Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Postcards from last week in Nyabinoni

Here is a long photo essay of our stay with the priests at Nyabinoni. Many of these pictures will need you to double click on them to blow them up to full size.

Late afternoon sun on the mountainsides.

Tharcisse, the head at Bubaji, in his office. It's also the staffroom and school store room. Bubaji is the school which ranks almost bottom in our Muhanga "league table" and by any standards has been a failing school for the past three or four years. Tharcisse has quite a job on his hands to try to rescue it.

The lovely little lane which leads up the mountain to Bubaji school.

Late afternoon light looking westwards towards Goma and Gisenyi.

The priests' living room at Nyabinoni presbytery.

Looking across to Karisimbi volcano over the roofs and water tanks of Nyabinoni school. While we were looking at it from a distance, a big bunch of VSO girls was just setting off to climb it!

This is the view from the church porch at Nyabinoni. Karisimbi once again in the background. About half past six in the morning.

Posing with some friends on the way back from Mass. Seven o'clock in the morning.

View from the road near Gisura school (which we didn't have time to visit).

The meeting point of the Nyaborongo and Mukungwa rivers. You can see the different colours in the water!

Another shot of the meeting point of the Nyaborongo and Mukungwa rivers.

Kibingo school - the very furthest point in Muhanga from Gitarama. The river flows just behind the buildings.

Typical log bridge on the main road.

A typical small village centre on the main road between Ngaru and Kibingo. If you live right out on the mountainside in a family farm, then this place is nearest approach to "civilisation" you're going to get....

View from the metal bridge at Kibingo, looking down the Nyaborongo gorge. Compare the width of the river here with the picture next but one below - here it's only half as wide but very deep and very fast. The river here must be seriously scary at the height of the rainy season!

Cycle delivery men with sacks of cassava on the metal bridge that goes from nowhere much to nowhere at all, near Kibingo!

The wide Nyaboronog just beyond the confluence. You can see the muddy and clear waters starting to mix here!

The staff at Ngaru primary school.

Pupils and teachers at Ngaru. Donatelle, the brilliant teacher in yr 2, is 5th from the left, half hidden behind a pupil.

The view up the Mukungwa river valley from the playground at Ngaru school.

Rice fields next to the river. When the morning sun is on them they absolutely gleam the brightest green you've ever seen.

A nice moody shot of the Nyaborongo in late afternoon light.

The building blocks of rural life in Rwanda - 1. A typical chunk of mountainside between Bubaji and Nyabinoni. While Soraya and I might rave about the scenery, the reality of life for the families who live here is harsh. Steep slopes, no amenities, deteriorating soils, and no fresh land left to cultivate. Well, would you endure these conditions if you could move to an easier life somewhere else?

The building blocks of rural life in Rwanda - 2. A close up of two of the smallholdings in the previous picture. Look how steep the slopes are, yet there's not a terrace in sight. How much of his soil will the farmer lose each year during the heavy rains?

Rural life - exercise books in one hand, hoe in the other. This lad is off to school at six in the morning, via the family fields; there's time for an hour's hoeing before school starts.

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