Saturday, 28 April 2012

Art Day with Kibe

Market scene
Strolling down the street one day in Kigali I got talking to an artist and finding a kindred spirit I went back to his studio to look at his work. 

He works with other artists and they have students, so here you see a wide variety of styles.

Village Life

In Rwanda there are no opportunities for training in art, no art schools, hardly any art in ordinary schools and no possibility of buying art materials. 

Kibe is from DR Congo and has lived in Rwanda for about 10 years. His family still live in Bukavu (DRC) near the border with Rwanda.

Traditional village life


Another advantage of meeting Kibe is that he is able to supply me with canvas for my own painting - and to make a frame for me to stretch it on!!
He has to travel to Kampala to get his materials, so it works out very expensive for him.
The Hacienda was turned into an art gallery for the day and we had our very own Artist in Residence - (no , not me!)

We made rice and beans and invited friends round to view the paintings and to have a go at making a community picture.

We had a really fun day and want to do it again soon!  
hope you can have fun making art too... just do it! 
Go to
Love Tx

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Easter Time in Rwanda

Judy, Tricia and Mary Odette
This year in Rwanda Easter time coincided with the Genocide Memorial week which begins on April 7th and continues for one week. It marks the start of the 100 days of mourning to remember the genocide of the Tutsi and moderate Hutus. These ethnic groups no longer exist in Rwanda because of the deliberate government policy to ban these titles and 'We are all Rwandans' is the common phrase. 

So, on Easter Sunday we invited friends over to the Hacienda to watch films and to eat a meal together. We were a mixed group, with some new people who haven't been to the house before. This is another time of year when there are volunteers coming and going. People who we have shared our lives with are finishing their placements and returning to their home country and new people are arriving to take their places. It is a time for mixed feelings because you want to make new friends feel welcome and yet you are also sad to lose those 'old' friends.  

We watched two films. The first was called 'Sometimes in April'and is about Rwanda and the second was called 'Magdalene' which was about the life of Jesus. Somehow they seemed to be linked but it is difficult for me to explain why.So it was a thoughtful evening and I think appropriate for this time of year.

I did not get a holiday at Easter because there is so much work to do at the moment. So the following morning I was on the bus to Kigali to do some work for VSO. As a volunteer you have your specific placement but also you are expected to get involved in the work that needs doing on a national level.My task was to work with the other volunteers who are doing the same job as me across the country (Education Leadership Advisors)and to review our work in the light of a new relationship with the Rwanda Education Board. We were based in Kigali for 5 days working on the new model and designing training modules.

Working life
As you can see from the photo some people really enjoy their work!!!

We managed to get a great deal achieved that week and it is wonderful working with a small team of professionals who are doing it because they care and not just because they have to.

One of the brilliant things about working for VSO is that you meet people who like minded and who just want to do something useful with their skills. Nobody comes here thinking they are going to change the world, they come just offering whatever they have for as long as they can- from 3 months to two years.

Once again, if anyone who is reading this blog is undecided about working for VSO I have no hesitation in encouraging you to make enquiries on the website 

Lots of love to everyone and I hope you had a Happy and Blessed Easter, Tricia