We had an early start this morning, having breakfast at seven o’clock sharp for the bus at half seven. We travelled to the southern province Muhanga, where the company Zipline is situated. This was a very important trip for us as we have been doing workshops in the schools on this brilliant company. Zipline delivers blood to approximately twenty district hospitals across Rwanda using drones. We learned about the journey of the blood packages from the initial request from the hospital up until delivery, and the technology used. It was a pleasure to spend some time there and see behind the scenes of their company.
Then we had some free time in the early afternoon, so had lunch at a local buffet restaurant and went to the Nyanza King’s Palace museum. We learned about the history of the Rwandan monarchy and got to visit replicas of the original palaces. We thoroughly enjoyed discovering the old method of building – the huts were entirely made out of grass! Our tour guide explained to us the traditional roles of the men and women at that time. An example is how the men would get to drink all the beer, but women were only allowed milk! The girls definitely weren’t best pleased!!
In the late afternoon we had two visits to the boarding schools St Joseph and Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes. When we arrived at St Joseph a lot of pupils were playing outside, some of the girls joined them for a badminton match before giving a presentation to around 150 kids. The workshops went well with there being a particular interest in software and computer engineering.
Arriving to the next school we were surprised by a very enthusiastic welcome from the 819 girls studying there. Each group gave their presentation to the girls and answered a lot of questions. The sister in charge of the school was pleased and thanked us. This was an amazing experience for us as the girls were so involved and had such a great interest in engineering. We made them laugh by having a grand exit by dancing along to their music, we even got some cheers!
Travelling home at 7:30PM, we unfortunately got stuck in a severe traffic jam. We were stuck in the bus for seven hours!! We got to witness the true art of Rwandan traffic, as our two-lane road turned into a five-lane nightmare!!! Getting back to Kigali in the early hours of the morning, we had to stop off at a local shop for dinner – we got some bread and spread! Arriving at the hostel after 3AM, we all had a bite to eat then went to bed.
The FemEng in Rwanda Team 2019 🙂