The Times Are A Changin’?

2:56 pm December 4, 2008
Café Toseros
Kigali, Rwanda

So here I am, back in Kigali again. This time I am solo, without my SHE crew of Bernice, Hannah B, and Hannah P. It’s going to be tough pulling off what we did this summer—surveying 500+ girls/women, identifying potential partners, and R&D collaborators—but what’s more, it’s going to be tough having as much fun without them!

Four months later, I find some things have changed in Rwanda….like the new swank shopping center…or 12,000 Rfw ($23) cell phone. Rwanda is forging ahead into capitalism with, literally, lines out the door. Unfortunately, some things haven’t changed…like the 800-900 Rfw (~$1.50) packs of sanitary pads (10 per pack).

My time here is relatively short, but my task list is mighty long and fierce. I’ll be whipping around Rwanda to (among other things) kick-off R&D collaboration with the fabulous Professor Akeng’a at KIST (the Rwandan Technical Univerisity), or shall we say the MIT of Africa. Or is MIT, the KIST of the United States? Also, I’ll be scoping out potential pilot partners, sourcing some natural fibers, and attending the Rwandan University Women’s Association annual conference. What would I rather be doing? Why, nothing else.