Last week of training…
In just one week, I will be swearing in and will be officially a Peace Corps Rwanda Maternal and Child Health volunteer. At the ceremony, myself and another trainee will be delivering a speech in Kinyarwanda; it will also be televised on Rwandan tv. I will send a link once I find out if it will be streamed. These past few weeks have been quite hectic. After site visit, I had to prepare for the final exam (the language proficiency exam), a final presentation about the importance of a balanced diet given in Kinyarwanda, and preparing for site installation. It’s amazing how fast these ten weeks have flown by.
Yesterday, I was able to catch the Tour du Rwanda, as it passed through my training site city. The course was actually the route I run everyday. It was exciting to sit near the start/finish line. My camera could barely capture the motion! Please see the photo gallery section for more photos.
On another note…
This morning, something very strange happened and I understood the culture on a deeper level because of it. My friends and I went for a run this morning. We saw a drunk man and a few other people heading towards us, but just ignored it for the most part. In a drunken stupor, one of the men came over and tugged at my hair. Keep in mind this was at 6:30 AM. After we told him to stop, he walked away. Two minutes later, we hear some yelling and a group had formed around the man and his friends. They chased him away, yelling and gesticulating in a threatening way.
I did not think that this morning I would have my hair pulled by a fully grown man. But at the same time, what happened surprised me even more, and I understood the importance of community and relationships in Rwanda. After I got home, a man stopped by and told my host mother what happened. She was livid and said that the man had been chased, cuffed, and arrested for public intoxication and violated open container laws. As I walked to school, several acquaintances said they were sorry and that they had heard what happened.
Personally I did not find this to be a big deal and to reiterate, I am fine. I found it interesting how this community understood what happened and made sure that the drunk man understood what he did wrong. I also learned that news travels very, very fast and so in a community such as this one, they are protective to the extent that this man was arrested for his actions. Never a dull moment in Rwanda!