Today I am Leaving the Land of a Thousand Hills*

As much as it pains me to say this, if I am honest, my time as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Rwanda has been a source of great disappointment to me.  I expected to become part of one community for a year, make a substantive and sustainable contribution in that setting, and, most importantly…Read more »

Hegel and Spinoza at the End of the World

Dear readers, I realize that this post is out-of-sequence in terms of real time, assuming of course that time actually exists, and we all know that it doesn’t.    But now that I have finished my work here in Rwanda, and have a little free time to get caught up on unfinished business before I…Read more »

The Art of the Bicycle*

The Art of the Bicycle Rwandans excel at what I call “the art of the bicycle”.    We in the U.S. have a very limited idea of what bicycles are for.     In a country where very few people have personal vehicles, the use of a bicycle to transport goods has developed into a true art form.…Read more »

With our thoughts we make the world*

Long before western sociologists began talking about how our experience of reality is a social construction, mystics in Asia described the phenomenon, as the title of this post, a well-known quote from the Dhammapada, a collection of Buddhist sayings that dates back at least to the 1st century BCE (Before the Common Era),  attests. One…Read more »

White Chocolate*

I could feel the disbelief in the gentle twinkling of the tiny fingers that were stroking my arm as I sat squished against the side of the mini-bus traveling through town.   I reflected on the fact that the only white skin I’ve seen in more than a month was my own, a pale and somewhat…Read more »

The things I took for granted*

So, as I roll into day seven without any water and day five without any electricity, I notice that my initial annoyance with living in what appears to be the only (small) area of Huye and its environs that does not have a consistent water or electricity has dissipated.  I have thrown out the food…Read more »