What an intense week it's been. Preparing for holidays should be a relaxing time, but it can get a bit stressful trying to figure out what to do about feeding cats, luggage allowance and who'll look after the house. Decided to let off a bit of steam last Saturday with my friend Maia and her lovely guest Harris. We ended up in our friend's club, Envy. Crawled to bed at 4:30 after a night of mad dancing and Star Wars lightsaber battles. A pictorial illustration of how the night progressed...
|A Little Less Sober|
|Yeah, No - Completely Gone.|
Managed to recover enough to make Maia's restaurant in the evening. Our friend Lan was doing a guest chef special, cooking Vietnamese pho (pronounced fur). Last had it in Ireland in 2013. Absolutely delicious. Sank a few more beers with Harris and talked film obsessions. Now addicted to Netflix. Just discovered the joys of continuous streaming and being able to skip titles. On S2 of BoJack Horseman.
|Lan, Pho Master|
Monday was fun. Met up with a journalist from National Geographic and went on a tour of our piano workshop and Chillington foundry. You can read the full tour here.
|Désiré Showing How Keys are Made|
Got caught in a massive downpour. As everyone travels by public motorbike here, we had to take cover in a petrol station until it passed.
Really fun week.
In other good news, Sen cat has received proper medication and her cough is almost gone, plus the council are evicting our horribly noisy neighbours because they didn't have a business license and didn't obey orders to cease and desist.
I slept an entire twelve hours last night. A combination of a couple of late nights and three months of next-door noise.
Finally, something I'm feeling quite excited about. I've decided to sponsor my cleaner through university. She's a really nice lady who used to clean for me about a year ago. Then she got a place to study International Relations at Butare. Unfortunately, she had to leave due to financial problems. Her family isn't poor enough to qualify for government assistance, but they're not rich enough to pay for her course either. So, after one year at university, she ended up back in Kigali as a cleaner. A fairly sucky situation.
They run the course in Kigali, and she said she'd rather do it here than go back to Butare, because she would need accommodation down there, whereas she has family in Kigali. We looked into it, and although the second year started in September, they will let her join now if she has the money.
When she told me how much, I felt I had to help. Sponsoring someone through university here is nothing compared to the fees they charge in the UK. By 'nothing', I mean - I don't earn a lot, but I can afford to help her. Comparatively nothing for me, not for her. She's bright, reliable, has a son to support, and has already proved she can stick with it for a year, so it seems the right thing to do. In return, she continues to help with my housework on a flexible basis. I can also help her confidence with English and her uni work in between, as I've covered a lot of the same stuff (qual/quant research methods, development, communications) in my own education.
I'm quite excited about this. Looking forward to seeing how she gets on and what they cover in the course. Also going to try to get her some experience for her CV during term breaks. I have a lot of contacts in the development sector here. When we talked about her first year at uni, it sounded like it was all theory and no practice. Going out into the field and getting some experience can make a real difference in the future when searching for work or applying for scholarships.
So, all going well at the moment. Looking forward to India but really doesn't feel real. Only three weeks away!