Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mary Queen School Complex

My school is a public day school that offers nine years of basic education. Education begins in Primary School, which has six years and is loosely equivalent to elementary school. I teach in lower secondary school, which has three years and is loosely equivalent to Middle School. I teach English in three classes, totaling 15 hours per week.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mutual Health Insurance

My village Mibirizi has a hospital and health center that serves as a healthcare hub for the surrounding villages. Recently, the village held a meeting about our area’s health insurance program. Since health insurance is a contentious topic in the United States, I thought I’d relate how Rwanda’s health insurance works.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Controlled Burn

Recently, the Rwandan government has been chopping down banana trees in my area.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Deep Sea Dhow.
Zanzibar is an archipelago off of the coast of Tanzania. It was an outpost for trade between Eastern Asia and East Africa. Traders would cross the Indian Ocean on Dhows to reach Zanzibar. Traders often had to stay in Zanzibar to wait for the change in winds and the worst of monsoon season to end. Because of this, the travellers settled in, introducing their food and culture.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


The term ended last week and I'm taking a vacation in Tanzania. Currently I'm in Stone Town on Zanzibar island. I'm enjoying this country a lot. The food here is a delicious mix of coastal, middle eastern, and indian. Plenty of spices and freshly caught fish. The people here are really nice too. I'm learning a little Kiswahili.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Brochettes, or goat kebabs, are widely and cheaply available in bars throughout Rwanda. Goats are raised everywhere in Rwanda as a source of income. Only male goats are eaten in brochettes, as female goats are strictly for breeding. The goat is best to eat when it's young (the horns have only just started to grow) and the fatter the goat the better.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rwandan Coffee

I've seen the coffee plants around town ripening lately and farmers harvesting the berries. This has sparked my interest in coffee and drinking coffee. So I've been asking around about it.

Here's how it's made as I understand it:

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Big Misconception about US Marriages

Living in Rwanda, I live in a different reality. While many things I experience here are bizarre, sometimes it doesn't really occur to me when the bizarre thing is completely ubiquitous.

But yesterday, I remembered my old frame of reference and one of these bizarre, ubiquitous things came to my attention. Rwandans have a very big misconception about US marriages:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

English Together!

English Together! is the name of my English club. The first meeting was this Saturday at 2 P.M. I planned the club with a local Doctor, Dr. M. We planned to invite teachers, students, and hospital staff.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Daily Routine

A couple of people have asked for a post about what my daily schedule is. Well, here it is:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Back to School

Schoolbells are ringing, loud and clear;
Vacation's over, school is here.

Here in Rwanda, the second trimester has just begun. Now that I've gotten better adjusted to my new home, I'm ready to become more active in my school and community.

Monday, April 25, 2011

In-Service Training

After three months of service at site, Peace Corps volunteers attend In-Service Training (IST). The program is meant to re-energize volunteers and give them insights into how to improve their service. Ours was last week.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Living Situation

As I briefly mentioned in my last post, I have changed houses within my town of Mibirizi. My last living situation was deemed unacceptable by Peace Corps because of too little space and too many people. Thus began the lengthy process of finding a new house in Mibirizi. Peace Corps visited a total of 5 times to assess my house or approve prospective houses. This is a big deal because when the Peace Corps Landcruiser rumbles into town it's like a UFO landing. Some locals believed, possibly still believe, that the Peace Corps car comes to give me money.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rwandan Cuisine

Rwandan food varies from place to place. However, some common themes are putting tomatoes in everything and lots and lots of starches.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Google Earth Mibirizi

My Dad found Mibirizi on Google Earth. It took some time, but I downloaded it and started to tinker a little bit. I've marked a few sites of interest on the map, along with some commentary and a video tour.

You need Google Earth to view these files. The place marks and tour are here.

This is my first time sharing Google Earth files, so let me know if there are any technical problems.

Friday, February 11, 2011

On Realizing It's Been Almost a Month...

Time is passing quickly. There are so many things I have wanted to write about in the past weeks, but for now I'll just give some bullet points:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Swear-in and Arrival at Site

On January 3rd, trainees and staff went to Kigali for swearing in. The ceremony took place at the U.S. Ambassador's house. It was a little bit of an informal ceremony, which was unexpected but nonetheless refreshing. We had some of our trainees sing and play guitar and ukulele, followed by a few speeches from Rwandan officials, Peace Corps staff, the ambassador, and trainees. Then, we swore the oath and moved on to an amazing buffet. I never thought I would eat lasagna in Rwanda. Kigali itself has some great restaurants, I ate very well there.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy New Years

This last week has been a fairly excited one. Holidays aside, we are swearing in soon. Our training activities have ended and we are now preparing to depart for Kigali tomorrow. On the 3rd, we will swear in and then begin moving to our sites. Some volunteers will go to site directly from Kigali, some will return to Nyanza for one or two days and then go to site from Nyanza. I am in the group returning to Nyanza, so I will be moving out on the 5th.

Yesterday was New Years. I went to Butare to buy some supplies to prepare for site. I ended up only buying some non-perishable food, but it was fun to spend some time in a different city. I returned to Nyanza and went to a small party, which Peace Corps organized, at a hotel.