Friday, 1 September 2017

Peux ce que veux, allons-y

‘Rwanda is the Singapore of Africa, small and smart’ -Arsenal shirt wearing neighbour

‘Singapore is a small country, but a big idea’ - ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs George Yeo

I feel like I will not be able to really write out everything I’ve seen or heard that interests me, or that I won’t have the patience to outside of point form. And yet I feel so saturated with cool stories and observations it would be a terrible waste outside of my notebook ‘quickies’. I just hope my subconscious keeps up all this time. I am generally, I think, not ‘surprised’ by much, which makes me quite stoic/stone-faced to many. It was more a surprise to my host family for example, that I have washed my own clothes by hand before in my life, rather than me being nervous or surprised at having to do it here. It is not that I know everything already, but many things I know I don’t really know and so can’t really assume much and so come here and see, which excites and intrigues me, but doesn’t ‘surprise’ me or ‘break stereotypes’. It does help to confirm/unconfirm ‘commonly-held’ stereotypes that I know and gives me something to tell people who do hold them. I am not perfect of course, but it does mean I don’t know ‘where to begin’ outside of listing everything I’ve heard and seen and felt and smelled chronologically. I guess I’ve chosen, like always, to talk in general, in abstract, in weird jumbled blog-bytes.

^Wrote all of the above a day or two ago and have not just started my genocide classes here in Kigali, beginning with a movie called 'Ghosts of Rwanda', focusing a lot on the US perspective (it was made by PBS). I consider myself quite a stoic person who has loosened in outlook because I think it is more humane; the one part that did move me to tears was seeing Captain Mbaye's death in the movie. There can certainly be no heroes in a genocide, but he might have been the closest.

Practicing language is a good thing, because it is hard and it forces you at first. Alors je vais écrire un peu en français et peut-être en kinyarwanda. C'est la raison je n'ai pas publié ce poste plus tôt. J'ai décidé à essayer de faire la conversation avec le gens ici. C'est ce que je dirai: Muraho! Amakuru? Nanjye, ni meza. Nturuka he? Nturuka muri Singapour. Ndi umuyeshuri. Wowe se? Ukora iki?

C'est tout pour maintenant.