Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More Cultural Notes

1. Many Rwandans have been told that in America, marriages are a contract with a defined beginning and end. For instance, you can sign a contract for a 2 year marriage. After 2 years... it's over.
2. For some reason, many Rwandan parents tell their children that Muzungus (white people) eat children. So it's not uncommon to find children afraid of you.
3. Old Rwandans love canes. Old women (abakecuru) and old men (abasaza) almost always have a cane it seems. Most the time its just a nice walking stick but sometimes it will be a special cane that Rwandan kings once sported.
4. The culture of Rwandans has been affected strongly by several things. I can't give the full story right now. I will dedicate a full post to that subject.

Friday, October 2, 2009


My primary project is the construction of a YOUTH CENTER in Rwamagana. My office currently sits on a pretty large piece of property which will be used for the youth center. I am very excited about this project although it will take time. I am applying for grants now and trying to get this project started ASAP. I want the center to be a comfortable, safe, and fun environment for youth to express themselves with confidential access to information and counseling that can keep them safe and HIV free. I am planning on it having several counseling rooms for VCT (voluntary counseling and testing- for HIV), and general reproductive health counseling. I am also hoping that with a collaboration with the organization called Books for Africa, the youth center will also have a public library which is something that doesn't currently exist in Rwamagana. I also want it to have a gaming room, and maybe a cinema room for showing films and giving presentations. Of course, I will need proper funding to accomplish this so it will be built in phases. I think that something like this would be invaluable in my community.