Goodbye Kibungo…for now!

August 31, 2011 – It’s been almost a month since I left Kibungo. But I still feel ‘homesick’ sometimes – from sweet sugar-loaded African tea to star-filled night strolls (gutembere), I find myself drifting in thoughts of good memories.

Well, coming back to reality, I realise how amazing it is to learn and work in another part of the world. Knowing the local challenges and issues, I understand that we all live for one similar purpose: to live fully and abundantly.

Will I go back again? YES, indeed I will. In fact, I am hoping to go back at the end of this year to present my findings in Rwanda. It will be so rewarding to go back and share the results with the local people who were involved in our research (veterinarians, agriculture agents, the District Vice-mayor, local farmers, and government officials). Now is my turn to give back.

Picture: Here is one of my many departure gifts that I got from my teammates. The wooden frame reads – Dream Team – and it’s got a beautifully painted heifer! I proudly hung this on my kitchen wall where I relive my dream team that came true.

O~Mon Dieu! – Pt.2

August 3, 2011 – This morning, I took an early-bird bus (at 6 AM) to Kigali. It was my presentation meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture. I was to give a presentation of my research findings to the director of Girinka programme and her consultants (the colleagues at the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research in Rwanda & International Growth Centre).

In the bus, many thoughts and early memories (especially of my first couple of weeks of fieldwork) flooded my half-asleep mind. I encountered many ups and downs (literally a thousand research hills). Personally, the most significant reward of all is to be able to share the findings with the key people involved in this programme. You may think: duh, wasn’t that the “point” of the research?! Yes, true. The purpose of the study was to investigate, analyse the collected data and share (disseminate) the learned lessons. But often, research findings may not reach the targeted audience. So, having the opportunity to give back the preliminary results to the key stakeholders and hear their feedback is ideal. To that, I exclaim one more time, O~Mon Dieu!

With this presentation, I can safely say that my mission in Rwanda is complete. Of course, this doesn’t mean “the end”, but it’s more like “Hasta la vista baby”: I will be working on the full data analysis, report writing, and will have to prepare other conference presentations once I get back to Canada. Until then, I listen to one of my favourite songs and celebrate in motion – Look who’s dancing by Ziggy Marley.