Sunday, 17 May 2015


Best. Day. EVER.

Yesterday my landlord came over and installed a hot shower! Well, it's more sort of lukewarm, and we're entering the dry season, so there isn't always water - but it's a proper, heated shower goddammit! It is such a relief to be able to wash standing up. If anybody needs me, I'll be in the bathroom singing into my hairbrush.

So... interesting times. 

I'll make a separate post on how all this came about, but I ended up at IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) in Kigali today.

LL (remember her? Several posts back) was giving a speech, and I went along for moral support. I'm now an official member of their NGO. Got to sit at the delegates' table and introduce myself in Kinya. 

Life Gets Better Together

Join the Action, Support LGBT Fight
for Visibility, Respect and Equality

I still get a little lump in my throat when I see things like that poster saying 'Join the fight for LGBT visibility' and remember that I'm sitting in Rwanda, with Uganda our northern neighbour. Like Gisenyi to Goma, it's amazing how close two places can be, yet worlds apart. So proud to live in a progressive African country that said no to anti-homosexuality laws.

It was an interesting mix. 99% Rwandans, with three HDI interns (Health Development Initiative - sponsoring the event) and a representative from the Swedish Embassy with his wife.

The Swedish guy seemed nice. His heart was definitely in the right place. But perhaps not the best opener:

We are so proud to be working with people with different sexual attitudes... I don't know what to call you?

Perhaps you could start your work with LGBT people by asking what they'd prefer to be called?

It was an interesting day. There was a documentary, which was in Kinya and French, so I didn't understand most of it. Some singing, some dancing, a play, and of course LL's speech, quoting Out of the Box:

I believe that being out of the closet helps to think out of the box, you are not constrained by the same imperative to fit the norm and that can be very creative... There will always be those who are homophobic or xenophobic but they will become the "other" and people like us... will become the benchmark for something better.

I was proud of her.

After the event there was food and free beer, but we'd been out drinking until 4am and I was still suffering the mother of all hangovers, so I had one bottle and came home.

As a total random aside, I tried - in part - to overcome that hangover with lunch at the library with Jo, Pyt and Nicole. Falafel wrap and a big slug of tree tomato for the vitamin hit. I've written before about the library and not having been too impressed with the café. It's just been taken over by Shokola and something called Innovation Village.

It. Is. Gorgeous.

Totally transformed from a space that had bored waiters and a crackling radio to a swanky IKEA showroom with work stations, open space, books and chocolate brownies. Job well done.

Rooftop Café


Nice meeting space. Only issue I think is disability access as it's at the top of five flights of stairs and I'm not sure whether there's a lift or disabled toilets.

Very impressive, though. Think I might move my Monday office there.

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