Moving On In

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Muraho (hello)

I've been here a whole week and boy is there culture shock! After orientation finished up on Friday we all got to meet and move in with our host families! I'd be lying if I told you that the whole transition went smoothly. With most things being very new, It will take me a few days to adjust and adapt. However, I am extremely fortunate to be with my host family and man am I thankful for them! Both the mother and father do not speak English but I am so impressed by their ability to try! There are 7 children in the family, 5 girls and 2 boys and I kid you not one of the boys is named Bill Gates, not Bill, but the full Bill Gates; he is a total sweet heart. And then there is sweet Leslie, although she doesn't speak English, her smile is enough to brighten my entire day. From the moment I arrived they have welcomed me with open arms.  Once at my new home they showed me to my room and gave me a quick tour of the 4 bedroom house. I hung outside with them while they prepared dinner in the outside kitchen and waited for the older kids to get home from school. Then of course came the question of the century, "what do you like to eat?" This question easily catches me off guard because the food here is very very different from the food in America, and if you know me you know I mostly like figure foods, like pizza. (man do I miss pizza) anyways I started to list some of the foods I could think of. Among my list I mention corn on the cob and the next thing I knew I was handed a plate with an uncooked corn stalk on it. I was very thankful and took the plate. I wasn't sure what to do with it so I just held it and continued to talk. I was then told to eat it and I tried to ask if we need to cook it but was unable to communicate it so I ate it or tried too. I've had many many strange and funny things happen since arriving. The lifestyle differences makes everyday task a bit more challenging at first yet it is doable. There is no running water inside of the house, not even a sink nor is there a fridge and still they have survived their entire life without these things. From their perspective I come from a world of "machines" and  I now wouldn't disagree.
Being fearful of bugs isn't really a thing here... There had been a massive and dangerous looking spider hanging from the celling for the last two days and when I pointed to it one of the cousins literally picked it up by its legs, held it in between her fingers for a couple of seconds to show me and then tossed it out the window, never killing it. Fear is obviously not a factor for her. 
Walking anywhere around kigali is always an adventure. It is most certainly gaurenteed that everyone will either stare, shout or sometimes even reach to touch us as we walk by due to the fact that we stick out like a sore thumb.
Even with the newness of the culture I really do love it here! Although, I don't know if I can ever get used to the starring! 

Meet sweet Leslie

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