We arrive intact but with numb buttocks. Despite the fact that it’s the Easter break, we find ourselves once again at school… in Butare, to discover its forestry, agriculture and veterinary departments. We’ve barely arrived when the director appears in order to welcome us.
Like magnets, everyone quickly finds a buddy and goes exploring in order to learn more about the 3 sectors. Working in pairs, we combine the practical and theoretical courses, immersed in English among 40 students. The communication is somewhat difficult (the Rwandan accent is very different from the Belgian accent), but the subjects of conversation flow all the same and are very interesting. Afterwards, we all join together to give a short presentation on Belgium and, of course, our school.
The Rwandans would very much have liked to taste the Belgian speculoos which we brought for the occasion, but Aline, famished and ferocious, left them only crumbs. Bellies empty (except for Aline’s), we head towards the dining hall for a meal of the flavours of the country. On the menu: a dish with rice, beans and bananas. We thought that our group consisted of big eaters, but the Rwandans beat us soundly.
We take a short digesting walk at the school (68 hectares…), and while passing by the rice fields, as a bonus, we witness a magnificent fall in the mud. Result: three of our students with socks that literally changed color.
In spite of the “new look”, a VIP photo session awaits on our return to the school. The female stars are already preparing to begin a volleyball match, while Stromae’s music sounds in the background. After having given the best of themselves, Laura and the Rwandans also come to help us, the Belgians, to even the score in our football match, in front of the 850 students of the school. A “friendly” match they said, but which actually seemed to us to be the world cup in Brazil (including the heat!). Applause follows the legendary achievement of Laura, who defeated the men at football.
At 5:30 pm, we raise a glass in friendship and offer souvenirs that are “made in Belgium” before saying goodbye. On the road back we make a small detour to the Butare market to discover some local specialties. The day is finished in style with a meal on a terrace at the local restaurant!
We are tired but no less inspired as we lie down under our mosquito nets because a day of labor awaits us tomorrow.
Text written by Aline and Maya