MURAKAZA NEZA RWANDA!
After a 20 hour flight and 7 shots (the vaccination kind, not alcohol) I am in Butare, Rwanda.
The past days have been a blur of meeting ambassadors, government ministers, and Peace Corps staff. Apparently its really big deal that Peace Corps is returning to Rwanda after 15 years of absence due to the war, and everyone seems really excited to have us here.
The little Ive seen of Rwanda so far is absolutely and stunningly BEAUTIFUL. There is no way to describe it but I’ll try. They call it the “land of a thousand hills” (le pays de milles collines) and there couldn’t be a better name. On the drive from the capital to Butare, we were all silently staring out the window and just soaking it in: the land is thick with every imaginable color of green, so fertile and lush and gorgeous I couldn’t believe it. Banana trees, avocado trees, everything-little villages are sprinkled around and you really kind of cant believe what you’re looking at. Ill try to link my flickr account so you guys can see pics.
The convent where we are staying for the next 3 months of training has electricity and running water, kind of. Its basically bucket baths with trapped rain water and you are fortunate if you get to flush the toilette. Every time I turn the light switch on in my room I cross my fingers it will work. Our trainers tell us we are getting spoiled and reality will hit us when we arrive at our work sites, which are extremely rural (picture me carrying a water jug on my head for miles-haha) So this whole internet café luxury will be short-lived L
Learning Kinyarwanda has proved to be 1,000 times more difficult than I anticipated. Simply saying “American” is “ndi umunyamerikakazi” and “village” is “ubudugudu.” How I will survive alone in a rural town is beyond me at this point, but it’s a full immersion program for training, no English allowed, so hopefully that will help.
On a different note, it is amazing to be in a country that has only recently survived such brutal violence. I am really hoping to learn more about the genocide, but it is very taboo to discuss it.
Anyway, all for now J Amahoro, Nkunda, nkaba Komera (peace love and strength)