese CD I’ve been trying to identify from the odd track on my ipod, only to find it’s completely out of stock even in the most specialist of stockists. So my track-jumping songs will soldier on, and on, and on.

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