Our last few days in Rwanda have been memorable to say the least. Yesterday we hiked out to Kibaya to inspect the land of our upcoming implementation. As it turns out, Kibaya is pretty far from where we get dropped off. For whoever is going to be hauling building materials to the sight next summer, I pity you. The sight is also really big, it took us the better part of an hour to thoroughly survey the land that we'll be building on. Since our arrival, we have come to realize how much we underestimated the size of these villages. Munini, Gasebya, Ntarma, and Nyrutosho all have close to nine hundred people, and Kibaya has almost fifteen hundred; needless to say these systems are important.
This morning we woke up, same as any other day. It has become pretty obvious to me that Xilal has much greater willpower than I do because somehow he wakes up every day and does pushups... I don't know how. Once again, the hot water/water pressure gods looked down angrily upon us this morning because showers this morning were not an option. Still, we all made it to breakfast relatively on time. It seems that every day the kitchen staff like to mess with us by changing out breakfast just a little but. I already mentioned that Travis got untoasted toast the other day, and yesterday they only gave pineapple to Travis. Regardless, the breakfasts here are pretty awesome, especially when compared to what we get for lunch and dinner. Everyday for lunch we come back and order chapatti and each get a Fanta, the american equivalent of bread and coke. Even though the chapatti is delicious, it's still obvious that we've been dining on a budget. Every other night we get to stay at the hotel and eat at the restaurant here, but when we don't get to eat here at our hotel, we go out into Musanze and eat very questionable food that is practically free. Last night was our first time trying Shakey's, and I must say I was rather pleased despite it being pretty sketchy in every sense of the word. The lighting is dim, the seats are uncomfortable, the food is good for little else other than sustenance, and everyone looks at us like we are from another planet. Still, compared to some of the other places that we have eaten, I liked it.
Once we got to Cyanika this morning, we started the long and tedious walk. After making the same walk every day for the past week and a half, we have all gotten pretty used to it. That isn't to say that I don't enjoy the walk to the villages (for the most part). The road leads us through the bean fields which are currently being harvested, so we see a lot of people along the way. It's hard to get tired of hearing kids shouting "Mzungu!!!" in the distance as they first notice you.
Once we got to Ntarma, we met Japhet. We came back to check out the silicon that we installed on Ntarma's tanks, and to fix a spillage issue that they had been having due to their filter. We came prepared to chop a few inches off of the gutter with some tin snips that we bought in Musanze, but after trying for ten minutes or so, it became obvious that the steel that the gutter was made out of was too thick to cut without a hack saw. I told Travis that next year I think we should try to bring a plasma cutter so that we don't run into these sort of problems. After we explained to Japhet that we weren't going to be able to cut the gutter, he explained that that wasn't the problem, but rather that leafs were getting caught on the filter which was in turn causing water to spill. This turned out to be a pretty simple fix, since all we had to do was cut the filter with tin snips and recess the filter into the catchment box (I don't know if this thing has a name but that is what I'm calling it).
After visiting Japhet, we walked to Ignace's house to see if he was in need of any silicon. He wasn't home, but his wife explained to us that the tanks at Gasebya don't have a leakage issue, so we promptly left and continued to Nyrutosho. We had to go to Nyrutosho because we wanted to take measurements of the system. We think that based on community feedback, and the size of Kibaya, that the upcoming system should be similar to that of Nyrutosho. We also wanted to reapply some silicon since we trusted Travis to apply it the other day, and after I applied it to the tanks at Ntarama, we realized what a mediocre job Travis did (partially due to a defective silicon applicator, but still). That being said, Ntarma and Nyrutosho no longer have a leaking issue which is pretty awesome. Last on our agenda for today was to revisit Kibaya to get a sense of where we are planning on building. Once all was said and done, we still had an eighty minute walk back to Cyanika town center to buy some groceries for tomorrow's banquet with the Chiefs. Needless to say, we walked a lot today and my feet still hurt.
Once we got back, we treated ourselves to some chapatti, some fantas, and a trip to the mall to pick up some clothes that we had made. I think we've been to that god forsaken mall eight or nine times now, and we have to go again tomorrow because the lady that Sam entrusted to sew her stuff still isn't done. We have a lot on our plate tomorrow, so stay tuned. Good bye Musanze, it's been fun!