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Monday, June 21, 2010

Some things that make me happy

- Discussing how difficult Kinyarwanda noun classes are…entirely in French.
- Hearing people point me out and say aracizi, “she knows the language,” when I walk down the street, before I’ve said anything to them – I’ve got a reputation!
- Greeting people, enjoying their shock and delight when I speak not French but Kinyarwanda, and hearing them say as I walk away that I’m umunyarwanda kazi, Rwandan.
- Kids on my street running up to me and hugging me, even if some still call me muzungu. Kids all over town calling me Agatesi and not muzungu, as far away as the bus station and down by the lake.
- Watching over-sexualized American music videos with Rwandan adults who have no idea whatsoever the context of these videos – the S&M imagery of Rihanna’s Disturbia was to them “ghosts.”
- “Cooking dinner” last night with two colleagues. Which meant that we grilled some corn (think: half-popped, grilled non-sweet corn, it’s pretty good!) and sat there eating it while watching our host’s umukozi cook.
- Getting fed dinner every time I watch the world cup with my colleague who has a satellite. And in general, the bonding that’s occurring over the World Cup.
- I have grown to love Rwandan tea, which is actually hot milk with plenty of sugar and a hint of tea or Nescafe. Similarly, I really do enjoy a cold Fanta Citron – it’s like a refreshing carbonated lemonade.
- Serena’s real actual delicious coffee in a huge pot, served with steamed milk, for $2.25 – just over half my daily budget and totally worth it. Plus the wireless there is really fast. And I can take a hot shower. And the view of Kivu and Congo with the sound of the waves really is serene.

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