Rwanda Internship: Week 3
Blog post week 3 Rwanda
Our third week in Rwanda began with a trip to Lake Kivu in which we stayed there for the weekend. The journey took around 4 hours each way which when packed into a small minivan driving around mountains rather than being able to get from a to b like the UK was slightly tedious in comparison Western Europe’s roads. Although regardless of all this the constant driving up and down of these mountains was worth it alone for all the breath-taking views throughout the whole journey.
Once we had arrived we went off and started exploring the area, walking along the beaches passing many weddings on the way. We began to walk towards the direction of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and once we got to the border you could look into another country which regardless of what that country is, is always fun to do. On the night time we headed off to different bars meeting many of the locals and getting involved with their culture especially the way in which they like to blow off steam.
On the Sunday we all went on a boat trip taking us around the lake showing us views of the active volcano in the distance as well as over looking into D.R Congo and learning about the methane gas breakout that effected the residents of Lake Kivu, explaining how the gas is being collected to generate power.
After being away for the weekend we have all been a lot more work orientated than the previous weeks. We have all been working on our individual projects in a lot more depth, being in frequent contact with our entrepreneurs. With Borja learning and helping with documents he has never had to encounter before e.g. grant applications. Anna has had many meetings with her entrepreneur and has been continuing with her research work, whereas myself have been finalising the website for my entrepreneur and figuring out the next step e.g. making the website go live.
During the week we visited Kimironko market which is the busiest market in Kigali, selling items such as fruit, vegetables, fabric, clothing, shoes etc. The market was nothing like anything we have seen before with crowds of people trying to draw your attention to every stand, with so much crammed in such a small radius. As previously pointed out to us every stand in each section of the market sell exactly the same items which you don’t realise until you are around 10/15 different souvenir stand all selling identical products, which makes it very hard for each business to differentiate themselves from one another.
Finally, the more we are seeing of the country the more we are loving it, there is so much going on in this country with development all over the city and is noticeably trying to expand further into the countryside. The main difference that we all find when working in Rwanda as opposed to the UK is the speed at which people do things. There is very little urgency to get things done, which when coming from a place where speed is a necessity it increases your patience. For example, when responding to my entrepreneur it takes on average a day to get in contact, even when they have the tools to reply straight away they don’t, which is one of the main reasons the development is needed in both the infrastructure but in the ways in which objectives get achieved.
David Wilson, Marketing and Management, Newcastle University, Whitley Bay/Newcastle.