Monday. A donor’s promised 10K just disappeared. In a flash it was gone and so were the expansions into the local community of Nyamata and for about 300 6thgrade kids in two schools. We have the mayor’s blessing and a venue. It was a go. Was a go.
The kids need the English to get through high school. Now, both expansions are on hold. We’ll figure this out. Don has written a grant. He is optimistic. I’m stunned. Our life here in Kigali is in that stage when the adrenalin has burned off. Major crisis resolved through ingenuity and dumb luck. Barring the loss of the money, we’re on our feet as a project. When one of us tanks, the other one drags them along until we're both standing. We prop ourselves against each other. Thank god for each other. I complain of being tired. Then I look out my window and see the woman in a worn out dress, with her baby strapped to her back, plodding up the road (it's always uphill here), with a basket of melons, probably a half dozen, balanced on her head. This country requires constant effort. Everyone work hard here. I get out of my soft bed, in my apartment that is cleaned by someone else, make my breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast (the woman won't eat more than one meal today, and probably ugali and cabbage), step into a hot shower (she carries her water for cooking and washing), get dressed and coiffed, and get into my car to drive the 45 minutes to our schools. She'll walk for 2 or 3 hours to market to sell her melons. And walk home again. She will collect her firewood and cook dinner for her family. We will go to a local restaurant, order food and debrief. No country works like Rwanda. Everyone is hauling something, or pushing something, walking to wherever they need to be, working from 5am until well after dark. They may take a Sunday afternoon to go to church. The rest of the time they work. Hard. When I finally wrap my tired brain around what that woman's life if like, I realize that I am a soft, coddled, whiney westerner.