Back again in Kigali (for two days…)

It has been quite on this blog for some years. The WordPress CMS needed some major upgrade due to security issues. Posts have been put on hold when I started working for GIZ in Rwanda in 2013 for good reasons: you’re working closely with government partners. It is virtually impossible to draw a line between you opinion and the position of your employer, hence, at the end the position of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

I am with GIZ in the headquarters in Germany now. Therefore don’t expect me to post something with ‘flotation depth’ here. However, some of the less captious photos and stories collected I am going to share.

Almost three years after leaving Rwanda I was lucky to get back for two days when traveling to Bukavu (DRC) for work in August. As expected the most baffling thing was the progress made in construction in Kigali as well in the province cities – some parts I hardly recognized. Everything else still in perfect order as it was when I left. Not many people are seen on the photos in Kigali. This was due to a public holiday.

In a different way Bukavu was baffling too: you just cross the border and literally enter a different world. Over one million inhabitants, only 3-4km paved road in poor condition, dust, several hours power cuts per day, a high crime rate and an exorbitant price level.

Kigali here I am

It had been quite a while since the last post. Leaving Northern-Namibia in February wasn’t easy for two reasons. Firstly: after all I really started calling it home – it is never easy to leave your home and friends behind. Secondly: logistics – handing over the house, taking quite some stuff back to Windhoek and selling the car was wearing down on me as well.
After spending a month back home (the other) in Switzerland I went for several weeks to the USA. Just a few days before departing to Chicago it became clear that I would go to work for GIZ in Rwanda. Africa again. The preparation in Germany started in May. From there things went way to fast. Again packing 130kg of airfreight, dealing with administrative issues (working in Rwanda + contract with German employer + resident in Switzerland = nightmare at first), saying goodbye…and in a blink you’re already squeezed into Qatar’s Dreamliner heading for Doha and from there to Kigali.
I have been in Kigali for now exactly two weeks. Thanks to my colleagues of our country office I am almost done with all the paperwork and official introductions. I already went out two times to Rwamagana where I will be based working with TEVSA, a national vocational training school association.
From one extreme to another: Namibia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world. Rwanda has a density among the highest in Africa. Thanks to this and a government keen on ICT development the roll-out of MTN’s cell phone network is pretty impressive. There is often no power or tap water. But HSDPA is available in most areas. Therefore I should be able to feed this site also during trips to remote schools in the North. For several reasons I try to avoid taking photos in public. Hence my collection so far is pretty tiny. Nonetheless they might deliver a little insight.

(side node: browsing in the country side seems faster right now than in the capital, as bandwith-consuming-cash-backed customers bring the cell phone network to a stand still in some neighbourhoods of Kigali.)