Friday, March 13, 2009


We went nearly four full days without running water.  Our hosts know that this is normal and they have several 5-gallon drums in which they hold water.  We had emptied the last one yesterday.  Of course, we were doing all we could to conserve.  We continued to wear dirty clothes.  We did not wash dishes.  We limited our bathing.  We limited our toilet use.  Now we understand why there is a lot of natural body odor in certain sectors of the city. 


Last night, the water finally came back on.  Even though it was late, our hosts spent an enormous amount of time refilling all the holding drums.  Nadia awoke early and started doing her laundry. 


I am down to one shirt that is clean.  All of the rest of my clothes are filthy.  I have a meeting this afternoon with the Minister of Health.  At least I will have a shower J


Yesterday, I visited our friends at the hotel.  I took my toiletries with me in anticipation that I could borrow their bathroom.  I wanted to be clean for my meeting with the school headmaster.  Alas, just as I finished lathering my face with shaving cream, the hotel’s water quit running.  There I was, lather all over, no running water.  The faucet did allow some water, but it was running at a little more than a trickle.  It took me an hour to bathe – if you can call it that.


The meeting with the school headmaster, Ron Wallace, was great.  We were joined by Ron’s assistant, Gesbard. Ron bought me a nice lunch.  We spent the better part of two hours getting to know each other.  Ron is a visionary.  His goal is to be the last muzungu headmaster of his school. 


Ron’s story is provocative.  He used to be a school administrator in Calgary, Alberta.  As he sat in his Calgary office last year, he contemplated his long time dream of doing international service.  He looked down and saw an advertisement for an opening in Rwanda in a newspaper sitting on his desk.  He emailed the contact, and by the end of the day, was offered a job.  He moved here last August. 


By the end of the meeting, it became clear that Ron and Gesbard wanted to know how much salary it would take to hire someone like me.  They have a large proposal they have sent to the Rwandan government.  Rwanda is requiring that all schools teach in English by January 2010.  Every teacher who is not fluent in English at that time will be fired.  However, they have not set up any infrastructure to manage such an enormous task.  Green Hills Academy, the school Ron administrates, wants to help by training teachers to speak English, including setting up the infrastructure (such as train-the-trainers, etc.).  If the proposal is funded, they will be looking for a project manager. 


I imagine since the President’s wife is on Green Hills’ board of directors and she is one of the three founders of the school, it seems likely the government will fund the project.  The president’s children attend Green Hills.

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