A village, a husband, and hyperventilation

>> Friday, June 11, 2010

I posted some new photos of my adorable little home and some other moving-in stuff.


I know when I was stalking PCV journals when I was waiting to ship out, this was something I really wanted to see myself. so please, take a look! but remember that there is a huge spectrum of site placements there could possibly be, and I am super thankful and appreciative of my lil village and wonderful neighbors. except for the ones that ask me to buy their house or marry them.

Actual conversation from earlier this week.
ok wait, backstory: my creepy single buff neighbor who speaks english as well as i speak kinyarwanda kept trying to get me to visit him and I kept finding ways out of it, because visiting a single man is a no-no for the single white girl living alone. I run into him his full military camo, because apparently, he's a soldier, and we stop to talk in the middle of the dirt path of my village. three or four kids congregate to watch. he speaks english to me, and I respond in kinyarwanda to him.

Ok, actual conversation:

Mr.Soldier Neighbor: I waited for you last week
me: yes i was there. i did not see you.
him: we shall go have a fanta now then
me: no, i cannot, it's night time. I must go home.
him: you will visit me next week.
me: yes but I cannot come to your home, we must meet outside
him: but my home is right here, you will come visit at my home
me: No, I cannot come to your home, it is not appropriate to visit in the home of a man.
him: But you will come to visit my home.

this continues as I explain I cannot visit a man in his home and he tries to understand why and just when I start to think maybe I was too presumptuous to be avoiding a person I'm clearly just miss-communicating with, he says

him: you will visit and soon i will be your husband

if you've seen abbot and costello, insert reference into this next bit that lasts an exhausting 10 minutes

me: no no, I have a fiance
him: oh. you have a fiance? he is rwandan?
me: no, british. and he will be visiting soon.
him: yes, and then soon I will be your fiance
me: no, I HAVE a fiance.
him: yes, me
me: no, I already have one
him: you will have me
me: no, I have one. I only want one. I do not want another
him: yes, you will take me.

[feebly repeating myself as a woman and the baby on her back walking by pause to watch the humor]

no, I have one already. I only want one. I do not want two.
him: but I need you

I'm assuming this actually translates to I'm looking for a muzungu wife, partly because its logical based on their vocabulary, and partly because it's less creepy
me: uhhhh NO, no no. You are my neighbor and a friend only. No... no no... no.

this is all in light humor too, not scary or threatening. just matter-of-fact. blunt. he wants a muzungu wife. I want him to understand that in America, we don't take two husbands. Or trade them out like poker. So we leave on just as vague of an understanding and I go home thankful for my muzungu fiance's impending visit.

The night after this occurred, I was contemplating another pan of popcorn [off my kerosene stove. Maize kernels and milk powder simulate white cheddar popcorn enough to satisfy my general hunger], when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a massive black object on my wall next to my water boiler. Now, I know most people compare the fight or flight response when faced with bigger opposition like a mountain lion or bear, but seriously, and with NO EXAGGERATION, the beast that had claimed my living room as it's own was THE SIZE OF MY HAND. I didn't HAVE any hard cover books big enough to kill it, and he would simply laugh at a magazine swat. To be honest I couldn't imagine getting close enough to actually hit it with a book without him eating my hand and my body had legitimately started sweating, shaking, and hyperventilating. yea. THAT'S HOW BIG IT WAS. Anyway, when I realized I couldn't hide in a corner and wait for it to go away, I grabbed the squeegee and opened the back door [because if I missed, I would need an escape route and I'd just give him the house]. I whimpered for a while but eventually fought him down with the squeegee. I stopped hyperventilating about a half hour later when I intoxicated myself with bug spray and dismantled my clothes line to hang my mosquito net off the crumbling walls.
In that hour Africa seriously lost some brownie points.. but if the relatives of the spider that starred in Arachnophobia stay outside from now on, I guess I'll forgive him.


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