Wednesday, 19 January 2011
A trip down fabric alley
I finally had a good night’s sleep last night which was such a relief! I know I said I wasn’t worried in my last post but that was more to try to convince myself rather than anything. Perhaps it was because I don’t have documentaries on mental asylums or Britain’s fattest man to fall asleep to anymore. Or maybe its because counting mountain gorillas isn’t as relaxing as I thought it would be because they make me think of that film Godzilla where a massive gorilla went on a rampage stamping on houses and breaking roads. But more likely it is because I keep imagining myself making all sorts of terrible cultural mistakes such as forgetting to walk someone to the door when they leave the house, addressing people in the wrong way or generally being rude without meaning to!
I am in the ‘more confident’ Kinyarwanda class by virtue of the fact that I managed to reach the end of the online lessons before I came, even if saying nde umukorebushake (I am a volunteer) makes me make all sorts of strange contortions with my mouth. Many of the words deserted me when I tried to converse on the bus to Kigali, but people seemed to be impressed by the effort! Our Kinyarwanda teacher, Emmanuel, assures us that because we are ‘munzungu,’ otherwise known as ‘the white people’, people expect you to speak it strangely.
But by far the most exciting part of the day was our trip to fabric alley in Kigali. Not to be confused with Diagon alley in Harry Potter, although in some respects it is surprisingly similar, Fabric alley is a treasure trove of fabulous African fabrics. Buying fabric with my allowance is bound to be my guilty pleasure while I’m in Rwanda. I already bought once piece and I think I’m going to use half as a bedspread and get half made into a skirt.
So there we are, 3 days down and still just at the very beginning of the Everest sized learning curve!