What a lovely week so far.
Firstly, I learned to make chapattis. They're so simple - just flour and water. But very filling, and good when used as a sandwich with cheese!
Yellow because I added turmeric (and black pepper). Nommy.
Tucked into this monster pineapple for afters. Sporting a bit of a crazy hairstyle.
On Monday morning I headed over to the Rwandan Orphans Project. I bumped into the manager at Immigration a while back, whilst collecting my visa. It's just up the road from me, but far enough to feel like another world. I haven't been out of Kigali since I got back, and it was really nice to get (a little further) out of town.
They're transitioning from an orphanage to more of a re-homing centre. There's about 70 boys there, and two social workers. They take in kids who are on the street or have been separated from their families and try to reunite them over time. They also have a great agriculture project underway, growing and selling vegetable.
|Out of Town|
They have an impressive, ecologically friendly, outdoor kitchen. The bit in the middle is made from volcanic stone, so it stays warm for hours after the wood stops burning, saving on fuel.
The dry season has been pretty harsh this year, and Kanombe is notorious for its water shortages. Not just bad for the vegetables, but also for the day-school kids whose fees help to support education for those children whose families can't pay. When there's a drought, instead of coming to school, the kids stay home and carry water for their parents as most of them also grow crops.
Afterwards, I had to hop on a cyclo (public bicycle) to the top of the road to get a moto. I always feel really guilty about cyclos. The guys have to work so much harder than moto drivers, yet their fees are much cheaper. I tipped him well.
|Cycle to the Motos|
After that, my landlord took me for a look around KLab. It's a bit like The Office, but packed. The Office was so quiet I assumed perhaps there wasn't a demand for communal office space in Kigali, but every desk at KLab was full. It's such a nice place: there's a cafe, and an outdoor balcony with a spectacular view.
I hadn't really eaten by that point, so headed home via Novotel for melange, which is expensive, but the food is incredible.
Got home to find some food of my own growing. I asked Damascene to plant the garlic which had been propagating in my fridge. Seems to be coming along nicely.
It is nice to have someone to help around the house. He's particularly handy at hanging curtains, and it's lovely to come home to a nice, clean house.
|Thank you Damascene|
|Nice, clean kitchen and full water butt.|
Yesterday I had a very productive meeting between my company and an NGO who seem set to engage us on a project. It would be our first official contract and would see me breathing a sigh of relief. Shan't count my chickens just yet, though. Need to submit a proposal this week.
Afterwards, I finally made it to Kimironko market. Went for a wander round with my lovely associate, Ella. She was explaining all the stuff I didn't recognise, and helped haggle down the price on a few things. Kimironko truly is vast, and the colours are beautiful.
|Large calabash traditionally given to women by their |
mothers on their wedding day.
Apparently it's very bad luck to break one.
I bought a nice basket for my fruit and cutlery.
Had a bit of a bedding crisis. My friend Christiane was visiting from Kibuye and needed a place to crash for the night. I was very excited as she's my first overnight visitor. I only had one set of sheets, so put them out to wash, which Damascene did admirably. He hung them on the line and the heavens opened.
Rainy season has come a little early this year.
By the time I got home from the market they were drenched.
|Yet no water coming out our taps... strange.|
So I did a mad dash up to Ndoli's in Kisimenti. Bedding here is horrendously expensive, and my beds are unusually large. I did look for a duvet at Kimironko, but couldn't find one big enough. Thankfully Ndolis had a set of sheets just about big enough for my room, which is the one I put Christiane in.
I almost broke myself on the way back. First time I thought I might have overdone what I can carry on a moto. Giant bedset and a very heavy bag of goodies and treats.
But it does look nice. Which is more than you can say for my other room. I cannot find anything that fits. Think I'm going to have to get something made, my friend knows a place that does made-to-measure sheets and quilts, but I think I'll need to save up.
For the time being I made a temporary shelter from some rugs I bought for sitting in the garden, and a sheet that didn't quite reach the edges. It was the first night I've slept in the master bedroom. It was surprisingly comfortable, but huge. Like sleeping inside a cave. It's a bit darker at night because Damascene's porch light isn't outside the window, but I think I prefer the cosy feel of the other room. Plus this room is en suite, which would be better for guests when we have water (not when we don't, as the other bathroom is better for bucket baths).
We used the same blankets to sit outside on the porch, drinking and talking into the night. I've really missed that. It reminded me a lot of when Martine and I used to sit on her porch in Nyamirambo, or when Cathryn and I used to sit on mine in the house that is now Buffalo Bar. Was so good to chill out and put the world to rights.
Made pancakes for breakfast, before she headed off to catch her bus home. When I get the chance I'm going to go West and visit her.
Meanwhile, I'm having an extremely lazy day. Developing my proposal, catching up on e-mails, and about to tuck into Human Food.