Tuesday, June 29, 2010

That's so Rwanda Part 4

Only in Rwanda....

…can you tell the type of motorbike in the pitch dark, when it’s coming from behind, just by listening to the engine

…do you find yourself saying things “I’d much prefer flea bites” at dinner parties. (As opposed to all the other bites you could get here)

…can you see the following being carried on the heads of people: buckets, bunches of bananas, backpacks, baskets, hoes, bags of shoes, bags of anything – really, queen sized mattresses, oil barrels and refrigerators. (I kid you not. A freakin’ REFRIGERATOR!)

…should you NEVER tell your moto to race another motorcycle. They will. And those things can FLY!

…does the electricity go out in the entire Eastern Province just after kick off in the England vs. Germany game and so you spend the first half huddled around a radio listening to the score and receiving text messages from home with updates. (My English colleagues are still talking about Lampard’s “goal” and I’m just happy that the power didn’t come back on until the second half so they didn’t have to see it)

…do you know what a “kibazo” is.

…does your moto driver run out of petrol 200m from your house and as you slow to a stop he says “No problem”, motions you off the bike, tips said bike upside down, puts it right, and Voila! Problem solved.

…does your moto driver see police ahead, and instead of driving between them on the road, goes on to the shoulder to go around – 10 FEET from the police – and continue on his merry way without being stopped. And only then does he say “Anna. Problem of police is speed. Fine is 50,000 francs.” And only then do you know that the truth is your driver does not have a problem of speed (because he is practically out of petrol – see above) but that his problem is that he does not have a license.

…do you feel like a rock star everywhere you go. Unless, of course, you actually are a rock star. In that case, you’d probably feel like a rock star wherever you went EXCEPT Rwanda. Unless you were Celine Dion, Kenny Rogers, Shania Twain or Medy. Then you’d feel like a rock star here too.

…do you hide in your mosquito net when you hear strange sounds at night because, let’s face it, you live alone in the middle of Africa and NOTHING is getting me out of this mosquito net at night

…do have one pot to both boil water for showers and cook your sweet potato and lentil stew. So your showers smell slightly of onions and garlic but it seriously does not matter after a 40 minute motorcycle ride through dust.

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