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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

General update

Yes, I know I've been delinquent on here! I've just posted blogs dating back to my South Africa vacation in February. Life has been sometimes hectic and sometimes so slow I read entire books in single days, but my honest excuse for not blogging is a mix between laziness/demotivation and lack of electricity. As of last week I have electricity, so that excuse is gone. The laziness and demotivation stemmed from a bit of a mid-service slump: on the heels of lovely South Africa, with my counterpart's position empty and no movement from Peace Corps on my nutrition grant submission, it was sometimes hard to figure out what exactly I'm doing here and why giving up another whole year of my life was worth it.

I'm over that now, excited (if not quite energized) for my second year of service. A new counterpart has been hired, work with ecoclubs and the continuation of my household surveys and needs assessment is imminent. My nutrition project is going forward, as well as potential collaboration on family planning, anti-AIDS and anti-SGBV (sexual and gender based violence) clubs with the health center titulaire. A new group of health trainees is coming and I'll be helping out a little with training (the lucky trainees - they get homestays!). And perhaps most importantly, I love my village, my friends and neighbors, my soccer girls, my garden. I have a few complaints - the perpetual mold problem and the fact that some teenage girls in the village seem to think my sole purpose in life is purveyor of nail polish. C'est la vie, buhoro buhoro. The anniversary of my becoming a PCV is a week away. Let year two begin!

Links

Here are some links I’ve been collecting for the past few months. It’s a bit disorganized, sorry!

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/europe/2011/02/14/global-map-boozing?utm_source=twitterfeed
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/03/10/rwanda.rainforest.initiative/ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/22/rwanda-forests-national-priority
http://www.pih.org/news/entry/chronic-disease-in-rural-rwanda/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=pih&utm_campaign=20110304email&source=20110304email

Finally, a fellow PCV wrote this great blog post on problems in Rwanda, I highly recommend reading it: http://bololam.blogspot.com/2011/03/its-not-all-sweet-bananas-and-pleasant.html

Thursday, April 14, 2011

South Africa redux: medevac

On April 4 I returned to South Africa thinking I was there for a root canal, which cannot be performed in Rwanda. When the dentist (who's worked on Bono!) took a look, it turned out no root canal needed - but he did have to repair some shoddy dental work done in Rwanda. Aside from the dental appointments, it was basically a second vacation to South Africa. I enjoyed many of the same foods, still marvelled at drinknig tap water and taking hot showers with pressure, and brought even more varieties of cheese back to Rwanda at the end of the ten days.

Partly because I'd told them about my vacation in February, I couldn't bring myself to tell my village I'd gone too South Africa to have my tooth problem addressed. People in my village were aware of the problem and knew I was having trouble, for example, eating corn. Their suggestions for this ranged from having the tooth/teeth pulled to theorizing that my wisdom teeth must be coming in (my wisdom teeth are long gone). I just could not figure out how to explain to a village full of extremely poor people, many of whom have never even been to Kigali and whose only recourse for toothaches is rudimentary extraction, that I went to South Africa on an airplane because of a toothache, all expenses paid. The inequalities there boggled my mind.

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