Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why Can’t I Keep up with my Posting Schedule?

I don’t know…

Some updates:

I am annoyed and bordering on depression for two reasons:  first, it has been three weeks since I got here and I have yet to get to work.  I am still waiting.  Every day there is a new reason why I have to wait.  This means I am waiting by my email.  This means I can't really leave or do anything like explore the city, which is difficult to do by yourself anyway.

Second, I am pretty sure that I have dysentery.  That’s right.  Dysentery.  The last week I was pretty sick.  And it's funny, it's really common here to get it so people have no compunctions about speaking about it.  I said to Agnes, I have been sick.  She said, oh you have your period?  I said no.  She said, oh you have diarrhea?  Yes.  Yes I do.  It's common place to speak about your bowel functioning.  Often, depending on exactly the reason for your dysentery, it goes away on it's own.  And I have always had a lot of stomach issues.  But, if it will go away it is meant to last about a week.  The last few days I have been feeling a lot better, less fatigue and I am hungry again (I weighed myself and actually I have lost 10 pounds in three weeks).  But I give tomorrow as the deadline.  If I am not feeling better, I will go to the local pharmacy and I will buy Flagyla, the three day antibiotic that is meant to clear up amoebic or bacterial dysentery (virul has to just run it's course) for about 2,000 francs or three dollars.  That’s right, it's over the counter and it's three dollars!  Alas, there are no photos to share concerning this experience.

Next, updates on the animal farm that is the guest house:

Archie no longer lives here.

Sofya moved out and I moved into her room so I have wifi in my room now, when the power isn’t out that is.

Katie is leaving for 10 days to go to South Africa for something and is usually only here about two days a week anyway.

Nicole is still here and we have been really thick together for the last week and a half, hanging out a lot and sticking together when we leave the house.  It's been really nice to have her around and our theoretical backgrounds are similar and we are having some of the same research issues.  We have started to come up with a list…see the end of this post for that list…anyway, she will be leaving on the 26th or something.

There is supposed to be an older muzungu gentlemen moving in right as Nicole leaves.  I am interested to meet him and find out his story.

Keksy: is doing much better and getting fatter all the time.  She is a pain in the ass though.  She gets caught around bushes and trees and it's difficult to get her untangled because she freaks out about anything having to do with the collar.  Recently, Glenn received an email from a person living in the house, no one knows who it is, saying that the dog cannot stay because of the trouble and the smell and the concern for the bunnies, though she seems really uninterested in them.  So…

Heike and Martin are moving out this Friday with Keksy to a place that will have her.  They are still deciding whether or not she will join them in Germany/Austria and it will mostly be based on the expense.  We are waiting to hear back from my husband about phone numbers to call to find out or when they have time to go to the airport to try to find out.  But finding a nonstop flight from Kigali to Germany is difficult.  Anyway, waiting on Keksy’s fate still.

BUNNIES!  So, originally we thought there were five baby bunnies because they were all piled in so tight together.  One of them died and so we thought there were four.  Now, they are getting pretty adorable.  They are thriving, it seems, and they are growing hair and their ears are distinguishable and their eyes are open. And…there are 6 of them.  That will be a total of 9 bunnies in the compound.  Who knows how this will turn out.  This I have pictures of…
This was from a few days before when their eyes were barely opening and with cabbage for their mum in the cage.

This is a few days later when their eyes are really opening, they have more fur, and their ears are up.  See, no longer grody.

And this is from just the day after the last photo, when we built a "pin" or circular barrier out of chairs and rugs and plates and things and pet them and let them run about a bit.  This is Heike.


Heike and Nicole.

Martin with huge hands and tiny bunny.

I also have a video....but it is just too big and there is no uploading progress bar so I have no idea how far along it is.  Maybe when I have a smaller one I will post it.
I have now also been, at least, to the Gacaca archive.  I can't tell you where it is but it's living in a police compound, high security, lots of AK47s.  The best way to describe the almost two million cases is…

Have you seen Raiders of the Lost Ark?  Remember at the very end when they store the Ark in a box and then the guy wheels it into a warehouse that is full of infinity boxes all holding, what you can only imagine, are equally esoteric, magical, and precious objects…that is what it looks like.  It just goes on forever.  Except the boxes are all of uniform size and they are stacked on top of one another in rows instead of on shelves.


On Saturday we went to the city center to shop at the big more western style grocery store called Nakumatt.  It is much more like a western grocery store only with less stuff in the grocery department, not as many options, and also with lots of other stuff like clothes and toys and furniture and appliances and a hardware department.

We have been concerned that Keksy is not getting enough protein but the dog food is really expensive.  I thought that I might donate a bag of better dog food or, in the event that it really is too expensive, buy a chicken and boil it and give her the meat.  But…there is no better dog food.  The dog food doesn’t even have meat in it.  And a whole chicken was just as expensive as the giant bag of non-meat dog food.  So, no luck there.  She will keep living on a diet heavy in cheese and milk on top of her normal potatoes, avocadoes, and rice.

The bus ride there cost 200 francs, like 25 cents or something, and was completely packed and smelly and lasted for half an hour.  Also, I really hate being in moving vehicles in Kigali.  Back on the sides of hills barreling downwards at what seems to me a million miles an hour in a vehicle too heavy with squealing breaks with a drop off right on the side of me.  I felt like we were all going to die.

Just in case you think I am crazy to be afraid of moving vehicles, when Nicole went with D to another memorial site, they came across an accident.  Remember, the roads in the country are on the sides of mountains so there is a cliff on one side and a deep ditch on the other side against the mount.  There was a big truck just right sitting right across the road and another car, a smaller car, that was unrecognizable crushed into a cube by this truck.  D asked the police what happened, the police said that ALL died.  That the car was full of people and they ALL died.  And if they hadn’t died on impact, they probably would have had injuries too severe and hospitals are so far away and without the latest tech and skills.  This terrifies me.

So, we arrive and walk about 10 minutes to Nakumatt from the bus stop.  Downtown there were many many more muzungu.  Right now I live in a village and this village doesn’t have that many so we are more of a novelty.  But downtown there are more.  Even thought there are more, we are still stared at only now people are asking for money and asking if we want to buy phone time for Tigo and phone time for MTN and phone time for Airtel and then all over again and do we want a taxi or a moto, etc. 

We saw a sort of parade of cars and trucks and buses with people on top and hanging out the windows all blowing those big annoying horns that are such a problem at sporting events now and whose name I cannot remember.  Their faces were painted whitish and looked scary, like they were meant to look scary.  We think they were going to an important Rwandan sporting game somewhere because when we got back on the bus they were playing, loudly, what sounded like a sports announcer.  I wish I could imitate it for you.  If I thought it wouldn’t take an hour to do, I would record myself imitating it and post it here for your amusement.  The announcer was squealing and undulating and letting is voice rise and fall over really long periods and then fall away until there was no air left in his lungs.  It was funny.

I took one photo of the building that Nakumatt is in, it is Kigali tower, the tallest building in Kigali, and it is on the ground floor.

This was a photo I took from the bus stop of another bus.  This bus is larger than the one I was on, I think this is an express from the countryside.

It's funny, while waiting for the checkout, I noticed some adverts for upcoming movies.  I was wondering if they have those funny names that often times happens when a movie title in English is translated to another language and then retranslated to English again and turns out differently.  But the movie is titled Runner Runner.  I looked it up, apparently that is the title of the movie.  Funny.

OK, I said I would give you a list, that will be for another time because I find that I am not posting so much because I am trying to post too much at a time.  Tomorrow maybe.


  1. Those bunnies are sooo cute!
    You're looking great!

  2. bunnies are adorable!!! dysentery sucks!!! love you!!!

  3. Fur balls~ The bunnies are so cute!
    Hope you've got well and got to work now. :) 'I must wait' is a very common mentality in field, I guess. Good luck~

  4. Yeah Dan, I have and I have! Thank you so much for the well wishes. Read the next post for an update from here.