Muraho from Rwanda!

This will be my first ever blog, I’m not sure of the exact
requirements so please forgive me if I end up rambling on…

Gisenyi is a fairly small yet hectic city. Full of people going
about their daily business; women carrying huge baskets of fruit
and vegetables on their heads,men driving erratically on motos and
children playing on the streets. The majority of roads are
dirt tracks which makes for some interesting if not rather hairy
experiences in getting to and from our new work places. I’m
slowly getting used to being on the back of a questionably serviced
motorbike whilst wearing an ill fitting helmet which practically
spins 360 degrees as we go over every boulder in the road. The
locals travel with ease, often carrying large suitcases, I however
have resorted to clinging on for dear life, spooning the poor
driver like my life depends on it.

Nicky, Hannah and I have spent the first week meeting staff at
the two centres, observing the children and adults in their
environments, facilitating workshops for teachers, social workers
and psychologists and dividing a timetable for the remaining 5
weeks of this project.

The workshops were an
enlightening experience. The objective was so introduce
ourselves, give a simple introduction to the benefits of using
music with clients with learning disabilities and also see if any
staff members were interested in learning more. The response was
both encouraging and slightly overwhelming. Staff had many
questions and discussions flowed with ease. We interspersed
the talking with some musical activities which helped demonstrate
the many qualities that music can offer. Sharing an
experience and creating a sound as a group really highlighted the
concept of team work, play, unity and togetherness. Staff were
eager to understand more and asked for clinical examples,
suggesting role play with clients they currently work with.
It’s not often you have a teacher biting your arm and hitting you
on the head with a maraca but I am hopeful my responses were of
some use…

Today Hannah and I start our journey without Nicky as she
returns to Kigali (capital city) for meetings and planning for more
upcoming and exciting things.

We felt sad saying goodbye but are confident that we have the
strength and enthusiasm this 2014 Rwandan project requires and

Steph x