Thursday, 8 March 2012

International Women’s day

Ok so I hate to admit it but when I got a text message from my principal telling me to go to the stadium for a ceremony for international women’s day I inwardly groaned. It’s not that I don’t think we should celebrate it but more that I was not feeling in the mood for several hours of speeches in Kinyarwanda. Usually what happens on such occasions is after about 20 minutes of me playing the game ‘pick out a word of Kinyarwanda that you can understand’, I lose concentration. My eyes glaze over and a vacant expression forms on my face. My head begins to formulate holiday or travel plans, or consider how to make a good dinner out of those decaying tomatoes and bits of onion left at my house.  Yet I do try to appear like I’m listening, well at least for the first hour. 

Well this time I needn’t have worried. The ceremony was mostly done by the kids from the group scolaire school next to the TTC and our TTC students so actually it was delightfully light on the speeches for once as kids don’t generally make long ones, that privilege is reserved for officials and other important people. We sang the national anthem twice...well they sang while I listened and tried to pick out a few words. Then some girls from the primary school did some lovely Rwandan dancing followed by dancing from the TTC students. Rather predictably they grabbed me to dance and I danced in my usual idiotic way and got a round of applause which I really didn’t deserve!  

Some students put on a short play to celebrate women’s day which was very entertaining even though I didn’t understand the words, and the ceremony ended with some drumming from boys at the primary school. Last but not least some of the local village women got up to dance, some dressed in mushananas, some just wearing a t-shirt and khanga material wrapped around their waist, and others dressed in the African skirt suit and head wrap seen across the continent.  

So all in all I had a great time and left vowing to try and learn a few words to the Rwandan national anthem...well now I can sing frère Jacques in Kinyarwanda surely anything is possible? 

Women of the village strutting their stuff

Was it women's day or children's day? Once again my camera causes a stir..

Young drummers from the primary school

 This focused, confident young girl from the primary school is why we should celebrate international women's day. If only all girls could have that same confidence and belief...

Ok so some men were allowed to perform as well

The TTC students dance

 Young women dancing from the TTC

The students do a play on the theme of domestic violence for International Women's day

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