Breaking new ground

Joseph inspects the progress so far...

A historic day! It may not look like much, but this pile of earth outside Inzozi Nziza is the start of something special – it’s the beginning of two months of work to transform the building from an empty shell into Rwanda’s first ever local ice cream shop.

Right now, the shop interior is pretty bare. Here it is on a typical morning – it’s serving as the classroom for Ingoma Nshya’s English lessons:

Aimé takes the floor for Monday's lesson

It doesn’t look like much now, but wait till you seen what we’ve got planned! And the first step towards making that sweet dream a reality is the exterior building work – the not-particularly-glamorous waste and drainage system (everything has to start somewhere, right?).

Work began this morning at 7am. Three hours later, it looked like this:

Going down...

But the course of love’s labour never did run smooth, and why should ours be any different?

We knew that our first few days of work would be slow because right now it’s the official week of mourning in memorial to those who died in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. This means we only work in the mornings; the afternoons are given over to remembrance services. But what we didn’t expect was that mere moments after the above photo was taken, the heavens would open with an almighty downpour. The usually beautiful view from Inzozi Nziza suddenly looked like this:

Rwandan rainstorms are not to be trifled with, and this is the beginning of the wet season, when here in Butare we can expect around 33 cm of rain over the next two months. (Don’t worry – by the time we open in June it’ll be hot, hot, hot… otherwise known as ‘ice cream weather’!) So with water coming down like it was going out of fashion, no one could blame our builders for downing tools and taking cover.

Gone fishing...?

Luckily, this is Rwanda, where the weather is like ice cream: best enjoyed immediately, because it doesn’t hang around for long. By 11am the storm had come and gone, and progress was rapid once more:

The case of the disappearing digger...

We were even treated to a glimpse of blue sky:

Maybe the sun is shining on our adventure after all…!

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One thought on “Breaking new ground

  1. […] construction work began in earnest, it has made the shop a bit too loud to double up as a classroom. Luckily, […]

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