Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Whole New World

I figure 3 weeks isn't as long as I went last year...so this still counts as improvement!
I'm back in Kigali. Everything is the same, but everything has changed! On one hand, I really feel at home being back in this city. And on the other hand, I'm working at a new school, living in a new house, and starting over with getting used to things that are different.

I'm so happy to be living a less "muzungu" life this year. I'm able to interact so much more with Rwandan people and culture every day! Of course it makes a difference that I work with very very few American colleagues or students. But besides that, let me give an example by contrasting how I get to and from school each day.

Last year: my friend and I shared a car. We drove out of our gate, passing only minimal people in our unpopulated neighborhood. 8 minutes later we arrived at school, greeted the guards, and went to our classrooms.

This year: I walk up a steep dirt hill, pass a few small shops (too early for the PRECIOUS babies to be out! They run up and hug me every time!), pass a church building where people are singing, and as I turn the corner the bike taxis at the top of the hill start raising their hands and patting their seats. I walk up, checking my list of taxi #s (So I switch who I use) and call out the # of the day in kinyarwanda. I then hop on and ride about 5 minutes to "Sonatube" where I greet the MTN airtime salesman who is always standing on the corner in a ripped up yellow jump suit. (His name is Innocent). Then, I get on a bus! I usually read over Kinyarwanda notes or chat with another teacher for the approx 20 min ride to school.

Our house in Kicukiro is great. You might not think it after reading these descriptions: electricity goes out more often, bucket showers are about all I'm getting, it is basically a cockroach hotel, my bedroom is actually the "help's" room, and worst of all it is terribly far from the main road. However, it is wonderful. (I'm finally experiencing culture shock, and this is most definitely the "honeymoon" phase!)

Of course with so much going on, there is always more to tell...but for now I'll just ask for prayers because tomorrow I'm teaching a session on reading to primary school teachers. I was kind of thrown this job, or "opportunity", last week and have found it very challenging to attempt to teach "Reading"(vague!) to teachers coming from many backgrounds and that I barely know.