Bonsoir, Mzungu

Kids watch me in Kacyiru – every morning, the same kids, blue school uniforms, lunch boxes, awe in their eyes. There goes that crazy muzungu in her ugly birkenstocks (très pratique!). OK, its their parents commenting on the birks. These kids make my mornings. Tireless ‘Bonjour! Comment t’appelles-tu?’ and the never out-of-style ‘mzungu!!’ Sometimes, I even get a 7am ‘bonsoir’ and a handshake from the kinyarwandan speaking ones. Even on the toughest of mornings I have to smile at these kids. They are so cute and have innocence in their eyes. What a blessing in such a scarred country.

I am sitting in front of a computer that will soon be packed up in boxes. It is my last day of work. My digital camera has sure made the rounds of the office. My face hurts from the Rwandese custom of kissing three times on the cheeks – which really entails hitting your cheeks together three times and then kissing the third time. People seem upset that I am going! Today I have appreciate for my dysfunctional little office. Dysfunctional but with big hearts.

Tomorrow Melissa and I will pack, laze around at the Novotel, and go to a goodbye party with Melissa’s colleagues in the evening. Danielle has threatened a night of dancing afterwards, before the plane ride out Saturday. Can’t leave Kigali without a trip to the New Cadillac Club. Can’t leave Kigali without a bit of sadness… or at least, appreciation for this indescribeable country.

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~ by kcanderson on January 19, 2006.

3 Responses to “Bonsoir, Mzungu”

  1. Hey Kelly,

    Just trying to catch up with your world! Sounds like you’re ready to close this chapter for a bit.

    I am just sitting in a cafe in Flores reading your blog as best I can. We are heading to Tikal this weekend…mundo maya *mayan world* to look at the ruins!

    Seems like youre doing well! I am not having much of a culture shock at all. There are many similarities the cross every culture…a mother’s love for her child, importance of family, children playing, rich in laughter, saying hello to everyone on the streets, rich in simplicity…it seems this guatemalan community is more rich in these basic, important fundamentals than our northamerican culture…

    much love,
    Les

  2. Was just lookng for stuff about Rwanda when I came across your story.

    You kinda refreshed my memories cox I grew up in that country and now in Canada, I know what you may have found different really!

    How are you?

  3. Was just lookng for stuff about Rwanda when I came across your story.

    You kinda refreshed my memories cox I grew up in that country and now in Canada, I know what you may have found different really!

    How are you?

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