Kibungo

May 18 2013

The knack to surviving in Africa is taking opportunities when they come along, and knowing which opportunities to let pass. Water and electricity are good examples of the first and it usually makes sense to get the laptop and phone charged while power is available. In a similar vein, one may not have washed for a week but it is worth having a good splash if water appears in the tap. Walking along the pavement yesterday evening, an example of an opportunity to be missed came our way in the form of a shoe box complete with urukuwavu (rabbit to the rest of us). It is doubtful that the Kinyarwanda language knows the equivalent of 'mocket', but on looks alone this pitiful specimen was set to avoid the pot for a couple of days yet.

With no opportunity this morning either to charge the laptop or splash in any water, and having passed on rabbit stew, we headed straight off for the bus to Kibungo near the Tanzanian border. Today we have arranged to visit Pastor Joseph at his church in the town on behalf of Loanhead Church in Midlothian. We have chosen this day in particular because on Saturday the church fills with around two hundred children coming to school. The majority are aged between three and six years and so are not yet old enough to go to primary school. One problem faced by local children is that although nursery education is available it is privately run and expensive. So the church is trying to give the younger children in the area a good start before they enter the education system proper.

We were able to spend some good time with Pastor Joseph while he told us about the vision he has for his church in building up the local community. In these parts, the churches tend to be a focus of community life. Before leaving, we were able to present the children with some gifts for Loanhead which they seemed very pleased with. Songs were sung and there was a lot of clapping for the visitors.

Sitting on the bus on the road back to Rwamagana the usual vendors hung around before we set off. It says something about the economy here that children will buy a bag of sweets to sell on individually through the bus windows. When there is nothing else, any opportunity will do.