Saturday, December 5, 2009
"Never go to a Rwandan restaurant hungry" we were told in orientation. Expect a slower pace of life. Unlike in America where you can order your pho-meat patty and enjoy a biteful 2 minutes later, in Rwanda ordering the chicken means going out back and killing since it is rare to have refrigeration to preserve previously prepared meat. This first week and I'm sure my first few months will be a complete adaptation. The past couple days have been orientation. We learned a lot about the structure and principles of the village but also were given a crash course in "Rwandan perceptions of Americans". To give you an idea I've composed a top 3 list:
- Everything an American says, he/ she thinks is the truth.
- In America people never apologize for their actions. (That one makes me sad)
- "White people have watches but they don't have time."
With these perceptions in mind a Rwandan might tell you something because he/ she thinks it is what you want to hear and not what they believe. My hope is to push past these misconceptions and represent myself and my "Muzungo" (white) heritage simply by doing me.