On the cultural side of things, getting by with just English (no French, Kinyarwanda, or Swahili) is often a struggle. However, some nuns, university students, and other volunteers do have good English. I watched the World Cup here and felt the passionate support for
The wastewater system in Butare is meant to take shower, toilet, and sink water from the dorm and treat it by sedimentation, bacteria, and filtration so that it can be used for irrigation and toilet water. Water is expensive so it’s a big deal if it can be reused. But the recycling system currently doesn’t work: the “treated” water is discolored and has an odor. The dorm has been kept at half capacity because of this. In order to get an idea of which part of the system is not functioning correctly, the team came up with a diagnostic testing plan. This consisted of taking Biological Oxygen Demand, Total Suspended Solids, Total Coliform, E. Coli, pH, Ammonia, and Sulfate tests at various points in the system. There was a lot of calling and negotiation before the tests were ordered from two separate laboratories. In the end the rates didn’t match what I had been told and the technician, who had to be sent out for sampling, brought 3 bottles to take the 4 samples I had asked him to take (his lab was 2.5 hours away). We will be receiving all the results tomorrow and then plan an intervention.