Carols and Keys

Monday, December 27, 2010

Woke up and headed into town with Portia and Gillian around 8:30.  They headed off to do other things while I went to Virunga.  I bought sunglasses on the way for igihumbi first since I broke my third pair of sunglasses in Rwanda.  I kept trying to call Dr. Elite, from 8 A.M. to 9:30 A.M when I boarded my bus.  I continued to try to get through to him – no luck.  And I was calling the medical duty phone, the phone used in cases of emergency.  If there had been something seriously wrong with me, I wasn’t getting helped.  He finally called me back around 11:30 A.M. as I approached Kigali.  Turns out he never made the appointment, though he had told me last week that the eye doctor had been rescheduled for tomorrow.  When he got back to me after that (I was still on the bus) he told me I had a room at St. Paul’s for the night but still no appointment.  When he finally made the appointment it was for Wednesday, not tomorrow.  Great.  So I came all the way into Kigali today for no reason.  But then I chose to look on the bright side and decided I’d just relax this afternoon and pit off Kimironko (the big market in Kigali) until tomorrow.  So I dropped my bags off at St. Pal’s (after waiting over an hour for someone to finally show up and unlock the reception office to give me a room and key) then headed into town.  I first went to the bank, realizing I couldn’t do all the shopping and eating I wanted with the money I had brought with me.  I know, 50,000 francs sounds like a lot of money and nearly twice the amount I need to get though an entire month at site, but once out in the big city, it’s crazy how fast it disappears.

At the bank I had some difficulty.  Portia had assured me that she had gotten money before though she had forgotten her checkbook; she just showed ID.  I tried that and almost thought it wasn’t going to work.  It was quite the ordeal and a lot of running back and forth all over the BCR, but I finally got some extra money to see me through the rest of my trip.  I was starving by then and headed to “cheap Indian” for dinner, though the menus were new and the prices weren’t as cheap as I remembered.  Oh well.  The paneer and naan were fantastic and definitely not something I can get or even recreate at site.

I then headed back to St. Paul’s.  I was tired so I thought I’d just read a little before going to bed.  But then I heard music.  Non-Rwandan-sounding music.  It sounded like English Christmas music.  I kept trying to figure out where it was coming from and would go to my door – even open the door and step outside – and strain to discern where the sound was coming from and what they were singing.  It wasn’t too hard to figure out they were singing “Angels We Have Heard on high,” but I still couldn’t quite place where the sound was coming from.  Finally I just got up and left my room completely to go search for these phantom singers.  I found a group of Rwandans singing Christmas music (most of which I recognized) in French, English, and Kinyarwanda.  Despite how tired I was, I sat down and stayed to listen and sing along (to myself) for the rest of their choir practice.  I wanted to cry because it was so beautiful, classic songs in four-part harmonies – even if some of the words had a noticeable British English accent.

When they ended (after they had me and the other two guests introduce ourselves) I went back to my room to get ready for bed.  I’m not sure what time I fell asleep, but I was woken by loud American voices maybe around 10:30 P.M.  I recognized the one voice and went outside to see who else was there and say hello.  It was Chrissy (the loud, recognizable voice), Edison, a PCV from Uganda, and a random European.  There were headed to the bar and I declined their offer to join.  So I went back to bed.  I was awoken again sometime later by someone knocking on my door.  It was Edison and Chrissy and they were locked out of their room.  Apparently Chrissy had lost the key and even retracing their steps all the way back to the bar didn’t produce the key.  They asked if they could share my extra bed and I said it was no problem.  They were very apologetic and quite embarrassed by their blunder.  So they started getting ready for bed, using the toilet one last time, taking off their socks and shoes when all of a sudden Edison reaches his hand into his shirt pocket and pulls out the key.  He had been so convinced (or rather Chrissy had convinced him) that she had the key that he never checked his own pockets.  So they then left, even more embarrassed, and I went back to sleep, this time undisturbed until morning.

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~ by twcstars on March 11, 2011.

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