Sunday, February 14, 2010

Contact Info & Wish List

I will check my email whenever I can, but may not always have time to respond. I would love to talk on Skype or my cell - you can find my contact info on facebook or by emailing me. My Rwandan number is +250 722 (the last 6 digits of my parents' home phone number).

I would also love to get mail:
Trude (my last name here)
U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
B.P. 304
Gisenyi, RWANDA, East Africa

Some tips for mail (you can find a wish list below):

1. Writing "Par Avion" and "Air mail" is a MUST. Writing the address in red ink and adding "sister" before my name will increase the chance of my getting it. Seal well.

2. Letters cost 98 cents. Please number them and save a copy because things do get lost and/or arrive out of order. Letters can always include clips of newspaper and magazine articles. You don't have to hand write them - I'm happy to get typed letters. Postcards should be sent inside an envelope - apparently postcards alone are likely to end up decorating someone else's wall.

3. Packages should be sent in fixed-rate boxes to save money. Include a list of contents so I'll know if anything goes missing. On the customs forms, be vague and say USED (e.g. "used personal goods") or I'll have to pay hefty taxes. Valuables might not make it. Christian symbols, slogans, stickers, and Jesus packing tape (seriously, who can resist?) will help a package arrive intact.


Reading: New Yorker, Economist, National Geographic, Atlantic, Foreign Policy, NY Review of Books, etc. Boston Globe Ideas section, NYT Tuesday Science. Crosswords (Thursday or earlier). Books I'd like (fiction and non-fiction). Offline-accessible stuff you shared/enjoyed on google reader (gonna miss my reader).

Video: new seasons of Lost season 6 (!!), 24 (if it's any good), Dexter, Weeds, Californication, Breaking Bad, (from Feb 22) How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, 30 Rock. Highlights of Daily Show/Colbert. Notable Boston sports games. New movies.

Audio (so I can update my ipod): podcasts, new music I might like, old music I might like and not have

Powdered drink mixes (gatorade, crystal lite) + herbal tea bags + hot chocolate powder
Chocolate (if it might melt, ziplock bags are great and I'll reuse them)
Dried fruit/berries that don't grow here (crasins, cherries, blueberries, rasberries, apricots...I can get pineapple and mango fresh)
Gummy bears, starburst, nips, fruit mentos, reese's pieces, oreos, skittles, sourpatch, york peppermint
Cheese powder from mac+cheese, other forms of cheese that will survive
Flavor packets (e.g. taco, thai curry paste), anything spicy/chili,  dressings and condiment packets (mustard, mayo)
Foil packets (tuna, salmon, those thai/indian ones)
Protein bars - I like Clif carrot cake
Nuts (spicy coatings welcome; peanuts not needed cause I have them here), trail mix
Kids' vitamins, stickers (to give away)



  1. Hi Trudy! My name is Melanie Leach and I am from Maine. My sister works with your mom at EMC. My daughter, Sarah, is leaving July 20 for Zambia to begin her journey as a PC volunteer. I've made a connection with your mom to get some pointers as to how to get her ready to go. I love your blog....amazed that you have computer capability. We were told she can't bring her laptop with her. I'd appreciate any info that might be helpful if you have time. You can reach me at melbelle60@gmailcom. Thanks!!

  2. Hi Trude,

    My name is Devon and I live and work at the Imbabazi Orphanage. I think you have met my colleague Jeff. He is in the States right now. I would love to get in touch with you. My contact info is or tel 0782512682 Look forward to hearing from you!

  3. Hello, Trude. My name is Andrew Nightingale. I tried the following thing but it fell over. I have married a Rwandan lady and am living in Kigali. My email is my Christian name and the first syllable of my surname followed by at hotmail dot com . I stumbled on yout excellent blog while looking for information on learning Kinyarwanda. It is excellent information, delightfully written. I would love to chat by email and maybe meet in Kigali or Gisenyi.

  4. A bit paranoid about email spam so I coded my email. I could not work out your contact details from the info given. The last digits of my phone are 82 511 611 . I have now read all your blog and followed some of the links. I wont hassle you after this post if I hear nothing either by email or phone. But I will continue to follow your blog with interest.

  5. This is the most interesting blog and I guess the person behind this beautiful words must be a very interesting person to share a cup of coffee with. I am Kenyan and work in Kigali and hope to link up one of these coming days. I will always visit this blog to have a laugh.
    Keep up the goodwork

  6. Hey there,

    I couldn't find your email address on here so I'm commenting to get in touch. Just wanted to say I dig your site and that I've added it to my links page over on


  7. Hello, Trude!!!
    I'm Brazilian and I visited Rwanda on September 2010. I was shooting a documentary and this trip changed my life and also my friends lives' who were there with me.
    I like your blog immensely!
    I was fascinated with that "electric color" rubber sandals children use all the time!!!!
    Do you know how they call that sandals in kinyarwanda by any chance? I'm quite curious about that!!!!!!! Thanks again for your blog!
    best regards
    Erika Barbin
    oh, in time: if you know how they call them, and you are able to send this information to me, my e-mail is:
    thanks in advance!!!!!!

  8. Trude-
    Great blog! I went to Tanzania, East Africa in 2011 and fell in love with the area and the people. I have a quick question for you, will you please email me at as soon as possible? Thank you!

  9. Hi Trude,

    Just stumbled upon your blog in looking up various materials on Kinyarwanda and am really enjoying it. I thought I should say hi as I'm originally from Boston and taught at Swarthmore for a couple of years before moving to New Zealand--I'm hoping to be in Rwanda some time toward the end of this year. I'd enjoy meeting you some day should our paths ever cross. If you have time please send me a note by e-mail if you google "Stephen" "Asian Studies" (what I teach) and "Victoria University of Wellington" (where I teach it...), you'll find me very easily. Best wishes, Stephen


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