Saturday, January 12, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Peter (HT) and Maurice (DHT)
This is a strange experience for me because it has taken me many months to put pen to paper since we returned from Rwanda. It's been a hectic time with lots of people to see and visit as well as moving house. All of that has got in the way. But firmly established in Kent and at last organised, I finally feel the urge to finish what I started. Well, fingers to keyboard. Fast broadband helps although it never deterred me in Rwanda with our trusty dongle.

I'm going to start where I left off with some details about our remaining few days before we had to return home in such a hurry. After all this time, Rwanda has not left our hearts and will forever remain there. In fact, we have just booked our flights to return soon (under our own steam this time) and hope to be there for a short while, saying a proper farewell which we didn't get the chance to do last October. We're then off to visit a few neighbouring countries which evaded us at the end. Flights are booked and the final post for this blog will be our adventures when we return.

Rose and her daughter
Cam, Olivier and Mary
So, less of the chitchat and on to the real stuff starting with what happened on our last day in Rwanda. We had to pack up very quickly. It's amazing how you accumulate things in less than a year. The house had to be empty except for the furniture we had when we arrived and the things we were going to leave for the next volunteer (if there was to be one). Our friend Camilla took a lot of things using two motos to get it back to her place. Some went to Rose (she helped around the house) and neighbours and the rest we gave away.

When we had booked our flights on the Saturday, we were visited by the District Education Officer Olivier Umutangana who we had worked with all the time we were there. He made us feel really good in the way he showed appreciation for the work we had done.

Saying goodbye is never easy but

Akiko our Japanese Neighbour
Stephen and DEO Olivier
Outside the House
Our Guard and the Landlord's Mother
On the final day we went to HVP Gatagara School to say farewell to friends and then we were taken to the airport by Peter (Headteacher of Gatagara) and the rest is history.

Emmanuel and Eric in the front row
Peter ready to take us
But not quite so because there was a surprise in store. Peter told us that Olivier had something for us but he had no idea when we would get it. Just before we left for the airport, he got the call and he drove us to a roadside spot in the centre of Rwamagana where we met Olivier and he presented us with certificates and traditional Rwanda baskets. A great surprise but nothing is ever simple in Rwamagana!

Presenting Certificates by the Roadside

  So Farewell to VSO Rwanda !!!

Voluntary Service Overseas
in Kinyarwanda outside
VSO Office

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Hi, hope your enjoy reading about our adventures in Rwanda. We'd love to hear from you. Stephen and Mary