Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The fresh mountain air of Gasarenda city

I couldn’t go home without one last trip to visit my friend Kathy who lives up in the mountains near Nyungwe forest.  I needed to remind myself how beautiful this place is and hang out with one of my closest friends.  Fortunately it is only an hour away from Butare so it was nice to go somewhere which didn’t involve shaking every bone in my body on a matatu for an unfeasibly long period of time or getting a moto into the back of beyond. 

When I arrived it was catholic education day at the TTC. This was an interesting new experience for me. My TTC is a 100% government funded school so we never celebrated it. We arrived long after all the speeches had finished, just in time for the food and beer...we didn’t plan it like that, honest, its just that Kathy had to spend the day getting me from Nyamagabe, the nearest district town, and we just had to hydrate ourselves in the country and western bar with the mountain views.  

When we arrived at the TTC there were benches and benches filled with teachers, as far as the eye could see. We were given some meat and potatoes and the beer was flowing freely. Me and Kathy perched on benches in the general crowd and we attracted a steady stream of glances and prolonged looks from the other teachers including a man who kept pretending to play an imaginary electric guitar and a woman who was giving her baby the occasional swig of Mutzig beer... 

The next day was a work day and we made some resources for the new curriculum ready for Kathy to start some tutor training. Next we had a day where Kathy had no classes so after doing some more work at the TTC we walked around Gasarenda on market day. We saw cows and goats being herded to the slaughterhouse and pigs and chickens on bikes. There was a general air of activity as people walked by carrying their wares in rice sacks and bags on their heads, men busied themselves repairing bikes and deals were done under the shade of shop porches. 

I stupidly bought a ridiculously large basket to take back home with me. I tried to leave it there but I liked it too much and at least its useful...well it will be if the baggage people don’t squash it beyond all recognition. We then went to the bar which has to have one of the best views in the world for a very long lunch. We watched a woman cultivating the hills in the distance and took in all of the shades of green in the valley. Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end so now I am back in Butare preparing again for more adventures, which I will post about soon. 

TTC Mbuga - I always think it looks a bit like a forest summer camp

Kathy outside her TRC

Inside the TRC at TTC Mbuga

A sign outside the entrance to the TTC

The high street in Gasarenda

People repairing bikes in Gasarenda

Gasarenda market

The view from a bar in Gasarenda

A beer with a view

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