One Year Later

Catching up with our Rwanda Friends

It's well over a year now since we returned from Rwanda - well at least our VSO placement. Actually it's only two months since we came back because we returned a year later. We had left so quickly for family reasons that we didn't get chance to say goodbye properly so we decided to go back. It was a sort of holiday with the intention of meeting up with as many of the people we had worked with that we could. We planned to do some travelling at the end of our placement with our friend from the Guyana placement - Meg. But that was not to be, so we decided to go back a year later with her, visiting Rwanda first for the bulk of the trip, followed by Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and finally, Zanzibar. It was 32 days altogether - a whirlwind tour but the holiday of a lifetime.


Back to the Beau Sejour Guest House
Although we were looking forward to it, we were quite apprehensive about going back. What if there was no evidence of our work? What if they had moved on and were no longer interested? We needn't have worried. We were given an amazing welcome from work colleagues, Rwandese friends, volunteers still in placement  headteachers and teachers alike. We attended a meeting of all Headteachers and Officials in the Rwamagana District and were given the opportunity to speak to them - it was a chance to use my French again, not having spoken a word of it since we got back. We visited schools which had clearly moved on but where the work we had done had been used as a foundation for further development. We visited the old haunts, other volunteers, our former home, Akagera National Park, Kivu and, of course, the Sol e Luna Italian Restaurant in Kissementi. Just like old times I had the Sol e Luna Special Pizza with extra anchovies. Don't call me set in my ways!
Relaxing at the Beau Sejour
We take Meg to the Sol e Luna
Akagera National Park

We meet Ian in the new Akagera Lodge
Meeting the staff at GS Kitazigurwa
And the children of course
We can give you a much better feel for what a school is like from these videos taken at Rwamagana Islamique Primary School. I think they speak for themselves. We were welcomed in every class with singing and excitement, Note the work on the walls! We did have some effect after all!

Staff at Rwamagana Islamique
Final Goodbyes with Headteacher Zaina
Kimironko Market in Kigali
Roundabout in central Kigali
Mini Hike on Napoleon Island Lake Kivu
Resting on Peace Island Lake Kivu
Visiting Tricia and Hetty in Muhanga
Inside Genocide Memorial Church, Kibuye
And a final goodbye to Rwamagana from 
our favourite Solidality Bar

Solidality Bar Rwamagana

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