Rwandan Ramblings

Monday, July 09, 2007

So there they arrived at the airport looking like they always did.
Unsurprisingly I guess. I was part wondering whether Sue would have checked whether “Safari Style” was in vogue this month and turned up in leopard print wedges with lion tooth motif. But no. You may laugh, but she obviously didn’t realize that footwear appropriate for gorilla trekking up a volcano may not include puma “no-grip sandshoes” or that she might need trousers slightly more rugged than those from Topshop’s “Summer Linen Range”. She can explain that one.

Having 4/7 of the Murphy clan come to visit the 1/7 marooned out here since September last year was actually a treat (and not just for the shampoo, chocolate and cup-a-soups that they brought in a specially designated Maggie Suitcase). Although there was a definite golden lining to the cloud that was our grotty little guesthouse’s tardiness in serving any food on one of the first evenings. I gave up waiting and launched into a ham and lettuce on seeded brown bread sandwich. A little bite of heaven.

It was a whirlwind of ten days, partly since i was still working in preparation for a district competition in dance, theatre and music that I organized and stressed over.

One of the welcome elements of their visit was that they re-opened my eyes to the kaleidoscope that is Rwandan Life. It is very easy to slide into a way of living and forget just how different things are out here. And often it’s nice to know many things are different (I’ve just been called fat again by my landlord).

“Look! A woman with a basket on her head AND a baby on the back”
“Why do prisoners wear pink?”
“If I just say Papa Maggie, they seem to understand”.
“How can he carry a saw on his head?”
“Look at those guys on bikes hanging on to the back of the truck up the hill”
“Why is there a boy hanging off the truck of cows?”
“And why are their tails tied to the canvas sheeting?”
“There must be 30 people in that minibus”

“”God Will Save Us” is written on the back of that minibus roaring around the corner!”

All this whilst my screwed up eyes are identifying the next pothole on the horizon and trying to avoid the crazy kids and awestruck goats in the path of the car. I was petrified for much of the time on the road, I didn’t tell them that I had seen a man killed in front of my eyes in a horrific car crash just a couple of hours before they landed, though now, having been here for a few days it probably won’t surprise them.

Spot the Mzungu. No seriously. He's at the back.

And it was great for them to see my life out here – however short and sweet and skin-deep the visit may have been.


At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see the family actually arrived to see you. I am back in Vancouver now. I enjoy reading your news.

At 9:42 AM, Anonymous The Emrys said...

nice hilarious pics, i love them.


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