Well rainy season is finally upon us again. You don’t realize how nice water is until you don’t have it- especially if you are fond of bathing on a daily basis or having clean clothes. Despite the numerous benefits rain does have a way of complicating things and I seem to have a special talent for choosing to walk home just as a big storm is rolling in. The people love to gather along the road, of course under the safety of some type of shelter, to watch the white girl walking in the rain. I have explained to them, on multiple occasions, that rain is just water and I really will survive a 10-minute walk home but the thought of that concept being acceptable is just too horrifying for them to contemplate so they just shake their heads and pray for me to arrive home safely. It really is a win-win situation because the roads aren’t packed with people, the rain is refreshing (when it is not pouring), and extra prayers are never bad -even if they think I am slightly crazy! 🙂
Teaching this week has been frustrating but I did have a wonderful visit on Tuesday with the other English teacher, Louis. After school I headed down my dirt road for about 10 minutes and then crossed the main road and climbed up a small hill where there is a dirt path that meanders throughout the foothills of the village. I continued down this path for a few minutes and then his house is at the top of a rather steep hill. Thanks to the recent increase in rain, and the wonderful phenomenon of erosion, the path was especially tricky to climb and of course there was a small collection people who gathered to observe my ascent to the house. At one point I managed to step on my skirt and almost pulled it off completely but I was thankfully able to catch the top part with my hand and thus avoided complete humiliation. At the top of the hill I was greeted by two house girls who congratulated me in Kinyarwanda (I am pretty sure they thought I would completely wipe out) and a group of farmers passing on the road above the house who did not offer any congratulatory remarks since they were engrossed in a conversation about the muzungu (white person) who was out climbing hills.
Once at the top, I took a few moments to arrange my skirt and wipe the mud from my legs to look presentable for my visit and also to offer ample time for the house girls to evaluate and judge my clothing and general demeanor- wouldn’t want to deprive them of their favorite hobby! When I arrived Louis was watching a Rwandan soap opera. After multiple attempts to clarify the plot I am still not sure if I knew all the details but a soap opera is a soap opera- there was a chaotic mixture of passionate love, violence, unrequited love, murder, dramatic affairs, more violence, and ridiculous characters dressed up in outrageous outfits. His wife came out with the baby, Remy, who was in desperate need of a nap and spent a few minutes screaming on my lap before his Mama tied him onto her back so he would fall asleep. I was sad to see him go but I was also really invested in the soap opera so it was by no means a total loss. We watched for another hour and once it ended I was disappointed for about 30 seconds before Louis got up to put in the second DVD! We continued watching and eventually Louis had to run an errand so he left me with his wife and baby Remy who was in a much better mood after his nap.
After the end of the soap opera his wife asked me in French if I liked 24 and I was extremely confused- 24 what? She then proceeded to hand me the baby and went to put a different DVD in and it was the American TV show 24! It turns out they have quite a few American TV shows in French like 24 and even Prison Break. After she put on 24 she disappeared and I spent the next few hours cuddling with Remy and watching American television- a pretty spectacular visit by my standards! Once it started to get late I knew I had to begin walking home so I could make it to the convent before it got dark but it was very difficult for me to give up the baby. Finally we headed out (I say we because when you visit someone in Rwanda they accompany you for part or all of your walk home) and I was very grateful that they chose to take the upper road because there was no way I was attempting to go down the incline I came up! They walked me to the main road and we said our goodbyes and I continued home to the convent and arrived just in time since a worker was locking the gate for the night. I don’t have any pictures from this visit because I was busy with Remy but I will be sure to take some next time! He will be seven months old next week which is just crazy to think about since I met him when he was a few days old- time is really going fast!
Speaking of time- as of this weekend I will have been in Rwanda for an entire year! Sometimes the days move slowly but the weeks and months zip along at warp speed! It has been a fantastic year and even with all of the difficulties there is nowhere else I would rather be!