Thursday, November 18, 2010

Site Visit

This week I am visiting the site where I will be serving upon completion of my training. I previously thought I would be in Bugarama, which is a rainy and densely forested area. I am actually in a city called Mibirizi, which is at a higher altitude (~1700m), cooler, and less buggy. The Rusizi River, which runs between the DRC and Rwanda, provides electricity to power the town. There are tiny fish that come from Lake Kivu that taste like anchovies.

The school I will teach at, Mary Queen School Complex, is a Catholic day school that teaches at the primary and secondary levels. The school is in the process of making huge renovations and expansions. In addition, the school will be receiving laptops. Teachers I've met here are very positive and generally excited to practice English with a native speaker.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Intore Dancing

If the families in a wedding are affable, they usually hire traditional dancers for the ceremony. These dancers are called Intore.

Ubukwe

The Kinyarwanda word for wedding is ubukwe. Of the 68 trainees, I was the first to attend one. In the morning on Saturday, I put on a suit and nice shoes and went to my resource family's house. Although the wedding invitation asked guests to be there by 9:00, I arrived to my resource family's house at 9:00 per their instruction. My resource mama was sick, so I went with Christella. We were dressed very well. It was hot but the wedding was close by and we got to the wedding around 9:15. As far as I could tell, people had just started unpacking chairs and decorating. At 9:40 they turned music on.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Site Placement

There is a lot of news, so I'm going to try to address everything briefly and follow up in more detail later:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Umuganda

On the last Saturday of every month, Rwandans are required to help beautify and maintain their community. This is called umuganda. Peace Corps volunteers participate in this event as well.

Starting at eight, we gathered community tools (shovels, hoes, baskets, grass cutters, machetes), and headed for a road near the training center. Most of the work involved using the hoes and shovels to remove vegetation from the ditch. Those with baskets gather trash from around the area and those with machetes and grass cutters (thin pieces of metal with no blade) trimmed the grass along the roadside.