kivu writers strike again

i spent the weekend on the lake again with the fabulous kivu writers.  have i touted the brilliance of this project enough yet?  we took twenty of rwanda’s brightest students out of school for the weekend to spend some time enjoying the beautiful scenery of their country and to practice their creative hand at poetry.  haiku on an island, rap in the evening, rhyme and meter in three languages.  this was the last of the three weekend workshops of the year, by far the most laid-back (no exploding coffee thermoses this time around), with an impressive showing of talented rwandan facilitators to back up the antics of myself and three of my favorite vso volunteers.  next up is a conference in november bringing together kivu writers of years past with those from 2007.  alums are currently working as journalists, teachers, artists, and more, and will provide excellent role models for this year’s gang.  we’re also putting together a magazine of the students’ writing, to be handed around.  lots of work ahead, but while i’ve become the head-honcho on the project (unfortunately due to the imminent departure of my mentor charlotte hill), we’ve managed to put together a team of reliable folks- rwandans and vso-s- who are taking the reins with me and without whom nothing would get done. 

on the boat group photo enjoying the view

a funny vignet from the weekend- we took a boat ride out to an island, where students had a session on haiku and were inspired by sun and surf.  while they were haiku-ing, charlotte, cathryn, damascene, and i were haggling with the boat-driver and the island-owner over whether we had to pay an entrance fee or not.  miscommunication all over the place, the boat-man threatening to leave us stranded in the middle of the lake, the four of us angry and feeling swindled, finally forking out money that we didn’t have in the budget, walking off in a huff to find the students on the other side of the island.  a walk always gets the stress out and within a few minutes we’d stopped whining about the swindling boat-man and were enjoying the view.  couldn’t find the kids though.  kept walking along the path around the island, passed some fishermen in a tent, turned a corner and ambushed a group of turkeys (a herd? a flock? a gaggle?).  turkeys in rwanda!  they were squawking away, puffing their feathers and gobbling.  funny for a minute, until we realized that the daddy turkey was gobbling our way, doing some kind of go-away dance in the middle of the path.  do turkeys bite?  we tried to fake him out so he’d run away and we could pass but he wasn’t having it.  one of the fishermen saw us, huddled together and cowering and intimidated by thanksgiving dinner on legs, laughed and told us to go on ahead ‘nta kibazo’ (no problem).  we counted to three, shouted and charged the turkey en masse.  he charged back.  we ran away. 

relaxing with cathryn and maurice run away! star student gaspard looking clever in orange

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~ by aliciawolcott on September 9, 2007.

6 Responses to “kivu writers strike again”

  1. HI
    MY NAME IS RACHEAL OUKO.IM A KIVU WRITTER VOLUNTEER FACILITATAOR FROM KENYA.SINCE IRENA AND VIRGILE LEFT KIVU WRITTERS ,I HAVE NO ONE TO ADRESS MY ENQUIRIES SINCE I USED TO LEAVE NAIROBI TO COME ALL THE WAY TO FACILITATE IN DRAMA AND THEATRE SINCE THAT IS MY AREA.NOTHING GAVE ME JOY THAN TO SPEND THE WEEKEND IN KIBUYE AND HAVE A WONDERFULL TIME WITH THE STUDENTS AS WELL AS SHARE SKILLS.I WOULD REALLY WISH TO GET BACK AND EVEN BE INVITED FOR FACILITATING!I ALWAYS LOOKED FORWARD TO THAT AND I REALLY MISS KIVU WRITTERS PROJECT.
    REGARDS FROM NAIROBI.KENYA
    RACHEAL OUKO
    KIVU WRITTERS DRAMA AND THEATRE FACILITATOR.

  2. hi racheal. nice to hear from you. it’s cool that you found my website. i’m helping to coordinate kivu writers this year and next, though hopefully within the next year we’ll make it into its own NGO, led by gilbert, eugene, firmin, damascene and the rest of the gang. do you remember any of them?
    i’ll talk with them about having you for next year, if you’re interested. what’s your email address so i can contact you?
    alicia

  3. would love a copy of the magazine. how did the november reunion event go?

  4. hi Rachel ,happy to hear from u.I am according with u we have miss same of you our facilitator, but we really thank you so much and we just remember you there at Kivu lake ,merry xmas and happy new
    year!
    Ruth (k.w.w 2005)

  5. love to hear about kivu writters again.but are you planning for the future of kw,i hope you will never leave it alone wherever you will be ,otherwise it is the most important thing that everyone can injoy becouse it change so many things about the way of thinking on the future,well i love you

  6. ohh, my God, i’m among KWW alumni. they called me Francis B, because we were 2 Francis’s!!! i attended in 2004. i currentl lives in NEWARK,USA. but, believ me, KWW has been part of my feelings at Home in Rwanda. are you still operating?? i met some alumni here, including Gilbert( he lives in Ottawa) kwibuka Eugene( now a famous journalist at Canadian CITIZEN’s News Paper), I’m a practizing lawyer in NEWARK) Prudent Nsengiyumva is a Prominent BBC journalist, Augustin Munyaneza is a music Producer and a Prominent DJ in Bruxelle, Happiness( a world class top model in UK) Aline( the most Promising Rwandan Scientist at Harvard University in the Post Graduate,space engineering) and many More…

    KWW, has been a blessing for us and we wish to do some thing for it, we are everything we are due to our facilitators such as Amy Whiddette(she is i n London) AYANE FANTA( in DRC) Tracy, etc,,,,,,,

    for sure, yes i left a part of my Heart in Rwanda, but i also left a part of my SOUL in KWW!!!!!

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