Thursday, January 8, 2009


Muraho! Amakuru? Ni meza, murakoze…

So, things are going well here in Kigali. Training is flying by, and we only have a little more time here in the capital. If there was more time, I’d love to be out exploring more, but then I wouldn’t be getting trained. Small tradeoff I suppose. Plus, I should have time during my vacations to visit.

Training has been a variety of things, including teaching training, science training, cultural training, and intensive Kinyarwanda training. (Above translation: Hello! How are you? Fine, thank you…). We had four hours of it yesterday, and another four hours today, and I believe we are scheduled for 3 tomorrow. The language stuff has been my favourite of the sessions so far. It’s such a complex language, with pronunciations that I can barely even attempt. In a year the most I think I could get would be passable, but I’m going to try.

As for living arrangements for the rest of the year, they are getting narrowed down. A mailing address will be going up soon, I just have to confirm it. Only problem is that it will have to be sent here to Kigali, then I or someone else will have to pick it up and bring it to Rusumo. Kind of a hassle, but I expect I’ll get used to it. The other news is that I may have electricity, at least, at times. That's a big deal, especially since I didn't think I'd have either electricity or running water. Of course, I still going to keep my expectations low as the likelihood of a mistranslation or misunderstanding is quite high. Regardless, I'm getting quite excited to get there!

Today we stopped by both the Canadian and American Embassies to finish up some paperwork. The difference between the two was quite noticeable. The American one was quite the fortress, with strict security, built off away from everything else, very much on its own. The Canadian one was off on a side street, walled off and guarded, but it was much simpler, and frankly, they seemed much nicer. The downside was the Canadian government is just beginning to switch everything over to online registration for Canadians abroad, and the system is still full of bugs (i.e. we couldn't even access the website), whereas the American system seemed pretty well settled down.

In other news, I'm getting a good handle for the transportation system! I've now taken taxis (most expensive, but the only one you can really use with a lot of luggage), motos (much cheaper, basically you hang on to the back of a motorcycle or moped and weave through the streets like a crazy person) and matatus (extremely cheap i.e. 30 cents US, buses/vans that actually run on time and to most places in the city). It's a bit confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, you can get anywhere for not too much money! Of course, with a bit of walking as well. Have I mentioned that Rwanda is called "Land of a Thousand Hills"? I should have calves the size of small sheep by the time I'm done here.

1 comment:

Sara Janes said...

Glad to hear the training's going well. Think you'll be ready in time?

Also, when do we get pictures?