SKWID 3 – Next steps towards Rwanda…

The last day and a half, at Harborne Hall, have focussed on: negotiation skills, conflict resolution, monitoring evaluation and review, co-operative facilitation and personal self-evaluation.     

I arrived home this p.m. exhausted, with my head buzzing and a to do list as long as my arm. The VSO delivered training is now completed and it’s down to self preparation from here on in. The main knowledge/skills development priorities for me will be to continue my French refresher course, which to be honest  has slipped off the agenda recently, and to make use of VSO’s online course in basic Kinyarwanda.

The SKWID training has served to reinforce my belief that I have the requisite knowledge and skills to make an effective education manager, within the Rwandan context, but I am still concerned that I might be hindered by my inability to communicate effectively with people who have varying degrees of English, whilst my French is limited and my Kinyarwanda currently non-existent!

The other issues I need to address are more practical things like, making sure any outstanding medical requirements are met and resolving the perennial packing problem. I’m awaiting my flight details but the weight allowance is likely to be quite restricted. I also need to ascertain whether I can get my crash helmet (which I picked up today) as well as a laptop and camera equipment in my hand luggage!      

The SKWID group bonded really well which made the training activities much more enjoyable and far less daunting than they might otherwise have been. It’s always interesting to meet and get to know new people and it never fails to surprise me how quickly complete strangers open up and relax in each other’s company.

As we socialized over a few well-earned drinks each evening  it felt strange to think that in two months time we will be scattered throughout the developing world,  getting to grips with our various VSO placements, in such varied places as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and of course Rwanda!  

I was the only short-term volunteer there this weekend. Everyone else has committed to at least twelve months with a number away on full two-year placements. I wish them all the very best and hope that their time overseas will provide provide rewarding, life changing experiences.  

All things being equal I fly out on September 4th, which all of a sudden seems so much closer now! I believe that there are ten volunteers who will be heading for placements in Rwanda on that date and I guess right now we will all be feeling similar degrees of excitement,  anticipation and apprehension!

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