June 6, 2011 – For the past two weeks, I have been working in Kibungo to set up the fieldwork logistics. I recruited ten INATEK (Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Education of Kibungo) students and started training them in research methods and fieldwork techniques. The recruitment and interviewing took place over two days. First, written test followed by individual interviews. I had over 25 candidates, and I selected the ten finalists. The primary selection criteria were their level of English. First, they must understand what I am saying (though I have to use French to double check if they understood) and secondly, they must be able to translate and explain back in Kinyarwanda. The first part is possible for me to check, but the second part is difficult to assess since my Kinyarwanda is only elementary. Fortunately, I have my trusty friends, Emmanuel and Marie-Josée, who participated in our last year’s project to help me out on this. Another criterion that is well respected in Rwanda is the gender balance. In any group, at least 30 percent of female participation is required. So I decided to choose an equal balance of gender. All in all, I enjoyed training this group. With the current delay in research permit and approval, I don’t know exactly when I will begin the fieldwork, but I look forward to starting. Like we like to say here in Rwanda: Inshallah (If God wills)!
Life in Kibungo – here are some pictures of where I am currently staying: La Paroisse St-Joseph. It used to be a Catholic convent, but now it transformed into an accommodation and guesthouse. The staff treats me like a member of the family. So very kind.
Last Saturday, there was an event called “Guma Guma,” a music festival sponsored by Primus, the local beer giant. Over ten pop stars gathered in this small Kibungo town! It was the most prominent event that I ever saw in Kibungo. The big household names included: Tom Close, Rider Man, Dream Boyz, etc…as their names indicate, they are very very cool.