It’s about time I posted something on the internet for all you good folks. I’ve been in Rwanda for over a week now and I am in love with this country already. The people are overwhelmingly friendly, the terrain is absolutely beautiful and the climate is nothing short of perfect. Yes, I miss the US, I may even miss you, but Rwanda makes a nicer home than Florida. Tomorrow I plan on walking around my current town of Nyanza to see some Rwanda landscape. I’m living in the wake of heavily scheduled days, and these days will continue again starting Monday, so in the free 24hours of my weekend, I’m going to enjoy myself! I suppose you’re a tad curious about Peace Corps stuff... well, we’re in training. Full-fledged training mode. I’m learning Kinyarwanda, I’m learning about health concerns and how to remain healthy as a Rwandan, I’m sitting for long technical training sessions (to be taught how to teach) and I’m spending a good amount of time with my host family. I actually just returned to my house from dinner at my host family’s house. Well, let me be proper and refer to them as my resource family (RF). Since we don’t live with our RF’s, they are NOT referred to as our host families. But, I do go to their house for dinner twice a week, and they help me with my Kinyarwanda. I’ve been able to teach them about America as well, which is always fun. I love the cultural exchange that takes place when I’m spending time with my family. They feed me too much food though. I was sorely mistaken when I was in the states, thinking that I’d be starving once I got to Rwanda. Quite the opposite! Even though I do eat eggs over here, I’ve been able to keep a pretty static diet. And by that I mean, I’m eating primarily vegan food. It’s great! We’ve all been advised against milk due to pasteurization concerns, so I was already a step ahead of the group on that issue, and meat is really easy to avoid around here. So, I’m happy and as long as I’m able to have access to clean drinking water, I think this will be a pleasant couple of years. I guess here’s a good place to note cooking methods though... around here there are no stoves or ovens. Women cook on fires, in outdoor stoves. It’s seemingly simple but in reality is nowhere close. Since you have to rely on a small charcoal-powered fire, cooking takes a LONG time. We actually cooked food at our house last night and it was quite a production. I was able to skip out on most of the initial food-prep (I laid down with a headache... don’t worry mom, it was only due to me not drinking enough h20 yesterday) but even with 7 or 8 “cooks,” our meal took a while to prepare. In fact, the Rwandans that live with us (Geraldine and Louise) said that next time we cook, we’d start early in the day so that we can have the luxury of taking time with our food preparations. I like this way of living, but it’s hard work.
I’m perpetually impressed by the Rwandan people. I think that this is one of the more respectable societies I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. I’m honored to have the opportunity to live here. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s the honest truth. I do want to warn you now though that my blog posts are going to be erratic and infrequent at best. I have an internet modem, and I have a small allowance to pay for time on my sim card, but this is me... and I’m not about to get on a regimented blogging schedule. On that note, and with some limited descriptions of Rwanda, I will bid you adieu. Hopefully my attempt at uploading pictures will work (cross your fingers). Love from Africa.