Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Ill again

October 12th

A lousy night – I have full blown Giardia again and it makes sleeping very difficult. Not to worry; I have a day’s worth of medication and it’s easy to pick up more in the town. But I decide I won’t go into work, at least for the morning, until my stomach has settled down a bit.

So seven o’clock in the morning finds me watching videos on my computer and generally feeling sorry for myself. Tom reminds me that we could have anybody coming to do the cleaning this morning – Janine can’t because she’s working full time for FHI and Louise won’t start till next week, so I take the hint and get showered and dressed pronto!

By mid morning I’m feeling a lot better. The good thing about Tinidazole is that it kicks in straight away, and while the course of tablets takes three days you are generally feeling better after just a couple of hours.

So I go into town to the RAMA pharmacy and get my tablets. Proprietary Tinidazole costs about RwF6000 for a course of treatment; the generic version made in Nairobi costs about 250 francs. I can’t believe how inflated the proprietary drugs prices have become.

Up to the Office to drop off some papers, but Claude isn’t there and I can’t print off my inspection reports, so there’s no point in hanging around. They’ve asked Béatrice to do the transcriptions of the English tests for Mineduc, so at least the work is under way. I decide to do a quick analysis of the schools in Kiyumba; people have asked me to send them their results. I’ve barely finished when Marthe rings from Kanyanza “B” and asks for hers; fortunately I’m able to dictate them down the phone to her. We have fun deciphering my versions of some of her staff’s surnames, but that is the whole problem with me trying to transcribe long and unfamiliar people’s names all done in curly script!

I call in at the internet café and manage to get a few emails sent, then it’s back to the flat and cook up rice for lunch. Plain boiled rice with a liberal dash of soya sauce is filling, quite surprisingly tasty, and just the thing to bung you up if you’ve got a dodgy tummy.

In the afternoon I manage to get some stuff prepared for my meeting at the College of Education, which I’ve postponed till three, and set off to see Moira and the vice principal. The latter wants to see me on my own, and I wonder if I’ve done something to offend. Quite the reverse, the man wants to chat about the English secondary and university system. He’s aware that the Rwandan system is still very formal and out of step with the rest of East Africa. My problem is that the English system has become so complicated, with “on the job” teacher training and modular degree courses as well as the “AS” and A2” exams, that it’s very difficult to describe succinctly.

Then I spend an hour or so with Moira fine tuning the “responsibilities” sheet for the placements, and the data capture sheet. That’s at least two of my four jobs for the college done. There will be a day’s training for the mentors, but we can leave this until after I come back from Zanzibar. We go to the registrar to get him to agree a date, but he says he needs to consult his calendar first. So we give him my “window” of available days and wait for him to come back to us.

We think there might be one of the big set-piece meetings of headteachers from right across the District on Wednesday; if that is the case, and provided I can nobble Claude in advance, we can do all the consultations with schools on the same day. That will save an enormous amount of travelling round from school to school and be a cheap way of getting things done. So we make sure we have all the data capture sheets printed and ready and in my sweaty hand before I leave!

By now it’s getting past five o’clock in the afternoon. Soraya has rung and wants to come round to the flat, but I put her off because it’ll take me a while to get back home from Kavumu. When I get home Tom is back already and cooking for the guard. We’re off to Becky’s for a pizza night (its Christi’s actual birthday today and there’s a small group going to celebrate it with her).

I call in at Soraya’s on the way, thinking that there’s some problem she needs to run through with me, but all it turns out to be is that she was going to collect three eggs of hers I’ve left in our fridge! Charlotte’s deep into her French coaching on the sofa; Léonie’s out of sight or not home yet.

The pizzafest at Becky’s is wonderful – different pizzas, salads – thank goodness my insides are recovering enough to be able to do them justice! We play party games again – “Taboo” and others, and it’s a generally very pleasant evening. All during the late afternoon the sky has been looking more and more threatening, but somehow the storms all pass us by and when we walk Christi home and then mooch back to the flat at Gahogo the air is sultry and sticky.

Teresa rings me as we’re walking down through Ruvumeru and we talk later. Ruvumeru is surprisingly busy at nine o’clock at night; every little bar and shop is still open, there are throngs of people hanging around and loads of others walking up and down. It’s not the most secure part of town, however, and there are no lights except for dim bulbs in shops, so I never feel completely easy there.

Considering how bad I felt last night it’s been a good and productive day, with all sorts of little jobs I’ve managed to get finished. I’m more or less resigned to my school visits being a thing of the past now, unless I can have one final day out on Thursday, but I’ve met myself imposed target for visits so I’m not that bothered. And I have all this wok to get done for the College now.

No comments: