Monday, December 7, 2009

"I Don't Enjoy..."

I took pictures of my house to post..but it's taking so long to upload each picture so I'm doing it a little at a time. In the mean-time, please allow yourself to cordially laugh at some of my recent mishaps, entitled "I Don't Enjoy...":

BEING COLD AND WET. I went on a two night trip to Lake Kivu this past weekend, and I got caught in the rain on the way back from the beach in Gisenyi...I was so close to reaching the place I was staying, but I was soaked and my books in my bag were getting wet too. So, I stopped in a tiny little shop to wait it out. I couldn't even try to use the few words I know to converse with the people in there cause the rain was so loud on the sheet metal roof. Eventually I got back to my room and thought a hot shower would be nice. water was the lady said she'd bring water...I was a little disappointed cause I take bucket showers at my house and I was looking forward to a shower shower. Guess what she brought? Cold water. A bucket of cold water. So then I got sick.

THE EFFECTS OF WINDING BUS RIDES. Last time I took a bus ride was coming back from Ruhengeri (Musanze) a few weeks ago when I went for a hike with a few friends. On the bus ride home, the lady next to me kept handing me her phone and bag so she could puke into her fabric. In addition, the lady in front of me got sick and it was dripping under the seat towards my feet...SO, on the way back from Gisenyi..we had almost reached Kigali City..I saw the big billboard that is on the turn to go to town...and the lady next to me puked. This time it got on me. It was down my leg, on the side of my foot, and my shoe. SICK. And this time, unlike the last trip, it smelled. Also--on the way back from Gitarama (Rubavu) a little girl got sick and puked..we had to pull over and the mom wiped fabric all over to "clean" it up.

BEING CULTURALLY INSENSITIVE. I went to visit Jeremy's family in the village (Mwishishiro) this Sunday. Jeremy is our houseboy. We didn't eat anything out of the ordinary, just ground nuts, pineapple, and bananas-but the big kind. Then, they wanted to offer me milk. In Rwanda milk is a big deal. I can't remember the exact ceremony, but its used somehow in a wedding to show they will always be blessed with milk in their home. SO, since their cows are literally right there in the courtyard of their house, I was nervous about the quality and pasteurization. I said I did not have thirst. (keep in mind I don't speak kinyarwanda well so its already been slightly awkward). Then I said it was ok, just a little.
I prepared for the worst: in my mind the worst would be very thick, warm milk with a strange taste since the milk here has a weird taste anyways. I was wrong. They began pouring. It was thick alright, with lumps...lots and lots of lumps. To my surprise it was I just prayed for the grace to handle this cup of milk, filled to the brim against my wishes. I know that His grace is sufficient, but the amount I was given at this moment just didn't amount to enough. The milk was a kind of sour I'd never experienced before. Sour, lumpy milk. I took a small sip. I took another sip. And then I took my final sip. Regarding the fact that it would be disrespectful not to take their milk, it'd be worse if I started gagging..and of course I realize that this milk could make me very very ill. So, I told the brother, who speaks some English, that I've never had this milk before and my stomach is not strong and that I'm very sorry. He translated and I heard him telling them my stomach was maybe that is nicer to hear or something. Their family was so sweet though...they gave me pineapples, bananas, and a clay vase. Jeremy's sister-in-law really wanted to give me eggs, but they don't have any there, hahaha. And before we left they wanted to sing me a song and was wonderful overall.

Hope you mildly enjoyed reading of my misfortune. I should emphasize that I have an incredible amount to share that I DO enjoy :) As you can see from the stories...I went to Gisenyi on a short but wonderfully relaxing trip. While I was on the beach I went water skiing!! In Rwanda! That is pretty astonishing. The boat wasn't incredibly fast, and I had to pay $10 just to go for a short loop...but that is better than $2/min like he started with!
Also, I had a great time visiting Jeremy's family. We walked along the road and then through the footpaths across a couple hills for about an hour to get to his house. It was absolutely gorgeous there! And his family was so gracious.

That's all for now..but the house pics are coming!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reba ku Murugo Iwacu

I'm finally getting to that house tour! I keep wishing I had the rooms all set up and looking great before showing pictures...but I just picked up my camera and did it so I could finally put them up.
You can't see much of the actual house because we have a ton of trees! but, of course that's one of the best features of the house :)

The next one in my tour is of a gray concrete building and you can see Jeremy and our laundry line. This is basically our backyard..I didn't get a good pic of what its set up like but the next one is coming in through the backdoor. (I usually come in this way bc my room is just to the right of the kitchen.)

Alright, so as you come in the back door, you will be in our kitchen! We have a big fridge this year, and a stove/oven, and we finally got that table made so we'd have some "counter" space to set things on.

There is not a lot of space in our kitchen, but you can be assured it's no problem for my genius roommates who know how to cook! And they're awesome because they share!

Coming up next we have a picture of our pantry...which is AMAZING. When we moved in we didn't have the cabinets, but they were built within the first month and pretty much changed our lives...I don't know if it showed up in the picture, but the pantry is where our water filter is kept, and I just wanted to give a shout out to the Dolingers for giving it us because our agacupa collection was more ridiculous than you can imagine.

Alright--we've reached my bedroom!

This is of course where I spend a lot of my time...
It's hard to give a great tour through pics. My room is quite small, but I'm working hard to organize and have a place for everything. I keep thinking how ridiculous it is that I have my own bedroom first of all, and then I still don't have enough room because I own so many things...I think simplifying is a very difficult discipline. (mom, you can vouch for my improvement since the days I had a "collection" for everything!)

Here is a bathroom. The toilet was installed for us when we moved in because before it was one of those floor hole thingies...

And here is our lovely kitchen table! Sorry I didn't set it up cute for the picture. Shannon B and I sewed placemats with african fabric over the summer, and they are SO awesome on this table :)

This is my bathroom, and I share with Marissa. We fill up that red bucket about half way (with warm water :) so it's not bad) and dump cups over our heads.

Almost finished with our is the living room. It is pretty amazing. It's big and Cady and I bought a TV!! We only get one channel and its usually not in English, but I like it. To have other channels is possible, and its not that much per month for the subscription, but the set up cost is like $3-400 so its a no-go.

And we've reached the most exciting place!! this little door is off to the side of the back door. It has a padlock on it, so I figured it was storage from our landlord....well, to my surprise, it was a little room!! So, it's going to be turned into a little prayer room/office :)
We do have another little sitting area that separates the 2 sides of the house, but I didn't even take a picture because we don't have anything in there except junk we don't know where to put. Also, please notice the lamp in this photo (as well as in my bedroom). I have been searching for lamps for almost a year and I finally came across these-perfect!! I still have a lot of work to do to set up this little room and make it amazing..but it will be :)