It seems like it has been a minute since I've posted anything regarding current construction efforts at Kibuye. In addition to one larger construction project we are doing a lot in the way of shoring up the basic infrastructure of power, water, and internet. So here is what's happening in my world:
Typically medical students at Hope Africa University spend their first three years in Bujumbura in the classroom. They then move up to Kibuye for their next three years doing their clinical rotations in addition to taking various courses taught by Serge faculty and others. Many of these students come from Bujumbura and find that life can be a bit slow up here in our rural setting.
A few years ago, Matt Lembelembe (an eMi architect) was here filling in for me while my family was on home assignment. He was asked to design a student center that would house three main functions: a cafeteria, a library, and a place to relax and hangout. Matt came up with a wonderful design and thanks to funding from AMH we are a few short weeks away from completing the construction. I have no doubt that the students will really enjoy this space for years to come.
|The library will be on the first level and an upper terrace will allow the students to take in the beautiful view of the Burundian countryside. |
|The building has 3 levels. On the right will be the hangout area with couches, pingpong, foosball, and other necessities. The middle section will be where food will be served. And to the left will be the library and upper terrace.|
|The middle section where the students will be served daily meals.|
|Matt incorporated some interesting architectural features like the way the roof is hidden behind a parapet and the fun stone work at the ends of the building.|
|Our masons getting the alignment of one of the support legs just right.|
|The future site of the expanded solar field.|
|A view from across the valley of the new solar site as well as the new pediatric building and maintenance area.|
|The site of the new water reservoirs leveled and cleared and ready for construction.|
|Micheal and his eager assistants.|
- As one about to teach Pediatrics in Burundi, I took everything I ever learned in my Peds training and put it into a context of a developing country with low resources with diseases not commonly found in the United States.
- I started making powerpoints that fit the needs of what I needed to teach each week.
- Little by little, I translated powerpoints into French. (because honestly my medical French was not that great. "Blueprints" is in English, and I needed to know how to say many of these things in our "work language" - French.)
- I gave a 1-hour lecture per week for 3 months on 12 important Pediatric topics.
- After giving lectures for a few months, I realized that maybe I added too much of what I shouldn't have (minutiae regarding specialty labs, MRIs, etc which are difficult to find in our context), and not enough of what I should have (more on physical exam, treatments that are available here, etc).
- Re-vamped lectures.
- I gave these lectures weekly over 2 years during our first term. I made small adjustments after each lecture, trying to taylor the learning time to fit the needs of the learners. I added in French articles from time to time on difficult subjects.