Sunday, 3 June 2012

A trip down East

I have spent the last week in the east of the Eastern Province visiting and working with my friend Jen at TTC Zaza. I couldn’t leave Rwanda without paying a visit to Zaza because technically it is my nearest other TTC. Jen lives on the other side of lake Mugesera, a large many fingered lake which was mentioned in a previous posting. If we both stood on the highest hill on our respective sides of the lake and waved we could probably see each other, but the geography of the region means that there is no road to get between the two places. So you have to go via the main road which takes more than three hours. Those hills, so beautiful yet so inconvenient! 

So on the weekend Jen and I walked for a couple of hours to visit the frères’ pottery in a community near the lake. This was an interesting experience as we were followed by a wide variety of people including giggly teenage girls, cute kids and old women as we made our way down an ever narrowing dirt road. We passed through similar mud house communities to the ones I saw on my previous trip to the lake from the other side in Nzige, passing by banana trees and the odd cow here and there. We got lost looking for the pottery but fortunately for us a couple of smartly dressed young girls decided to escort us. 

Once there we were greeted by a young brother wearing his football shirt and a dog snoozing in the sun. The pottery and brother’s residence had a Mediterranean feel, and an Italian priest has lived there before the genocide. His grave is located just outside of the compound.  I suspect that’s how the pottery began. We were joined by some other brothers and escorted to their visitor’s room where we communicated in a variety of very broken languages. We were then plied with the brother’s own very strong pineapple wine and fed loads of fresh pineapple and banana. We talked about Rwanda, the UK and Canada (where Jen is from) and enjoyed resting our weary legs from the walk. 

We were shown around the pottery and we didn’t leave empty handed. The brothers also insisted on giving us some large and very heavy pineapples as a gift. These pineapples nearly crippled us as we tried to carry them back for more than two hours in the heat of the afternoon sun while also feeling a bit tipsy from the wine. 

The rest of the week I worked with Jen in her TTC. I helped out with a few classes and we planned a short afternoon workshop on the new TTC curriculum for a group of her tutors. The workshop was a success and her tutors were very receptive and involved. TTC Zaza is a beautiful building, very smart and colonial in the way it looks. The community itself is very interesting. It is much greener than my side of the lake and it is also home to one of the first Catholic Churches in Rwanda. It is circular in design and looks quite different from most of th other churches in Rwanda. 

I had a great time visiting my TTC neighbour and it was very interesting to see another area of the Eastern province which has been my home in Rwanda. Next I am going to Kathy’s TTC, TTC Mbuga, for some fresh mountain air and primus!

Our brother shows us how to use the potter's wheel

The brother's guest room

Trying the pineapple wine

Jen outside the entrance to TTC Zaza

The Catholic Church in Zaza

Inside the Church

Children watch us outisde the TTC

We saw a model lesson at Zaza B primary School

Jen outisde her home in Zaza

Jen leads an activity at the tutor's workshop in the TRC

The tutors are busy discovering how resources can be used

Jen shows an example of good visual aid made by a student

Tutors are doing it for themselves. A tutor at Zaza demonstrates the clean, clean, CLEAN! activity for using a chalkbaord effectively to his peers

No comments:

Post a Comment