Friday, January 13, 2017
I'm definitely not in Florida anymore...
I’ve always found it much easier to adapt to a new place than to return to the US from my travels. Naturally, I knew I would not experience too much trouble getting into the swing of things here. That being said, there are definitely many moments each day when I remember I’m not in Florida anymore, but rural Rwanda instead.
Tuesdays and Fridays are Market Day in the neighboring village. On the half hour walk to the market, many children come out and point at us shouting “muzungu,” Kinyarwanda for white person. Regardless of the time of day, they also always tell us “good morning!” Last week at 2 p.m., one kid broke the norm and said “good afternoon.”
After perusing in the market and buying mangoes for ~ 6 cents, we headed to a nearby restaurant/bar for a snack. Brochette, akin to a kebab, is quite popular here in Rwanda. A couple of the fellows ordered the goat brochette. A few minutes later, a man promptly walked by wielding a crying goat and a very large knife. He paused several feet in front of us and I actually covered my eyes because I thought he was about to slaughter the goat right then and there. Thankfully, he exited the premises, but I continued to hear the goat cry. Needless to say I’m still a vegetarian.
The students have several weeks of English courses before the school year starts. As the native speakers, we cousins help teach their classes. Having just spent several months substitute teaching, I find the classes quite fun. Luckily, we never hear such a thing as a lawn mower going outside or a cell phone ringing to disturb the class. Instead, we hear cows. Walking back from class the other day we saw not only the cows, but my favorite, the goats! I hope it’s awhile before they get turned into brochette.
And here is the icing on the very imaginary cake because cake with icing happens here about once a year:
A couple of mornings ago I awoke at 6:13 am to hear my roommate Naomi saying “OMG no this is awful it can’t be,” or something along the lines of that. Thinking it probably didn’t relate to me, I tried in vain to return to sleep. I continued to hear her and just as I decided to get up, she knocked on my door and softly said, “sorry to wake you M-C, but I think there might be ants in your room.” I instantly got up and turned on the light to see not one, not two, not one hundred, not two hundred, but THOUSANDS of ants speeding around the perimeter of my room. Dazed and confused, I followed her out of my room to see even more ants congregated around the shelf where we kept our precious peanut butter. Lucky for me, Naomi had already called in another Fellow, Darren, and the two had begun damage control. Incredibly, within five minutes, the ants had redirected themselves and were mostly exiting my room and then the house. We continued to sweep them away and eventually they all left. I only wish I could sweep away my memory of thousands of ants marching around my room. Miraculously, I escaped without a bite. More importantly, the ants did not reach my chocolate stash, now even more securely stored in contraband plastic bags.
Update since I first drafted this post: The ants returned last night. We recruited another staff member to help us handle them. She poured gasoline outside our house and they all died. My brain cells are still dying from gasoline fumes but I didn’t wake up to ants!
I'll save you all the horror of the video of the ants around my house and instead you can look at them congregated outside on the trash can.
This is Auntie Phyllis. She is a CISVer and she spends first term here at ASYV :)
In the late afternoons as we play sports together we get to see the most beautiful sunsets.