Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Bakiga Window: By Way of Introduction

On the tarmac in Kigali, Rwanda. Hot.
Having safely returned from my third visit to Uganda and having had nearly a month to reflect on the whole experience, the process of sharing these thoughts has come into my mind.

In previous years I have kept a written diary of my experiences whilst away. This April I did not. In the past it has been a good way of processing everything I have been a party to - a very cathartic process. In fact it has even improved me as a writer, let alone as a person. So one may ask: 'why didn't you keep a diary this year?'

The answer comes down to two things:

  • Firstly, this year I was in charge of running the trip. Over my three years of involvement in the partnership that my workplace has with Kigezi High School, my role has become more active in terms of the organisation of the visit. This year, when the primary trip organiser said that she would be getting married in April, I stepped forward to run the trip. This meant I was often one of the last to bed and one of the first up in the morning, holding nightly meetings, often making speeches, meeting new people, greeting old friends and ensuring the whole project moved forward, safely and effectively. In other words, I hadn't the time!
  • Secondly, there will be plenty of time for diaries in the future. I have desires to engage with some big new projects that will require the reflective process of the diary keeping again, but for now, I needed something different.
Therefore, this year I am doing something different to share my experiences. This year I will present an image and expand on it - attempting to relay the story behind the picture: the people, the sounds, the emotions.

Although this series of blog posts is called The Bakiga Window - the Bakiga being the main tribal group in Kabale District, Uganda - I will also be talking about my three day stopover in Kigali, Rwanda on the way.

I will have succeeded in my mission if you can sense, however fleetingly, the passion that I have for Kabale and Uganda through my words and pictures.

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