Wednesday, July 11, 2012

People of Rwanda

The people I met in Rwanda were great. 

1.  People are generally friendly and open.  I guess that one-third of adults speak English (more in the major locales).  I really enjoyed talking with folks.

2.  It's very easy to joke around with people. 

3.  You probably know already that questions of Tutsi and Hutu background are largely off-limits.  I never had a serious discussion about the genocide against the Tutsi.

4.  Greeting involves giving a long handshake, that may morph into a "soul brother" hand clasp.

5.  It is common to see two men walking holding hands.

6.  Men appeared to be more comfortable talking with me than did women.

7.  Very few people asked for money or begged. 

8.  Many people wanted to know our details including cell phone numbers.

9.  In non-touristed areas, several people went out of their way to greet us.

10.  One waves "hello" to people side-to-side, like a beauty queen.

11.  Many kids waved to us.  Others run along side the car.  Several gave high fives.  Others wanted a hand shake as we drove by. 

12.  The children we met were wonderful and sweet.  My son and I stopped by a pre-school, and we were mobbed by 3 and 4 year old children.  They hugged us and shook our hands. 

13.  We gave empty bottles with caps to a number of children as we drove along (we stopped the car and distributed them).  We also gave some groups of kids soccer balls that we had brought with us.

14.  In the rural areas, it is clear that Rwandans walk for hours a day, and they carry things on top of their heads.  Its amazing how far and how much Rwandans walk.

15.  Caucasian tourists may be called "mzungu" or "rutuku"  but don't consider these to be insulting (though there might be a tinge . . . .)

No comments:

Post a Comment