News from Rwanda 4

Posted in Blog on 5th October 2010

This week we have moved on to the last stage of the project with the staff planning and leading sessions whilst we observe. This has been very exciting for us as we have been able to see how much of the Interactive Music Making principles the staff have taken on. On the whole, the sessions have been very positive; in one individual session the child showed abilities the staff and mother had not thought he possessed. Yesterday we saw some group sessions where the staff member had been able to create a lovely atmosphere in which the young people were all able to take the lead, be creative and have fun. We are already preparing to say goodbye next week, and we know this will be difficult as we have formed relationships with staff and children; however, it is so encouraging that they have taken on and are developing some of the key ideas we have shown them.

We are in the process of writing a booklet to leave behind as a resource for staff. It will include the key principles we have been outlining, practical information and advice, and ideas for activities for individuals and groups. We are also drawing some nice illustrations to go with the activities! The booklet will be in English as there is at least one good English speaker at each centre, which has made the language barrier less of an issue. We’ve continued with our Kinyarwanda lessons, however, and can now use greetings, talk about journeys, and have a few music related phrases; ‘Listen to each other’ tkumvikane, ‘Let’s improvise together’ guhimba, and ‘Let’s sing together’ leka turirimbane.

At the weekend, we ventured into Kamembe town for dinner; a buffet of rice, beans, matoki (plantain), manioc, salad (chopped raw onions), spinach and tiny fish. We were surprised to be offered Coke to mix with our Guinness, but then found out the reason why; here, it’s export strength and fizzy! On Sunday we visited the island of Nkombo. We rowed across in a canoe; this is the only means of transport to the island and all passengers take an oar. On the way back we were amazed when a motorbike was lifted in! Life is especially hard for people who live on the island. The soil is poor, there is not much work, and it was hard hit by the earthquake in 2008; many people are still living in temporary accommodation. We visited some families Rwanda Aid has been supporting, and the resident dance troupe, who danced and sang to welcome us.

Thanks for your continued support. The next time we write will be our last blog; we can’t believe how fast the time has gone!

Nicky and Caroline

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