It has been a blur of days since I arrived in Kigali a couple of Saturdays ago…and now I’m homeward bound. We spent a lot of time out at the site. Pictures don’t do the building justice and in 2 dimensional drawings it’s hard to grasp the scale. The site is a beehive of activity; digging for and building the septic tanks as well as underground water cisterns, welding to secure the last of the trusses and excavation of the outdoor amphitheater. By the time I left our last site visit today, more than half of the brick red roof has popped up, visible from behind the 12 ft metal construction fence. Katie and I hiked up a hill behind the site to take a picture. From that vantage the Library/Learning center looks to be one of the larger buildings, along with some on the Rwinkwavu Hospital campus, in all the area. I’m sure at the next site visit Friday the roof will be up.
What a difference a year makes! As I reflect on where we were last year at this time it’s amazing to think our goal is so near. Construction has moved along well and I’ll be heading to Rwanda October 21st to check things out first hand. With the roof scheduled to be up the later part of October, in time for the start of the rainy season, the 7,800 square foot Rwinkwavu Community Library and Learning Center will open its doors in the first quarter of 2012.
Our focus this trip is on finalizing the myriad details that need to be in place to get us up and running. We’ve carefully thought out furniture, equipment, programming and staffing and how this will all work together. After a couple of years looking at two dimensional drawings it’ll be so thrilling to walk into the main entrance and through the RCLLC room by room. Imagine story hour in the preschool room, shouts of children on the playground, afterschool homework groups, soccer nights in the amphitheater, game night in the Reading Room, a group of adults practicing their English. A welcoming space characterized by the buzz of congenial congestion that’ll serve the needs of all age groups, bringing the generations and community together.
We believe that ultimately, the quality of what happens inside the building, along with local participation and a feeling of ownership, will be what defines the success of the Center.
Be sure to continue to check our blog for updates and photos from the road!