Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Zanzibar is beautiful! And one of the best holidays ever. Explored Stone Town and the beach...Kendwa Rocks is amazingness. Also did the spice tour. Unfortunately my camera died so I have less pictures than I thought I would coming from there, but here's one to share!~
Monday, March 1, 2010
But I had to share this small personal victory----if it doesn't translate, so sorry!~
I teach very far away in the North and so I have to take the bus back down to where I am. Anyways, I'm tired and really hungry (hadn't eaten much that day)....and was operating on minimal sleep. I was listening to my headphones sitting in the middle seat on the bus (ie not comfortable---the middle seats fold down in the middle of the bus and you are sandwiched between other people sitting lower than them and they tend to move around on curves in the road....and was going round those tough road turns sitting next to a very pregnant lady who looked like she was going to toss her cookies quite soon.
But thankfully, this blog entry is NOT about that~! Whew...and for the record, she did not throw up.
Instead, it's a happier one! So, many many MANY Rwandans say "umva" when they are speaking....it basically is like listen!, ecouter, etc. They do this a lot in the middle of talking. Umva, I want a sandwich/ I am going here, umva, and then i'll go elsewhere....etc. Anyways, there was a man 2 seats in front of me (not on the middle seat like me though, but the more comfy ones) and he was YELLING (not in an angry way, but in a listen to me!!!! way) on the phone (it's modern technology...no need to yell!~) ha, anyways, he KEPT saying UMVA! while yelling to who he was talking to, trying to get whomever he was talking to to come to the right location to pick him up. And in a series of phone calls... i'm going to guess at least 10, if not more, he kept saying UMVA......and so the entire bus started in on a joke and making fun of this guy, parroting his "umvas" ...and he started laughing at himself too for his habit, hanging his head and laughing along too. But he couldn't help still saying UMVA!
so, i started counting the number of times he said it and sharing with the bus. gatanu in a 30-40 second conversation (5 times) sooo funny, but there it is. we all got excitable when he got back on the phone again and waited with baited breath for the next 'umva'...and laughed and clapped every time he said it.
so the entire bus starting joking and said umva in random circumstances like: Umva, did you reach your friend? umva look at that tree! Umva, urumva, murumva (all forms of it) umva, how many times are you saying umva!? and then they said, urumva, umuzungu yarasetse (the muzungu is laughing) and i said: "yego, ndumva! (i understand), urumva!"
It was hilarious way to end a loooong day! But I was happy to be a part of a joke and be able to follow along and laugh with my fellow travelers! So, when I return back to the states and I start saying, umva! you can feel free to laugh with me too.....
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Monday, August 17, 2009
Let me begin this blog entry by apologizing for my lack of entries. I’m working on it and one day I’m going to spend the whole day in the office uploading pictures since you all have been deprived and are super upset with me about that. Ok I know I’m terrible at remembering so I’m sorry!!!
But, randomly….I stopped by Amahoro (peace) Stadium on Tuesday because I was lost on the way to a Ministry of Education office to ask about financial aid for students (we’re working on a career counseling book….So I’m gathering resources). Anyways, after meeting a nice Ministry official who gave me a tour, I then met another guy who invited me to play volleyball with his club. With some mild trepidation, I said ok, but that I’m not good (I haven’t played competitively in over a year and am completely out of shape!) So, I should also mention that I am trying to get back into shape as well so I’ve been jogging in the mornings and ran 20 minutes in the morning (I know that’s entirely insignificant to you guys but I’m improving!) So, anyways, whatever.
Found the school gym and met some of the girls and started just bumping around.
And then I had that moment. That “Welcome to a country where you’re still learning the language and now you’ve volunteered yourself for an entirely tough practice in your third language” moment. As I write this now, I am still entirely sore and somehow my ribs hurt? (Probably due to the times that the coach would yell something and then the girls would drop down as would I a few seconds later… and do various sit ups or high jumps). Oh my gosh!
I ran laps for like 15 minutes, And then we ran sprints. And that was the warm up!? Oh dear lord. And we also did drills and what not (fine besides me being tired). But I have to learn how to get my timing down with actually spiking the ball b/c well I always played with boys in beach volleyball and so I’m not used to actually getting to swing. They were like “Murekatete, jump!” I just started laughing and was like, seriously how!?!?!?!?!? It was a 2 hour and 15 minute practice with no water. I’m totally not used to that!!
We ran suicides and played sprint games and also did a drill where I had to pass the ball over the net to the awaiting hands of someone else. Ermmmmm, seriously? I haven’t done anything athletic this entire time?! Then we also did a series of situps and awk push ups (where your butt is in the air but then you bend your arms…at this point I was way too tired to be able to do the real ones). Anyways, at the end we all had to add ab exercises to the circle. And I made everyone do yoga (downward dog to ashranga…talk about hilarious…oh dear lord!) Ha, but it was incredibly fun and I’m incredibly sore and exhausted and deserved to have lost about 3 pounds that day. So, that’s how I joined a club volleyball team (I only practice with them, not actually play games….I don’t think that I will have time with all I have to do in life. But anyways, c’est tout for now.
Also---if someone wants to leave a comment, that'd be cool, b/c I have no idea if anyone actually reads any of these~
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Yes, I recently celebrated my birthday. In not only another country but another hemisphere and in another language. I can’t believe my birthday festivities. Oh my goodness, it was three days of celebrations of me. Insanity. But amazingness! Everyone pulled together here to surprise me amazingly on my birthday. I walked around all day and didn’t really feel like it was my birthday. And yet, here it is and 20 people came in and surprised me.
I was prepared for it to be tough to be apart from all of my friends and family. I started the day off bright and early at 7am to try to implement this new patient flow system in the health center. We’re trying to help patient wait time be less and also help guide patients and staff through the process. It’s hard but fun and I now know the colors (we’re labeling and categorizing patients by age and giving them a colour so now I can say ubururu makumyabibiri guino hano. (I spelled most of that wrong but that’s ok ;) Anyways, I’m improving ha ;)
Also- there are some of the most beautiful babies at the health center. They are seriously adorable. There was a one year old the other day with his poor leg broken. But still with a big smile on his face and then a big cast on his little leg. All the babies tend to just hang out and are very docile. The moms tie the babies to their backs. So, all you can see are their little heads popping out of the fabric tied to the mother.
Ok- So, back to the ol’ birthday. So, after working a long day, I was stalled for a fair bit and taken to the soccer field to watch the game and then to get a sambusa (why I just want my trademark daily omelette??? And then yoga and then bed?) And then someone needed a broom (seriously??? Whyyyyyyyy…….) SO I got back to the mess that is my house and then all of a sudden I turn around and I see a glow and there in my mess of a living room, is my counterpart, my host parents x 2 and the doctors and nurses and my two neighbors, Hassan and Solange. Ok, so let me back up. Solange totally lied and said that she couldn’t even hang out my birthday night because her training lasted too long and she couldn’t be there!!! She totally lied via SMS… for reals! Bah, darn I had NOOOOO idea which is what I said probably forty times.
I was sooo embarrassed at the disrepair of my house and the fact that everything was everywhere (oh yikes!~) But people dealt because they know that I'm a junk show ;)
Murakoze cyane! They planned it themselves and apparently I am the first surprise party in my village. Totally awesome, I mean, I almost cried. I couldn’t believe it. I did tear but held it together. All drank fanta and Mutzig and enjoyed the amazing birthday cake. It was so lovely and thank you to my entire village. I can’t believe that you guys came together. We have 50 million pictures and as soon as I actually get strong internet, I’ll post some.
To all of you who are reading this and wanting to be PCVers, never underestimate the power of people to surprise you. It seriously ended up being one of the best birthdays. We all took ridiculous pictures and drank together and talked in our three common languages. So, fun!
Those at home, thank you for all of the facebook birthday wishes and emails too! It really meant a lot. Au bientot.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Mr. Taylor Warren, Peace Corps Volunteer
Ya, um that’s what my official PC invitation letter said. Ha! Well, I didn’t realize that Peace Corps thought I was a man….yikes. Is it my hair? Or the way I dress? Do I have a weird manly voice? Ermm……hope not?
Ha, anyways, ntakibazo, narasetse. Ubu! Ndi umukorerabushake wa Corps de la Paix! So, excited! Moved already to site and ndishimye cyane! Had meetings with officials here who were very nice and seem to be excited for any kind of project we want to start which is pretty cool! So, yesterday went to three health clinics and a hospital in the region. So good and got to hang out with kids and play games and sing songs (trying to remember Kinyarwanda as much as possible, they were totally testing me on stuff too, which is exactly what I need!). It was so fun. They were at an orphanage in my area (well had to drive far to get there) and they drew me pictures and we all talked about what they wanted to be when they grew up. 2 hours flew by and I really hope that I get to go back again. The girls all wanted to be various things. Teachers, nurses, doctors, and wait for it----one day President of Rwanda! They’re so motivated in their studies and I was so proud to meet them. I hope I can come back and visit them more. They kept saying ejo, ejo! And I couldn’t see them the next day but hopefully soon! I’ll update you on stories about them too…
Wait- let me back up----- So, we have two host fams. Which is pretty cool. We got to go to a baptism party for my adorable 7 month old sister. She is sooo cute. Ahmed was able to take some pictures. Anyways, there’s this dance that all the women do that supposedly makes you look cow-like (a good thing ladies----) Anyways, my host mom totally grabbed me up and made me do it. I have no idea how red I got, but I’m sure I did not get to look cow like. You put your arms out and sway a bit and well my sway was more like a What do I do!??!?!?!? The RED muzungu looks like an idiot?! But everyone clapped for me trying, and I totally died laughing too. But it was such a good time (had 3 fantas---so tasty. Tip: if you finish your drink, they will bring you another one, so if anyone goes to a Rwandan party---drink slowly unless you want be like me with 3 fantas---I wanted all of them and they were good but maybe you don’t want that much sugar ;) Anyways, tons of fun though and got to meet more people! Everyone is so impressed that we are at least trying to speak their language (though I’m totally at the stage of butchering it ;) Oh and they love my Rwandan izina, murakoze Kassim. Nitwa Murekatete which means “one to be cherished.” They all seriously crack up when I say Nitwa Taylor cyangwa Murekatete. But that’s what people call me here. Taylor is hard to say so it’s my Rwandan name or umuzungu. I prefer my Rwandan name, so hopefully umuzungu will subside.
Also, last night my other host mom had a surprise birthday party. Which I was totally late for. In the field til 6 and then well----yikes. Ok, so I’m pretty tough. But there’s one thing that I just cannot handle. And that is: mice/rats. Ok, they’re gross and I can’t handle it. Bugs any day---whatever. I’ve killed 20 mosquitoes (I also have 22 bites right now---so I think the mosquitoes are winning?), 2 spiders, a big thing that I have no idea what it is, etc. But mice?! I screamed and yelled and said some words I should regret and ended up somehow standing on a chair. I just saw something big move from under my bed. MY BED!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, we don’t know where it went but somehow it came out of my room (so says Ahmed). The theory is that it went under the door of the outside (big gap) so we’ve now duct taped it shut (every future PCV should remember to bring duct tape, it’s important!!). So hopefully no ROUS’s (point if you know what that is).
Anyways, the surprise bday part was also tons of fun and got to see their wedding video (adorable) Talked to a couple of PCVs on the phone and then tried to sleep hoping that a rat would not crawl in my hair (it’s on an episode of SATC and has since freaked me out). Update: it didn’t crawl in my hair---but I remain vigilant!