Wednesday, 7 September 2011

‘Sent from God’

I got a new name today, from a Catholic priest no less. He decided it was time I had a Rwandan name on account of the fact that I’ve been here a fair while. The name he chose for me was ‘Uwimana’ which apparently means ‘sent from God’.  Well at least I hope it does. Surely a priest wouldn’t lie to me? It would never be worth the hours spent in confession. I’m not sure that God made the best decision sending me though, surely he could have sent someone with slightly fewer faults. As he is all powerful he could have sent Angelina Jolie, Madonna, The Dalai Lama or Bob Geldof, all those people are interested in saving the world too. But no, he sent me. A somewhat scatterbrained, ordinary looking non millionaire with weak spirituality. If I was them I’d feel short changed. But nonetheless here I am.

Talking to the new TTC volunteers yesterday made me realise I’ve actually been here a little while.  In a couple of months I’ll be returning to the motherland for a Christmas visit after nearly a year away. I’ve nearly made it through a whole academic year. And what have I achieved??? In some ways a fair bit but in many ways very little. The TRC is up and running. I can teach classes in there and resources are being made. I have gotten much better at teaching the students. However on the other hand, the students still don’t usually teach in a child friendly way, I still wonder whether any of what I say actually goes in, and I still haven’t gotten very far working with the tutors...I still have days like today when I wonder why on earth I am here.

But that is the rollercoaster of doing vso. There are ups and downs and twists and turns and you never know where it s going to take you next. Wow I am profound for a Wednesday. I don’t know what it is about Wednesdays. Not teaching on Wednesdays gives me too much time to think, a very dangerous activity. Thinking is not safe, and having time to do it makes you realise that. They don’t warn you about thinking on the vso pre-departure course. There should be a disclaimer ‘when you step off the treadmill of your life in the UK you may have time to think. Thinking is a dangerous activity that can lead to self reflection and you might not always like what you see.’ So beware!


  1. Your observations on thinking are in line with some of the latest reasearch. I have just finished

    Future Minds: How the Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why This Matters and What We Can Do About It (Author) Richard Watson

    In it, he puts forward the argument that today with so much digital noise around, we are no longer doing any deep thinking.

  2. I was thinking that it is just about a year since you accepted the offer of a posting in Rwanda - it seems a very long time ago now that you took this momentus, life changing decision.

  3. I heard that Angelina, Madonna, The Dalai and Bob were all busy, so that just left you ... but it's ok, you might be sent from God, but he didn't say you were Jesus, so no miracles are required ... i reckon you've got it covered!! Love you lots & as ever very inspired by your courage!! xxxxx