BE FREE…like your hair in the Piki wind breeze
So this week has been really tiring with meetings and just all around getting to know the place. I find that when you’re in an entirely new environment your mind is constantly on overload with new smells, tastes and, sounds and sights that by the end of the day, you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus…and you’re just going to fall over (which careful with Kigali city centre traffic…yikes!)
Not to mention, we have been making progress on the project and have already gone to many meetings to pitch our ideas for the project to many different organizations.
We started our week with attending a public lecture at the Kigali Health Institute (KHI) our hosts for our exploratory visit. This lecture was the perfect opportunity for us to visit the campus and meet some of the faculty, as well as meet some of the students that would also be attending the lecture. The guest speaker was a young woman named Marvelyn Brown from
This also helped us get into the discussion along with other students to gage the problems with stigma in
Later this week we met with the Dean of KHI. He told us more about KHI and its programs. We were able to pitch our project to him as kind of a test run and it went well. He was very enthusiastic about our ideas and what we have come to do. He gave us a lot of ideas of where we could set up. Although for us,
Back on campus, KHI and KIST (Kigali Institute of Science and Technology) were teaming up at the official launching of KIST and KHI Gender club. It’s always good to see people our age mobilizing, showing leadership and making something their own. They had invited the minister of Gender who gave a lecture on gender roles in
And speaking of bodies, can I just say that having malaria is not all it’s cracked up to be….granted we are only suffering from 1 and 2 ring…but still the meds we’re on make us so tired, making it sometimes hard to sit for long periods of time no matter how interesting the discussions are. I know our parents and even coordinators in
We also took our first piki piki ride and I swear Helen almost shat her pants! In Mwanza we encountered our first Piki Piki’s but were too scared to take them….they are basically motorcycle taxi’s and are known to be kind of dangerous in Mwanza. But in
On Friday we went to the Genocide memorial here in
There was also a section of the memorial dedicated to the acknowledgment of the various genocidal tendencies from all over the world which was very informative. At the end the tour leads to the outside where there is a burial site for those whose bodies have been found. By this time it was getting ready to downpour which pretty much embodied my insides…on the outside. We quickly got on the bus and headed out for dinner in town. We were able to talk a bit more about what we saw and read and although we were very sad…we also were tremendously inspired and grateful for this country’s tremendous success, because to look at
Since it was Friday night and also one of our new friend’s birthdays, we decided to celebrate! Man do Rwandan’s know how to party! One thing we’ve noticed is that it’s all about the dancing, which is good for us because we all love to dance!
It was definitely a good way to end the emotional rollercoaster we were just on and have a good time with our new friends!
On Saturday we went on a city tour where we learned morea about
On Sunday we celebrated thanksgiving with some of our friends. We decided on just going to a restaurant where most of us ended up getting pizza…which is not very thanksgiving-like…and I’m going to be quite honest I really really missed my mom’s turtey as we like to call it at the Marroquin-Ponce residence…then we all started talking about our favourite thanksgiving foods and how we each prepare it…which sort of made things worse…but it’s OK…because we’re in Rwanda living the dream…SO THERE!
…plus my parents told me that they would save some Christmas turkey for me when I get home!!
What was nice about this thanksgiving though, was that we went around the table and each got to say what we were thankful for. Sometimes, we forget that living is gift enough and that there is so much to be thankful for on top of that.
Everytime we look at the calendar we can’t believe how fast time is going by…it’s already been two weeks and now Missy was leaving us for good…after a month of Team Spectoring it all around…we would be separated until we all get back to Canada in December. We decided on having a goodbye party for Missy on Monday night seeing as her plane left the Tuesday at 2 in the morning…we would all just stay up with her until she had to leave. We invited Didier or course…who we have begun to nickname Didler…or The Did…just for funzies…we all have nicknames for each other…Browntown for Nilmi…of course…but she’s also Mhindi, Nilms and Nilmalot…
Helen is also Helster, HULLEN, Pod, Podster, Podulous and iPod!
For me it’s Silvo, Silverado and Sully (it’s silly but with an accent) and Mzungu for all those people on the streets of