Sunday, 8 May 2011
10 signs you’ve been in Rwanda a while...
1) You speak 3 languages on your walk to work and think nothing of it. You offer up your hand to anyone and everyone who wants to shake it in a variety of African handshakes. You say ‘Mwaramutse’ or ‘you’ve made it through the night’ and you no longer regard it as strange.
2) Even where there is a tap it doesn’t even occur to you anymore to try to switch it on. You’ve been disappointed just too many times...
3) You begin to write a recipe book ‘101 things to do with potatoes’ in an effort to be ever more creative with the humble spud.
4) You never leave the house without loo roll, a wind up torch and an umbrella. The essentials of life.
5) You have learned that just because you are going brown it doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting a tan. It just means you need to brave the bucket shower or wipe your face.
6) Your mouth waters every time you see a goat brochette (kebab) however charred and tough it may appear because you know its going to be your only fix of protein for the foreseeable future.
7) You become obsessed by cloud spotting in the rainy season. When the temperature drops and the tornado like wind begins you know it is time to stop what you are doing and run for cover.
8) You end up owning several cheap plasticy mobile phones because a) You can have an ‘ignore’ phone for those people you meet on the bus who you just can’t say no to when they ask for your phone number; b) you can constantly switch between the two mobile phone providers in an attempt to eek out your meagre volunteer allowance and c) because everyone else who is anyone over here has lots of mobile phones for some reason.
9) You actually feel relieved when the bus or moto driver stops for petrol before the journey has even begun. That way the odds of actually reaching your destination have tipped slightly in your favour.
10) You have become used to having to hold your motorbike helmet on with your hand, sometimes even both hands....