Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The wanderer returns

I am the nomad of vso Rwanda. I have seen more volunteer’s houses than I’ve had goat brochettes. I’ve shared a bed with more people than I can count on one hand (platonically!). I’ve even had a room in Mark and Tammy’s Kigali guesthouse named after me. But sometimes even I have to return to where I am actually supposed to be, if only to wash my clothes, have a lie down and pack my bag again. So why all this wandering one may ask?

Well the first reason is work. As the nearest TTC volunteer to Kigali  I often go as the TTC representative to various vso meetings, I get called to brief conservative MPs on working in a TTC in Rwanda (yes they did really do this, although only briefly!), and as my nearest large town it is the closest place where I can buy supplies for the teaching resource centre.  Unlike most TTC volunteers I can get there and back in a day so I don’t have to miss so much teaching time....but if my visit coincides with a weekend I seldom do rush back...because hanging about in Kigali is way too much fun. As an incredibly weak willed and ill disciplined person as soon as someone invites me out for a primus or dinner I’m there. I can get beer in the village but not without a certain amount of judgement and stain on my otherwise umblemished character...saint Muzungu.

The other main reason is that I just love to get out and about. While it is nice to stay still sometimes I don’t mind bus and moto journeys, you see so much of the countryside that way. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Rwanda. And while I do love my village as the only muzungu there it can feel isolating at times. I am used to my own company in the week but at the weekends its nice to be able to unwind with others, speak my language and have a good laugh. And now its the TTC hols Nzige won’t see much of my shiny white face, but the new term will start before I know it and I will hear cries of ‘muraho’ (basically meaning ‘we haven’t seen you in ages’) around the village.

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