Monday, June 14, 2010

Sinshaka umugabo - I don't want a husband!

I am asked here on a regular basis if I’m looking for a husband, “Urashaka umugabo?” My interrogators may be men (or the boy who just sold me Tigo credit for the last time, I’ll go elsewhere) but also women who ask either with a male relative in mind or out of curiosity.

“Sinshaka umugabo,” I tell them: I don’t want a husband. I might say I’m working now and I will look in two years after Peace Corps, or that Peace Corps won’t allow me to get married and have kids (the good ol’ blame-it-on-Peace-Corps excuse can be applied to many things).

Today I was introduced to a man at the sector office, who said “Umugabo urashaka?” Frustrated that this had come up yet again in a professional setting, I told him “No, oya, Sinshaka umugabo,” only to be told by my coworker that he was just telling me his name: Mugaboshaka. "Man who is needed." Oops.

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