Thursday, 30 April 2009

Number crunching

April 27th

I’ve decided to work in the office today and see if I can get through all the backlog of primary school census sheets. So I’m there just before seven, with Claude, Valérian and Védaste all waiting to use the internet modem!

I do a full working day – slogging through at the computer from seven till mid-day, and from one till three thirty. That’s a lot of time to be keying in information, and my eyes are feeling the strain by the end of the afternoon. But when I leave the office I have done all the primaries except for four schools which have not sent us their data. Three of them are in Shyogwe secteur, and I text Emmanuelle to ask her if she has the figures. My guess is that she has them somewhere in her papers, and I don’t want to embarrass her by going to the schools directly when they have already given her their papers.

There’s a “Guardian Weekly” come in for Hayley and I, and it’s a recent one, so I take half an hour out when I reach home and sit and read the paper. Then I start to go to work on supper. I have bought a kilo of dried French beans (ibishimbo) at the market, but they need sorting bean by bean to remove grit, mud and anything worse which might be mixed in with them. That alone takes a good half hour, and eventually I boil them. The way to do dried beans is to boil for fifteen minutes and then let them cool slowly. Rest them overnight and do the same again next morning. Then when you need to cook them to eat they’ll only need another twenty minutes or so. It saves on gas.

Tom is working very late indeed at Kigali, so I make a meal for myself and the guard and then listen to music for the rest of the evening. I’ve transferred so much music from other people onto my laptop that I’m continually discovering stuff I didn’t know I’d got! (Tonight I listen to an entire Orishas CD which has escaped me).

During the evening I ring Gikomero Catholic primary school and arrange to go out to inspect them tomorrow. After all the statistics today I decide I need to be out in the fresh air and away from my laptop all tomorrow!

Best thing about today – getting through an enormous pile of paper in far less time than it took me last year!

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