Written by CorpsAfrica/Rwanda Volunteer Mr. Isaac Ndengejeho
William Green once said, “I feel like I have a new life and I am going to take full advantage of it.” Even though it is William Green who said the above statement, it reflects how I felt the first day in my community. Prior to joining CorpsAfrica pre-service training, I thought that nothing would be different in my country as long as we spoke the same language, despite the fact that I studied geography at university and high school.
My journey with CorpsAfrica has been amazing since day one up to date. Not because I am getting too much money from it, not because I am living in a skyscraper, not because any other anything else apart from how I feel when I am interacting with people in my community and how committed they are becoming in all activities undertaken towards their own well-being.
Looking back to the beginning of the journey, none of my colleagues has ever believed that I will do another thing beyond teaching as it was my profession at university and they knew how much I was good at it. Nevertheless, I have come to realize that what people praised me to be good at was not only what would make me feel energized, satisfied and proud at all. Serving people in remote area of eastern province of my country is making me feel like I should have studied volunteerism as an option in school. Just because it is an interesting journey that I wish every young African would undertake.
About new life, it was on 30 November 2019 when we concluded our pre-service training and departed to our sites that kept secret until the last day of training but mine ended up being a Gihinga cell located in Kayonza district eastern province of Rwanda.
Spending four weeks in training equipped us with much theoretical and some practical packages about life in the community but after joining my particular community there was some special and different features that are not commonly found elsewhere. Geographically, I managed to live in an area with very low altitude, too much sunshine and hotter than any other place I have ever lived in before. Such areas are known to be home of different diseases like malaria. However, fortunately I am still safe up to date.
Within this environment, farming is the most practiced economic activity, and due to high daylight temperature, farm activities start early morning around 5:30 AM. People are already in their farms, I joined them and practiced activities like weeding as in my first days on site weeding was the most ongoing activity.