Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Swearing Good Time

Hi Folks!

As the title of this blog suggests, my Peace Corps colleagues and I were officially sworn in last Saturday afternoon at the U.S ambassador's house in Kigali. The ceremony was held outside on the lawn, under the cover of a large tent. It was a regular old garden party; there was an array of buffet-style of food, socializing with former PC volunteers who came to welcome us as the newest members of the Corps, being treated to traditional dancing by a local troupe of young dancers, and of course, awesome cake!!

Afterward, we all dispersed into the city and boy, was it system overload. I have not been back to the capital city in 10 weeks so I was not prepared for the culture shock I experienced upon returning to the bustling metropolis. Cars zooming past, up and down the hills, nearly clipping me on the heels, supermarkets and shopping malls, ice-cream, pizza, Chinese, Indian, construction work on soon-to-be skyscrapers, and most disorienting of all was seeing other Msungus whom I didn't recognize!! However, despite the fish-out-of-pond feeling, I had a fabulous time. After having spent 2 and half months in a relatively small town I definitely learned to appreciate what Kigali has to offer!! If anyone is interested in visiting me (and you really should think about it ;) I highly suggest staying in this great city.

The following day I traveled out to my permanent site which I finally found out about last week. When looking at a map of Rwanda the distance appears to be only a couple short, stumpy kilometers from Kigali but in reality, the actual time it takes to arrive in my small, isolated mountain town is somewhat different than anticipated. One hour bus ride to Gitarama, then another hour to Ngororero, the district in which I live, and finally another 30-45 minute motorcycle ride out to a very picturesque scene. That last portion of the trip was only slightly terrifying when huge dump trucks veered out of nowhere with their loads of sand, dirt and whatever else they're using to build the road. When I arrived at my future work site, a Catholic school, the head sister asked how I liked the roads, to which I responded by making an expression of disbelief over the uneasy state of the windy path I had just taken. She nodded, explaining in her nearly flawless English, that it used to be a lot worse...

That only serves to illustrate the speedy pace at which Rwanda is working to develop itself. I'm looking forward to witnessing the progress that both my school and the surrounding region will make in the coming months.

Internet is intermittent and slow but it does exist up in the mountains since I bought an internet modem, however there is no electricity at my site so blog entries will be less frequent in the coming months. Hope you all enjoy the pics; the first is of Mupemba, our Training Director and then the whole group of Education Volunteers. The last couple of shots are of my site- the first one is a view from outside of my little apartment, the last is of the Director of Discipline and Sister Victoire who is on the right--she's great :) Don't worry there will be more to follow as my mountain town is tremendously beautiful and I want nothing more than to show it off!!

Over and out!

PS and this is a little x-mas cheer from Kigali


  1. Merry Christmas and Wishes for the Best New Year ever! I love to read your blog and the pictures are fantastic. Miles is home for a few weeks and we are doing our traditional "not much." Of course, we miss you, but are also envious of your great opportunity. Love, Aunt Van

  2. Lovin your adventures and pictures! Keep up the great work!

  3. Avery, Thank you for adding the pictures. What would you like me to send you??????