5 Sep

Work is still rather slow going and I still lack a clear idea of what I’ll be doing in the long run. I did a long stint working in the department responsible for handing out ARVs. It didn’t take long for me to grow tired of counting out meds to put in little baggies so I migrated over to the ‘data management’ side. Basically I’ve spent the better part of a month as a glorified file clerk. While it seems silly I would come all this way to be a file clerk, it’s been really good. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I quickly locate a patient’s file and put the files back with incredibly efficiency. It’s also been valuable for my coworkers to see that even if I’m struggling with language there ARE things that I know how to do. Overall, it’s been a good confidence booster. Staying in one service for an extended amount of time has also given me the chance to get to know some of my coworkers better since we have a lot of downtime in the afternoons.

I realized that another reason I enjoyed working in ARV so much was that I knew what to expect. In the first couple of weeks at site I felt a sense of dread every morning when I woke up because I had no idea what to expect from the work day. I decided it was time to step back outside my comfort zone and shadow another service so I spent about a week and a half working in the ‘Community’ department.  They call Rwanda the land of a thousand hills and I have a panoramic view of a great many of them at my site. Working in ‘community’ meant that we ventured into many of the hills/mountains I see from the health center to visit homes and businesses to inspect the hygiene. I have a feeling that in a year’s time there won’t be an area in my region I’m not familiar with considering it’s like the Chuckanuts only less forested and three times as big, I say that’s pretty impressive.

At the end of October I will have my In-service Training where I’ll receive technical training in the areas I’ll be focusing on through my service. In preparation for IST I’ll be conducting a Community Needs Assessment. Peace Corps has given an outline of what it should contain along with a plethora of tools to complete it. This week I started strategizing with my titulaire and coworkers on how to go about completing it. The assessment will include reviewing data as well as individuals with residents to discuss what’s important in their lives. If I’m feeling really ambitious, there’ll be a community meeting where with some visioning exercises. My Kinyarwanda isn’t really up to snuff to do all this, but the two guys who work in the ‘community’ department will be really helpful.

The rainy season has apparently arrived and people are busy getting crops in the ground since this is the time to plant. That includes myself, well I’ll have a garden but I paid a woman to clear the weeds, form the beds and do most of the planting. I don’t know that I trust her to do the planting for the veggies that aren’t native to Rwanda.


As I post this I’m in the capital city of Kigali taking advantage of some unlimited internet and help a friend celebrate her birthday.


One Response to “Update!”

  1. Kelly September 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Can’t wait to see pictures of your garden! I’m excited to hear about the assessment project you’ll be working on because I know it is perfect for you and you’ll be an awesome part of it!

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