After spending three months in Kigali, I really shouldn’t be surprised by some of the happenstances that are bizarre in my mind, but are perfectly normal by Rwandan standards. Here are some of the best moments of (ab)normality:
Every time you take a bus, the man who is in charge of collecting the bus fare hands you a ticket. When the bus ride is almost over, he begins to collect the money, rendering the ticket utterly useless, because you are already on the bus. During one particularly eventful bus ride, Matha broke the ice and started talking to the fare man who was staring at her from approximately six inches away. We asked him, “Why do you give these bus tickets anyway if they aren’t used for anything?” His response, “The ticket is for customer satisfaction!” So there it is.
Also saw the Twitter Pub and the WhatsApp Pub.
Never fear, there is always a scale to be found on the side of the road so you can check how much you weigh during the morning commute.
Need to drag a ten foot pole across the city? Nothing a moto can’t handle.
Cat looks pretty comfortable. Maybe they had no guard dog?
Good to know gender roles have changed!
Outfit on point
On the last day Sr. Anna insisted on bringing us to a “woman company.” Turns out they were a mushroom distributor. Pretty odd, pretty cool. Sr. Anna was thrilled.
Road construction on our street means a different maze every day.
It’s dry season, it hasn’t rained in a month.
A normal breakfast with our friend Justin
Gotta love the patriotism here. Too bad I never thought of painting my bike like this.
Some really safe scaffolding
Our friend Remember brought us to a stream that he called “sweet water” and offered for us to try it. We politely declined, skeptical of what might make the water “sweet.”
Traditional meets hilarious
Eid al Fitr was like waiting for a snow day: you won’t know if you have school on Friday until it’s announced on the radio Thursday night.
One Monday, we had chips (fries), rice, and sombe, which is a sauce made of ground cassava leaves. As each of the teachers came into the dining room, they exclaimed, “Chips on Monday! We only get chips on Thursday!” Then ironically my brother sent me this epic snapchat on that same day.
Kitchen cabinet. At least there’s no junk food.
We were told that people who live in the section of town called Nyamirambo like to wear super trendy and hip clothing. When we found this shop, we knew the rumors MUST be true…
Jean Marie at work on top of the water tower