31 May 2010

Kibuye, Rwanda

At College Sainte Marie

College Sainte Marie

Lake Kivu, the wonderful view from the road next to C Sainte Marie

Sr. Pasqa, Sr. Scholastica, Myself, Sr. Antonia, Sr. Andree, Sr. Marie Emmanuelle, Sr. Agnes, and Sr. Teo

Lake Kivu, view from C Sainte Marie

24 May 2010

Good to be Back

Loud filthy streets of a city that constantly moves around my walking feet
Happily fills days, memories and journeys
Waking under familiar nets in a familiar town
in a familiar heat Happily fills mornings, memories and histories

There are so many differences between the East African Communities (cleanliness, music, dancing, language, size, vistas, food etc.) but i'm glad to say that some of the joyful similarities are the freedom in which they know one another and the gentleness but strength of spirit.

21 May 2010

Sisters of St.Mary of Namur, Kibuye

Congregational Cross of the Sisters of St.Mary of Namur
I only spent about two and a half days with new friends in Kibuye, next to Lake Kivu in Rwanda, but it felt like a wonderful holiday with family! The sisters were excited to have a visitor and i was excited to visit; A perfect combination. I stayed in their guesthouse on the top of a hill and walked down to eat delicious Rwandan meals with them and to visit the teachers and classes at College Sainte Marie.
I wish i could explain all the feelings that were rumbling around my stomach, head and heart. Nervousness-Excitement-Wanting to Share-Openness-Freedom. Those feelings added to the the way the land rolled around with the sounds of Work-Birds-Students Laughing-Mass-Water-Trees-Sunlight.

My favorite part was sharing dinner, there was so much laughter trying to communicate! I'm kinda proud of how well we did. Breakdown:
  • I spoke about 15 words of french, 10 words of kinyarwanda, 100 words in spanish, lots of english
  • Sisters Andree, Marie Emmanuel, Passqa, Teo, Antonia, Agnes and Scholastica spoke 100 words of english and lots of portugese/french/kinyarwanda

I've underlined the languages that we were able to competently grasp and exchange ideas in... .

Sharing across cultures and languages is some of the most fun i've had here in Uganda and now in Rwanda. There are so many hiccups and strange misinterpretations BUT, when there is mutual understanding.... SOUND OF LIGHTBULB SWITCHED ON!

its a good feeling.

04 May 2010

for Cinco de Mayo


Happy 22nd Quag!! I'm glad to know you're still doing awesome things back in texas; running marathons, finishing university, writing poetry, hanging out with that bean. I love you and can't wait to see you at the end of the year....

Today i thought of you when i started my run... the sensation of being free and light-footed lasts for about 200 meters for me... but i thought, "this must be how stefan feels when he's running.." and i smiled to myself!

An Art Day

Today i learned how to make paper at an organization called Paper Crafts. It's located in a town called Bwebajja about 5k from my home. They offer well made and creatively designed products. It was refreshing to see a well run organization led by and fully staffed by Ugandans. They are efficient, happy and making a good profit. They sell their products to Banana Boat, a high-end craft store that markets to mostly foreigners. Their website:

In the afternoon i went to a local artists' association to teach how to make friendship bracelets. Their workshop is down the road from my house and I stopped by their small market one day and found out they just started their association and are just beginning to teach crafts to the local women for an income generating activity. I told them i could contribute my friendship bracelet "skills" and they said "you was welcome." So today i went and taught about 6 ladies and 4 gentlemen. I had a very nice time sitting under the trees, making bracelets, trying to keep up in Luganda.
Happy Cinco de Mayo

01 May 2010

Eating Well in Uganda

a great salad

M&Ms, Reeses, Three Musketeers, girl scout's Thin Mints, Skittles, Hershey's Bar, Twix... Did i get everything?

Some friends came over and we happily cooked ourselves a good 'ole american meal: Salad. It feels nice to gather and speak english in our casual cadence and usual vocabulary; an added bonus is choosing food without the "heaviness" of a Ugandan meal. Though I've come to enjoy the typical fare:
-matooke (steamed green banana that tastes somehow like potatoes)
-ebinyebwa (ground nut sauce)
-kowunga (aka posho, mix of maize flour, water and salt)
-ebijanjaalo (beans)
-irish potatoes
-enva (greens that are a little less tasty than spinach)
-mwogo (cassava, a dense root)
-lumonde (sweet potato)
-ensujju (pumpkin)
-emboga (cabbage usually fried in tons of oil)

So it's a happy meal when we cook for ourselves. We (mostly others) try hard to eat healthy, delicious foods. But at times, we (mostly me) just go for the delicious.

After our healthy delicious salad we all pulled out the chocolate treats that were in recent packages. Thanks america! :)