Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Conversations with Patrick

Conversations with Patrick range from complete confusion to hilarious. Mostly this had to do with language and, admittedly, there is a fine line between the two. It usually has to do with my attitude. He's desperate to learn English and I want to learn Kinyarwanda so our rides usually look like a cross between dirt biking and ESL lessons.....

Take, for example, the other day when I told Patrick we were going to a school which I was certain was in Sake Sector. I was certain that's where we were going. The day before I even confirmed this with him the day before. So I said, in the morning, okay we're going to Sakara and he looked a bit confused and said okay. But then he totally went off in the wrong direction and I was saying "Patrick, Sake Sector?" and he kept saying "No. Sakara is in Murama Sector." I argued for a minute until I realized that I need to trust him because he know the area. Murama Sector. That's where we were headed. Until NO! I realized, that we had been to Sakara yesterday. What I wanted, infact, was Kanazi School in Sake Sector. I had the school wrong the whole time. Of course, when did I choose to tell Patrick this? When we were on a 70% grade hill that was basically a path of sheer rock. I tap him on the shoulder and say "Oh Patrick! Sorry! Kanazi in Sake. Not Sakara" (you may all be thinking...what's the difference???) Only about 30 minutes and good quality roads. That's the difference! Anyway, poor Patrick slams on the breaks and we stop party way down the steep path. Okay. No problem. I get off the bike and Patrick turns it around to face up hill. One thing about Rwanda moto drivers is that they NEVER get off their bikes. Not even to move five feet. Never mind. I got back on the bike and nearly falling backward, Patrick guns it to head back up the hill. We eventually make our way, me apologizing, and Patrick half turns and says,

"Anna, how do you say fatigue, in English?"


"Anna. You're tired."

Thanks Patrick....


That's nothing, though. This is a typical conversation with Patrick and I think I've had it about four times. Keep in mind that Patrick is married and I have manage to convince him that it is actually not a good thing to have both a wife and a girl friend. Keep in mind, also, that the word "good" in Rwanda is used to mean good-looking or pretty. It seems to never change! Never!

"Anna? You. Boyfriend?"

"No, Patrick. I don't have a boyfriend."

"No Rwandan boyfriend?"

"No Patrick?"

"Rwandan boyfriend is good!"

"I don't want a boyfriend."

"You? No boyfriend in Canada?"

"No. No boyfriend in Canada."

"Anna? What's the problem?"

Me: Sigh...... "No problem Patrick."

"Oh. Anna? Christine. Your friend. Christine is good girl."

"Yes Patrick."

"Christine boyfriend?"

...... and so it goes.....

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