I found out that we live in
The reality of
I walked along the back road on Sunday, coming home from dinner at the house of a family who drove me to church. It was raining. I was wearing a raincoat but had no umbrella, so when it started to rain hard I ducked under the roof of a little store. It was blaring loud hip hop music I didn’t recognize and after a minute or two someone brought me a chair and I sat with all the other rain-refugees for thirty minutes or so until the rain let up and I could venture home. The best part of the day.
I feel like I should capitalize
When I’m in
We were left rideless this morning because the normal driver is sick. Our taxi can’t get here for a while yet. So C and I are sitting on the back porch looking out over trees and water. Right in front of us is a tall, skinny mango tree. Yesterday there was a pinking plum up near the top, which had been scoped out as the one to be eaten. There was talk of kicking a football up into the tree to knock it down. But today it is gone. Something else got to it first: the wind, or the ripening, or the birds.
Today is the Fourth of July. I don’t usually do much for the Fourth of July, at least not since I left the US and could no longer go to the family picnics (I haven’t been in the US in July since 2002), but today C and I are wearing red-white-and-blue, in honor of the day. I’m being tricky, though, and also wearing my bracelet in blue-yellow-and-green, the colors of the Rwandese flag, because it is Liberation Day there. In
I’m really unclear on this whole working all the time thing. We have to work on Saturdays, because local NGOs work, but there are people (mostly ex-pats at international organizations) who don’t have to work on Saturdays and do. It isn’t that I mind this work. In fact, I like it. I just can’t figure out when people get everything else done. If you work Mon-Fri 8-6 and Sat 10-3, when do you run errands? When do you go to the market? When do you fix up your house? When do you clean your house? When do you take a long walk and learn about the neighborhoods around you? All on Sunday afternoon? That’s the beach day. So when do these things get done? Maybe they just don’t, because ex-pats aren’t really investing that kind of time in their neighborhoods or houses, but it doesn’t seem like much of a way to live.
Okay, enough ranting for today. This is getting too long to read anyway.
4 July 2006
It really is thrilling to be in a country where speeches start, “Madame President…” instead of “Mister President…”
Our ride never came this morning. Then our taxi never came. About 11:00, he called and said that he couldn’t get out of town because of streets blocked off for Kofi Annan and he would try again in an hour. C and I, brave, fearless people that we are, decided to take a collective taxi for the first time. We were ready. We took out the right change. We secured our bags. We stood at the side of the road and waved two fingers (because there were two of us) straight ahead (because we wanted to go straight into town, not up the
Dilemma: to get into town or not to get into town? Getting there requires hitchhiking with this Lebanese man who we do not know and his driver and a whole bunch of cases of Red Bull.
We hitchhiked. The roads were perfectly clear of cars, no streets blocked off, but many more people than normal were walking, or, as the Rwandese say, “footing” into town. In the end, as C puts it, “We traded your phone number for a ride into town.”
Fair trade, I would say. The guy was perfectly nice.