October 06


A few challenges and a change

It’s been a tough few weeks. Last Sunday, the computer I’ve been using while in Rwanda (my GSK computer) crashed. I didn’t get the infamous blue screen of death, just a message “Boot Device Not Found”, “Please install on operating system on your hard disk”. I couldn’t access anything but the timing couldn’t have been better.

Colleen Kane, my GSK colleague from Rockville, MD site who I’m here with in Kigali was headed back to the US. I opened a GSK IT ticket and sent my computer with Colleen to be looked at in Rockville, MD. The bad news, I lost all of my files since I’ve been here with the exception of those I saved to dropbox. The good news, GSKsync backed up all of my files on 6/20/14 which was the week of my departure. My GSK files were the least of my worries because we have a rigorous archiving process that we follow in CIA Ops! My re-imaged file will be on a flight back to Kigali on October 13th 🙂

After the hard drive crash came the news that our roof needed to be replaced due to asbestos. This was a directive from the city of Kigali and it couldn’t be rescheduled even though our landlord tried to negotiate because we had friends coming in from Nairobi, Kenya to visit for the week. We were told the removal process would start at 2am on Monday morning and the roof installation would be completed by 2pm Tuesday. We were very skeptical only because things tend to take a little longer than we’re accustomed to (e.g. food service) and because everyone we told laughed when we said we’re having a roof replaced in Rwanda in 12 hours. To all the naysayers, while it wasn’t 12 hours, it was finished right before our friends arrived (about 15 hours) and we were relieved because our friends had arrived, there were heavy rains, and we didn’t want to stay in a hotel for another night.

In addition to these challenges, there was an unexpected change in HRH program leadership at the MoH. The Program Coordinator who had helped to get the program off the ground in 2012 left right before Colleen and I started the first week of July. He was assigned to a special global health initiative but wrapped up the program early and returned to take over the controls of the HRH. We’re not sure how long before he’s assigned to another special project but we’re glad to have him here with us now and hopefully he’ll be here to see us finish up our assignment the 2nd week of December.

I’ll be headed to Nairobi in a few weeks to visit friends, I’m looking forward to seeing Kenya! I’d love to visit their beaches because I missed all of my beach/ocean time this summer but considering the existing travel advisories I’ll probably keep my distance. I’ll post some pictures upon my return the week of October 21st.