All in a Day's Work... some snippets
on Tricia Atherton (Rwanda), 22/Jan/2013 06:36, 34 days ago
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One day last week I came to work and was sitting at my desk in the office and I noticed something that looked like smoke billowing low down on the floor. I went to investigate and spotted a familiar character who I know was a teacher. He was leaning over a large metal container from where the 'smoke' was emanating. It was a vat of liquid nitrogen from which he was transferring some small tubes.I greeted the teacher and asked what he was doing and what was in the tubes. 'It is cow semen for fertilising the cows.' 'Wow!' I thought,'That really is interactive teaching methods at work! Success!' But, no, it turned out that the teacher had given up teaching (really terrible pay and long hours) to join the agricultural team next door. Ha ha!Cow sperm (read bull) in the officeIt wouldn't happen in the Education Office at home! How can you deliver paperwork when there is no reliable postal system? Big fat carrier pigeons maybe? Moto drivers? Yes , good idea, but expensive. But we do have a very cheap and reliable public transport system. Last week my colleague in a town located several miles away by Lake Kivu needed to send me a big wodge of paperwork. So she went down to the local bus stop and asked them to drop off the package as they were going through Gitarama. I waited at the bus stop in town and low and behold one hour and 45 minutes later my paperwork was delivered into my hands, by the bus driver with a smile! Wonderful. Seriously the Public Transport system here is very reliable. There are three types of buses (no trains of course - too hilly and no influence from the Victorians.) Yes, the very big buses can be a little unstable and scarey but they do travel 'Pan Africa'.These are the buses I use to get to Uganda - its usually a 12 hour journey. The buses I use most frequently are the Coaster buses which travel all over Rwanda transporting people long distances and all meeting up at Nyabugogo Bus Park which is one of the craziest most interesting places on earth!! (in my view). These are the buses I use to travel from town to town and they are very reliable.They always leave and arrive on time. Horizon Coaster buses at NyabugogoLastly there are the mini buses or 'matatus' which are the main form of transport (apart from feet) of most Rwandans. These buses travel all over the place and stop almost anywhere. They are hot and crowded and sometimes you have to wait for hours until they are full. The driver will not leave until the bus is full - great patience and tolerance is required.Also you never know who or what you are going to be sharing a seat with. You can be squashed in with lots of people of course but also possibly chickens, a goat, sacks of corn or casava, bed mattresses. You name it, anything goes!Of course, if you are a regular reader of this blog you will know all about travelling by moto..Walking down the road in Gitarama a moto driver passes me and shouts 'Manchester Cityyyy!! I turn and wave with a big smile from ear to ear. He is my friend who was in the bar last year for the derby with City and United - we were the only two in the whole bar who were supporting City! Another wonderful memory. I don't know his name ,he doesn't know mine but we are friends.Ok, back to work - some photos of the VSO stand at the Muhanga Expo last week. Our stand was not expensively draped with colourful material like most of the others but it was very popular with the kids and students.Using puppets to practice dialogueOld calendars are very useful for making jigsawsBottle tops are our favourite teaching resourceInteractive MathematicsGroup reading using the Big Book made from rice sacksconnecting numbers to pictures of objectsWe had lots of fun and so did the learners - who needs all that expensive equipment eh?!Ok. Munsi mwiza (Good Day)Triciaxx