Tuesday, 4 October 2011

People come and people go, but oh how I will miss them so!

One of the hardest things about doing vso is that you have to say a lot of goodbyes. This is especially true if you are a mad fool like me who signed up for more than one year as everyone else’s placements finish before yours. Today I said goodbye to Stephen and Mary, my vso Rwanda mum and dad. Stephen and Mary have had to return to the UK quickly for family reasons so there wasn’t a lot of time to say goodbye, but for the sake of closure we just had to have one last dinner at the Dereva hotel in Rwamagana on Monday night before they left.

Getting all the way to Rwamagana on Monday evening was an adventure. There is no doubt the rainy season had begun as it totally pissed it down with rain all afternoon. That coupled with the fact that I had to leave late as I had a class to teach until 4.30 meant I was in for a hair raising moto ride...or so I thought. Well it turns out that the usual road was so bad that, wait for it, we went A DIFFERENT WAY. I didn’t even know there was a different dirt track that could be used to get to Rwamagana, so I was freaking out that my moto driver was in fact a crazy kidnapper that wanted to imprison a muzungu and demand a ransom from my long suffering family. But alas it was just a different way and a much more comfortable one at that. So why I have to get white knuckles on the scary route all of the time is a mystery, perhaps they do it just for fun.

Now continuing the theme of the unexpected, there was another twist in the evening’s events. The Dereva had RAN OUT of steak with mushroom sauce. Me and Mary couldn’t hide our looks of disappointment as we scanned the menu once more for another suitable option. Mary, Stephen and I have become very well acquainted with the menu over the last 9 months and there some things are not as they seem. For example, the ‘cordon bleu steak’ is made with processed cheese and the chicken almost certainly died of natural causes before being served to you. But we braved the beef fajitas and apart from being a bit chewy (the cow almost certainly died of natural causes) it was very nice.

So it is with sadness that a say goodbye to Mary and Stephen. It remains to be seen if any new volunteers will be recruited to Rwamagana district office (aka the container truck) and live in the Bijou residence. I credit them with introducing me to Rwamagana banana wine (truly an interesting tipple) and for encouraging me to drink far too much waragi. So I’m already a little jealous of all that nice food they will be eating and hot showers they will be having, but they will not have primus, the Dereva hotel or snowman marker pens, so its swings and roundabouts really. Good luck Mary and Stephen xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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