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The boxes have gone

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Africa, Humanitarian

Flag of Rwanda

‘Where’s Rwanda, then?’ asked Terry the packer as he loaded my seven cardboard boxes into his red van.  We looked at a map of central Africa and found the small landlocked country, wedged between its giant neighbours the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.  It’s the size of Wales, with three times the population.

'Where's Rwanda then?' © United States Institute of Peace
'Where's Rwanda then?' © United States Institute of Peace

The boxes have gone now; just some clothes, books, my bike and a couple of pots of Marmite – enough for six months living, I hope.  I am leaving for Rwanda in a few days time, to head up DFID’s team based in Kigali, the capital.  This is a short posting, so my family will be staying back in Sussex. I have a mix of feelings about this; sad to be leaving them all behind, but excited about the challenges of the new job.

What will I be doing?  The key role of a head of DFID office is to be the focal representation for the British government’s aid programme, making decisions on how the money is used, and checking that our programmes are working well.  Once I get settled in Rwanda, I plan to be blogging regularly about what this means in reality.

Terry said he had been to Goa in India and got a great tan – the only thing he missed were the British newspapers.  I’m not too worried about the tan, though I’m told the weather in Kigali is wonderful; but the internet will keep me abreast of international news, and Skype will allow me to stay in touch with my family.

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  1. Comment by Marisol posted on

    Best of luck Martin. Look forward to reading about your stay. Skype is so handy for talking to loved ones and the time difference isn't too bad.

  2. Comment by Miri posted on

  3. Comment by Andrew posted on

    Hey Martin -

    Hope you're well. I've set up your other blog as a feeder to this one, so we will direct Point people there and they can link through to you here. So if you have any more specific "Point" things to relay, that one is available to you as well. If not, no problem, but it is the one we'll be publishing in the Point emails etc.

    cheers, Andrew

  4. Comment by Martin Leach posted on

    Hi Marisol

    You commented on Skype - it has been pretty good so far, and I have had fun seeing my family on the screen, but so far I can only get sound out of here, no video. I hope I can get this fixed soon.