October 21

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Rwanda’s rainy season has arrived..

Rainy season has arrived!   The rain storms are crazy, thunder and lightning but thankfully they are usually fairly short with some blue skies and sunshine in between.  Temperatures are a little cooler and Rwanda is looking lush and green.

My assignment is coming together.   I’ve been working with the M&E team at Jhpiego on the MCSP with a focus on two important initiatives ENC/HBB and PPFP.  Throughout this year, a strong training and mentoring team was developed and the scale up of the programs was introduced into a selected areas.  It’s a busy time for the team who are collecting, reviewing and evaluating data to assess the overall impact of the programs to date.  I am compiling reports on the progress to date.  This work is feeding into the plans for the program expansions in 2017 will be discussed and agreed at workshops planned for December.

During the last few months, I have had the pleasure of visiting some of the hospitals and health centres involved in the programs with the MCSP team who are delivering training, mentoring and discussing successes and challenges with the healthcare providers. The close working relationship between the health facilities and MCSP staff working on the programs is very evident. The MCSP staff are always greeted with a warm welcome and an enthusiastic discuss about the program progress. It is clear from my few visits that the scaling up of these programs is very important and is already making a positive impact to healthcare.

Living in Kigali is continuing to be fun with plenty to do and see, the past few weeks here have been particularly happening with the week of fashion and the EU film festival.  The fashion show at the Serena hotel was a quite an event.  It was a fabulous glamorous night show casing many of the amazing designers in Rwanda.  The film festival was another great event with films from various EU countries.  It opened with Ireland’s film Brooklyn :).

 I’ve had a look around the fabulous new convention centre, it is a beautiful state of the art impressive landmark, especially when lit up at night.  Since I’ve been here it has hosted many large conferences.  The African Union Summit was in July with all the African leaders in attendance and last week there has been The Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer which made global news.

Time is moving very quickly here, I’m looking forward to seeing more of Kigali and Rwanda. I’ve been taking some Kinyarwanda classes they have been useful although I am finding it a difficult language to learn and really only have a few helpful words and phrases so far but the classes are interactive and enjoyable even if I am at the bottom of the class!