Sunday, December 1, 2013

Rwanda Photo Mayhem!

Today and one day only...I am going to try to spend a lot of time, and I do mean a LOT of time, posting some photos today.  Hopefully it works out well.  Especially as I now have two weeks left.  The countdown begins....

This is a photo of someone at a training course for home workers ("my house girl" or "guy" as people say) so that they can make more money.  They take this training and then they have some sort of certificate saying that they know the basics of how to run a Rwandan home and then they can ask for a higher salary.  It's a really good deal.  This woman is making cassava.

This photo is of one of the couple of Rwandese beers I have tried.  This one I think would be my husband's absolute favorite.  It's called Turbo King and has a picture of a lion on it.  I think this is the funniest of all Rwandese beers.

This is my favorite beer here, called Tusker.  I love the elephant and understated label and the flavor was best to me.

This stuff, called sun sip, is some kind of fruity chemical disaster that the Austrians and others like to put diluted into water so that they cannot taste the really bed taste of the water here.  Unfortunately, I still think that this stuff tastes like shampoo.  You know, it doesn't taste like it smells.  Like you are drinking passion fruit flavored Herbal Essences.  Yuck.
This was a particularly delicious meal that my friend made for me of beans and cabbage and many, many spices over rice.  You can see how much she tries to feed me and how much I eat.  Also, that night I had a dream that I was pregnant because I was experiencing SUCH gas pains.

On a walk out to dinner with Nicole and my friend, we saw this....a compound just like the one we live in, but this one, instead of barbed wire surrounding the top of the walls, there was....BROKEN BOTTLES!  This is so serious.  I started cracking up and had to take a photo.  I mean, it IS cheaper than barbed wire.  But, if I wanted to get in, and I don't, I would just crush the glass or something.

This meal has become relatively common around here since the Eqyptian was here.  It is more expensive to make chips, but oh how good they are when my friend makes them.  The potatoes are cheap but oil is expensive and there is not much option for saving the oil so it is a big waste.  But, again, how good they are.
The trick is to chop up the salad (tomatoes and onions and sometimes cucumbers) really small and mix it with balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and then some mayonnaise and ketchup and then use this as a "relish" over the chips.  Its to die for. 

Here is a photo of one the pizzas I have had at Sol e Luna.  This is number 17 out of 89 possible pizzas: the Quattro formaggio.  Goat cheese and mozzarella and something else and...wait for it...tellagio!  A divine splurge even in the USA.  This pizza was SO good as are all of the pizzas I have had there.  You can see on the bottom the top of my quiz for that night.  See the title........I'm lonely.

This is a photo of Heike that shows what it is like to do laundry here.  Intensive work is what it's like.

Quick side note before the next photo: just another thing I LOVE about Rwanda, the singing.  I have mentioned before that I hear singing often around me, from church choirs to funerals to gatherings with a guitar to the ladies nearby whose lovely singing voice either soothes their babies or their own minds as they do dishes or cook or sweep.  But since it is so ubiquitous, that means I CAN SING TOO!  I love to sing.  This is a culture of music and I feel at home, even if they don't know my music and I don't know theirs.

Next photo, this photo is of Heike after she was shoving bunnies back in their cage and caught her shoulder on the sharp edge of the corrugated metal "door" of their cage and ripped a giant tear in her shoulder.  This was a whole story here.  First, she faints at the sight of blood.  Second, no one else was here but me.  She asked me very calmly if I could help her with something, I walked outside to say yes and there she was almost falling over on the stone step with blood beginning to really POUR down her shoulder.  I got toilet paper and water to clean her and some of her juice infused drink to sooth her and told her not to look at it as I held the gaping wound and cleaned it and then pressed on it.  I called for my friend and they brought gauze which we taped to her.  Later on her partner brought her to the nicest hospital in Rwanda, King Faisal hospital.  This is the examining room after the torture of 3 or 4 REALLY LARGE stitches were put into her at her great emotional expense.  The wound has healed fine as she has had all her shots.

This is the architectural mock up of what the new Kigali Convention Center will look like.

This is near to what it looks like right now, and I see it everyday on my way to work.  Its huge and interesting.  I like it.  Visually, apart from the great old cities and landscapes I have been to like Rome or Paris or something, Rwanda and Kigali in particular is one of the most visually dynamic places I have been to.

This is a photo taken near the Imihingo place, you remember that Rwandan art place, where they have what is really the "traditional" traditional Rwandan houses, before brick and other types of construction came.  These were still in use around the country up to the genocide.  after that, not so much.  Many places still have the thatch roof technology but that only makes it through about one long rainy season so you end up having to replace your roof once a year.  So, there is a VERY heavy preference for corrugated metal roof.  Even though the metal is expensive, it is cheap in terms of the labor and valuables it saves year after year, essentially forever.  Though it has the new effect of basically baking all inhabitants inside on a hot day.  :(  But the cold nights in the valleys and during the rainy seasons are now toasty warm.

This is the completely gorgeous Rwanda Parliament building.  What you cannot see very well and that I hope to capture some time in the next two weeks is the gorgeous terrancing structure that holds the many "toes" of the hill.

OK, so really, that took like 3 hours to do.  I have some more photos and things I want to tell you about but now I am worried that I will lose what I have done so I am going to go ahead and post this now.  More photos to come, today even, perhaps.

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