Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The earth was moving for me

In bed yesterday morning around 4 am I suddenly felt my bed shake. I thought 'earthquake'; then I thought, my neighbours are having sex - jeez, are the walls thin in this hotel or not? They have small children, and I suppose one needs to grab these opportunities....And anyway, Africa does not do earthquakes.

Turns out that my colleagues on the other side of the hallway felt it, too. It was a little earthquake all right, and took place in Congo - see here.

Must say, though, that the earth was the fastest thing that has ever moved in the Kigali Novotel. The waiting staff in the restaurant, apart from delightful young Celestin today, although they seem to be running about, appear to wear blinkers while they do so. The fact that the restaurant has only one or two menus to go around, also does not help! However, this seems to be generally the case in Rwandan restaurants (and GTZ is thinking of getting together with a local entrepreneur to start a hotel training school - not a minute too soon). This is why all restaurants have a buffet - it saves cooking to order....The food is great, but it would be nice if it was on the plate, too! And seeing the buffet menus are much the same every day one does fancy a change now and again.

The restaurant staff is still faster than the internet - which we are paying for. Just now I have been waiting and paying for 30 minutes for a page to open. It makes it almost impossible to do work in the hotel.

Chatted to the boss today. Only found out recently that the company is closely connected with a university (most universities have consultancy companies these days, it's how they make their money, and from foreign students). Apparently in the early days their work had been exclusively to produce studies on this, that and the other, paid for by various organisations. Recently the market had changed, he continued ...and I added 'and now you need to do work, too?'. Oooops. The combination of people doing studies, and those doing 'real work' is a pretty powerful one, mixing a wide range of information with 'getting your hands dirty' experience.

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