>> Thursday, March 11, 2010

Come, my tan faced children
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready,
Have you your pistols? Have you your sharp-edged axes?
Pioneers! O pioneers!

For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O you youths, western youths,
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship,
Plain I see you western youths, see you tramping with the foremost,
Pioneers, O pioneers

Surreal. Word of the day. It's 3 pm and we're sitting out on our porch, with soft jazz playing on a laptop, with the sun hazing through thin clouds, and the below view in front of us.
One of the other volunteers just said that lately, her dreams feel more real than her life [probably from the malaria meds].

Seriously, it's never been such a new and beautiful life. Don't get me wrong, though, training is hard and tiring, when your house is only the place you sleep and do your laundry. And I miss my friends and family and the love of my life, but it's not an adjustment just yet. So many of us have such similar backgrounds and passions that when you put us together 16-24 hours a day, it's not difficult to love what you do.

Things you would expect to be an adjustment but aren't:

aiming well while using the latrine [think about that]
washing your clothes in a bucket with a bar of soap
taking bucket showers [pocahontas style]
walking 1.5 miles to class every morning
not having running water
greeting EVERY person you pass on the street [average: 35 on the way to class]
having children follow you everywhere, even when you're running
only having boiled and filtered water for drinking/ brushing your teeth
not being allowed to put toilet paper in the toilet [true story]
eating goat at least once a day
almost always not understanding an attempt at communication [the go-to phrase being, simbizi! I don't understand!]

This being said, some current volunteers came in to give us a talk on the cycle of adjustment during PC service. And according to their chart, us trainees are still in the 'honeymoon' period of service, and I can anticipate a shock/breakdown in 2-3 weeks! Things to look forward to!

Exciting happenings of this week:
I successfully haggled in the market, the most intimidating place I've seen yet. It took until my 4th trip to feel comfortable enough with my kinyarwanda and my muzungu self to do it. As a basis for pricing, the PC handbook says to take whatever number they propose to you [the muzungu price], and haggle it to about 50-60%, and that's the fair price. I got my own glass tea mug for the equivalent of a little less than $2 :).
I learned a bit of Rwandan dance at National Women's Day on monday, when about 100 rhythmically gifted high school students pulled us all out of the stands to dance. Lots of singing by one guy, then responses from the rest, and feet stamping, clapping, and low hip movement. It's awesome to see these people, so free and unabashed. Shame must be a western emotion.

On Saturday we head to Butare to go to a museum and another genocide memorial, this one rumored to be a lot more intense than the last [preserved bodies]. I'm excited to see more of the country and get closer to being comfortable in Rwandan culture. More is unfolding every day and I feel more and more familiar here. Yay :)


About This Blog

Lorem Ipsum

  © Blogger templates Shiny by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP