Almost finished with VSO but not with Rwanda!
on Tricia Atherton (Rwanda), 23/Mar/2013 11:20, 34 days ago
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Dear friends and readers of this blogI'm sorry I haven't written for such a long time. I have been busy finishing my work for VSO whilst maintaining links with the project in Nyamasheke District. This post will be a report on the transition from VSO to home and then the possible future adventures!So, I had four main pieces of work to complete for the District:Working with Sector Education Officers (SEOs) to analyse the National Examination Results for 2012. this is completed and we will show a Power Point Presentation at the Headteachers Conference before I leave.Research and training on Early Childhood Development. This is a new initiative by the Government of Rwanda. All SEOs attended the training and are aware of what needs to be done. I have prepared a Power Point about how our brains grow and the vital importance of stimulation in the Early YearsTime Management training - has been completed but the evaluation will be a challenge!!Gender Project - is in the final stages and next week we will hold a celebration for the opening of the Girls' Room and training centre.My work here is almost done!! I am looking forward to meeting the new ELA (Education Leadership Advisor) when she arrives in April.I will carry out an Induction Programme for her and then I will fly home to England on 25th April. Training the SEOs in Data analysisEvaluating learning of headteachersWhilst I have been doing this work for VSO I have also been keeping things going with the project in Nyamasheke District.Nyamasheke District OfficeThe tarmac has reached Nyamasheke!Recently I had a very challenging journey to get to the school in Gasundwe, with my friend Alexis. The tarmac has just reached Nyamasheke so we set off on the moto feeling very positive, however soon the tarmac ran out and we were back on the really bad road. We had to stop 4 times because of the front tyre, along the way we met some lovely children and helpful people. It is a beautiful journey along by the Lake Kivu but life is hard for families in that area.Alexis and friendly local fixing the wheel for the second timeFixing the wheel the third timeThe road runs northwards along Lake KivuWhilst Alexis fixes the wheel I get my hair fixed!I was rescued at last by what I can only describe as a Red Cross Angel on a scrambler bike!! Alexis went back to a village to get the bike fixed properly and the angel carried me further. We had to call in at a village where the Red Cross were giving gifts of pigs to some families. Whilst we were there the heavens opened and poured out their blessings on us for about two hours. The pigs were difficult to control in the rain and the mud.When the rain stopped I received a phone call from Alexis - Where are you? I told him . Where was he? He had arrived almost at our destination!! I had another 2/3 hours to go.the Red Cross Angel and I set off again, saying goodbye to the happy new pig owners. The road, by now was extremely wet and muddy and we had to ride close to the edge where the ground was more solid. I closed my eyes, practised relaxing and kept my feet up out of the way of the drivers feet because I know from experience that he needs to have complete control in those situations.I have to tell you that I heard the angels singing in my ear! (It may have been the wind in my helmet, but to me it was the angels) At first I thought they were calling me home and I argued with them, saying I wasn't going yet because there were so many things that I needed to resolve!! Too many things to do to go yet! Then I realised it wasn't the angels calling me home but my Guardian Angels assuring me of their presence. From that moment on there was a song in my head 'All Day , all night, angels watching over me my Lord. All day, all night, angels watching over me.'Well the journey got worse and worse - probably the worst I have experienced in my time here. It was now dark and we were on the small track going from Kibingo to Viro, which even in daylight and dry conditions is a difficult ride but tonight..... there are no words to describe it!We arrived at Pascal's house and as I got off the bike I realised my whole body was shaking and that now we would have to walk the final part of the journey to the village in the dark. Friends who have read this blog before or those who have visited Gasundwe village will know about the walk of 45 minutes along a very narrow path on the side of the mountain. It's not too bad in the daylight on a warm sunny day but at night in the rainy season when the land is constantly being washed away and the rocks are wet and slippy, the trickles of water have become torrents cascading down the hillside and you only have the light of a small torch, it is another experience altogether!However, we made it safely!!! And we were all very happy to be home, with warm shower water waiting and a cuppa tea!Mama and me knittingAfter a good night's sleep we ..... but that will have to wait for another day!Lots of love and I look forward to reading your comments. Tricia xxx