Friday, July 17, 2009

JUNE 2009

A change of seasons has taken place. It’s now the dry season. No rain for the entire month. (nothing= “ntacyo” {n-ha-cho}) The beans in the market are no longer fresh, but stored. Other foods are becoming less common and some more. It’s not hotter. Only dry. I went to a Rwandan birthday this month. Rwandan birthdays consist of 5 phases. 1: Reception (from the scheduled b-day start time, for another hour). 2: Speech by master of ceremonies. 3: Eat, 4: Speeches by everyone in the room about the birthday boy/girl. 5: Cake! Unlike birthdays in the US, it is very formal and somber. Rwandans love to laugh but birthdays are very serious.
Second, I have begun to teach English to adults. Mon-Fri. Levels 1 and 2. What materials? Chalkboard, chalk, eraser, chairs and a party tent. Very Peace Corps. Resources are not easy to come by here. I like teaching though.
I saw news on the television the other day. Shocking. Iran election, Burma, Sri Lanka, N. Korea, the economy… Meanwhile, I am sitting deep in the heart of darkness, watching kids kick around small homemade soccer balls made from things they found in the dumpster (a hole in the ground) while I’m waiting for a merchant to come back and give me change… the 500 franc bill ($0.90) I gave him for the 100 franc ($0.18) pen was too big, he had to go to the salon next door to break it. I don’t look forward to the moment when the children here ask me, “How come American boys and girls have so many toys and we don’t?” Children don’t have a conscience like that though do they? They only want what others have instead of questioning the underlying reason why they don’t have those things. Perhaps if they did, mommies and daddies wouldn’t find use for their guns, wars and enmities nor would they find solace in uttering things like, “I can’t change it” or “that’s life”. Its interesting that the saying “life isn’t fair” comes from those who don’t suffer the real consequences of injustice. The statement is true, but is an excuse for apathy. So, why this violence around the world? Sure, it’s depressing. The trick for me is turning those thoughts and feelings into positive action.
Well, that’s June in Rwanda everyone. Sorry about the rant. Poverty sucks.

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