Sept. 13, 2012
Decided to enter a few things while I think of them:
"Chicken men": I forgot a very colorful part of last week's market. A couple of guys passed us with live, squawking chickens tied to their bodies. Each man had at least six chickens, and I really believe more. They had some sort of thing tied to their arms and back to which they tied the feet of the chickens. I plan to get a photo of this, as it is hard to describe. Of course, the chickens are not just hanging there nicely awaiting purchase and slaughter. Their wings and their voices are not tied down and they are using them as hard as they can! Can you picture 12 chicken wings flapping more-or-less at once and six chicken voiceboxes protesting simultaneously? And the smell is quite strong! How do the men stand it?!!
A little delegation from Kigali came yesterday AM to learn how our special e-learning group is doing. We sat in on their class and each of the visitors made a speech. (All of the visitors were our HRH people, one a Rwandan who has been working with the e-learning group for some time and two from the U.S.) We had a good visit, then were just walking around the campus a little. I asked if they would like to see "my cows". Oh, they liked that idea. We walked toward the cow shed and I had just barely begun talking to the cows when the male started talking back! The more I made soothing cow noises, the more he bellowed. We all laughed and laughed. And that made both cows really go at it. I am learning what social creatures cows are! The cows were enclosed in their stalls or I believe that male would have come and jumped in my lap!! See photos at next entry.
We are truly having a very rainy season. One day I came home for lunch and while there I asked Miriam what the loud roar was--she really laughed at me. It was a real torrent of rain. I stayed home past my time to return as there was a lake around my house and I decided not to wade through it. I may have to get some rubber boots! Because of all the rain, plants are sprouting all over my yard. And I have a fairly big yard! The most plentiful plants are beans!! Someone told me that there used to be a vegetable garden where my yard is, and there were lots of beans. Well, I can certainly see that!! Instead of "Field of Dreams" I have "Field of Beans"!! I'm just going to leave them right where they are, too. The surprise will be the kind of beans they are! My yard is becoming completely green with beans.
A few minutes ago I heard a bird singing very close by. I went outside my office and he was sitting right there in the walk way along the administrative offices. A lovely black and white bird. He began singing again and reminded me very much of a mockingbird, as he sang a whole variety of tunes. I have seen birds like that on the campus before, but never heard the wonderful songs. The administrators in our office told me the name of the bird in Kinyarwanda and said it is a very special bird. It likes to be around people and in Rwandan culture, if you kill this bird you will have very bad luck. I will start watching more closely for this bird. Maybe I can record its song for you sometime.
Don't forget to look at the next entry. I also posted a couple of photos of the grey crowned crane--the official bird of Rwanda. I took the photos just a couple of days after we got to Kigali. They have 2-3 of them on the grounds at the hotel where we ate breakfast every day.
It's raining again.