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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Anecdotes

It’s been a long time! I’m sorry I’m so behind - I was in Nyanza for a few weeks in August helping improve the Kinyarwanda materials in preparation for the next training group - I took the lead on writing a Kinyarwanda grammar, which was very exciting because I’m a nerd. It’s never been done before and the language is incredibly complex. It made me appreciate the Latin I was required to take in high school, which gave me a solid grammatical foundation for learning any other language.

I’ve got a whole bunch of pictures and blog posts to come, hopefully before Friday when I’m moving - and of course I’ve got to explain the big move! I hope to do a whole bunch of back-dated posts this week to make up for lost time, but for now, here’s a few anecdotes.

Rain
It’s been dustier than I could imagine here. Green Rwanda has turned to brown, and there’s dust everywhere. I don’t dry my clothes on the line outside because they’ll just get dusty. Everywhere I walk my feet are brown with dust. Early Thursday morning I was awakened at 2am by the sweet sound of rain. In the rainy season I slept right through it, but the thunder of rain on the tin roof was so foreign that it kept me up for an hour. Last night I was with a group of PCVs in Musanze (an hour and fifteen minutes from Gisenyi) and multiple people got texts from friends saying “It’s raining in Rwamagana!” or “It’s raining in Nyanza!” It rained again this morning and I was able to walk down to the 5 star hotel to use internet - and my feet were clean when I got there! This may not sound very impressive, but I haven’t been able to walk around here for months without my feet instantly being covered in filth.

Good Afternoon
It is every Peace Corps Volunteer’s basic mission to teach people that saying “Good Morning” after noon is incorrect. We all go around correcting people with “Good afternoon. (translated from Kinya) After noon, in the afternoon, you say 'good afternoon.' Do you say mwaramutse (good morning) now? No. You say mwiriwe, which is 'good afternoon'."

So last night well after dark, there’s about 10 of us walking down the street together after dark in this town, and a Rwandan teenager says “good afternoon.” Well after dark. I guess it's better than "good morning."

Ew.
Today on the bus I was sitting next to a very well dressed lady. There’s a vibrant middle class here (largely created by NGOs) and I’m pretty sure her outfit was the $300 variety. Half way through the trip, she opened her handbag and puked into it. Which I suppose is better than puking on me or on her expensive outfit.

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