Phew, it has been longer since my last blog than I realized.  I’d like to attribute it all to having found my place in Kigali, and finding people and activities that keep me too busy to blog.  And while that is mostly true, I’ve also just been a little bit lazy about keeping up with it.

So, hopefully I can spend the next few posts going back in time a bit to catch you up on the Rwanda-happenings of August and September.  I will do my best to rectify my neglect – sorry, Blog! If I write it here, you’ll hold me to it, right?

Work has picked up at the Ministry of Health/CHAI, and I’ve been finding more ways to stay busy outside of work. For a while there, I had a pretty set schedule involving a couple days of week playing ultimate Frisbee (yes, they have that!), playing trivia at a local restaurant (that too!), and catching the free weekly movies at the Goethe Institut of Kigali.  Lately, as the rainy season rolls in, we’ve had to do some improvising, but I still manage to keep myself occupied.  Still haven’t convinced anyone to come over and play Boggle and Bananagrams, though…

Most recently, I took advantage of some time off to travel home and visit with friends and family (and my dog!), not to mention enjoy some fall weather and activities.  Going back to my house was a bit like stepping into time warp, but it was nice to know that it was still standing.  My visit came at a fortunate time for Desmond, whose GSK computer had just crashed in Kigali.  I was able to take it to Rockville IT to get repaired in time for my return to Rwanda (shout out to Luis for helping us out of that bind!).  It also meant I got to surprise a few colleagues by mysteriously appearing in the office and lab.  Lots of changes have been happening at GSK Rockville in my absence, and I am eager to see what the future holds there when I return for good in January.

So, for now, here are a couple pictures of my time at home:

My family commandeered a large "bouncy pillow" at a fall festival in Virginia.
My family commandeered a large “bouncy pillow” at a fall festival in Virginia.
My dog (and family!) and I enjoyed a nice fall hike.  I was home just a touch to early to really see the leaves change colors, but we still had some nice crisp fall days!
My dog (and family!) and I enjoyed a nice fall hike. I was home just a touch to early to really see the leaves change colors, but we still had some nice crisp fall days!

And as blog myself back in time over the next few entries, you can look forward to some words and pictures on visits to Gisenyi/Lake Kivu and Kampala, the annual HRH program kickoff, Joe’s visit and our time spent in Nyungwe National Forest and with the wild gorillas.  That should about cover it and get us up to speed. Stay tuned, folks, stay tuned!

– Colleen


  1. Hi Colleen,
    It’s good to hear from you and glad to hear that you are doing well Kigali. I am pretty sure that you are fluent in Kinyarwanda by now 🙂
    Heard you were in town and here at the office too. Too bad we didn’t run into each other.
    So, how is it going with work? Are you staying mainly in Kigali or are you traveling around?
    Anyway, thanks for sharing and stay in touch.


  2. Hi Raye!
    I wish I could say my Kinyarwanda was better at this point. It’s not too late to keep trying, though!
    Work is going well. I work directly in the Ministry of Health office in Kigali, so I don’t do much traveling, except on the occasional weekend. My next few posts will hopefully paint a decent picture of some of the great places I have made it out to. Hoping to squeeze in a few more trips before I go!
    Thanks for the message!

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