Life in the suburbs*

Mama….. I turned to see a young man holding out his hand for money. Oya,  I shake my head and continued on my way, but he persists, pushing my shoulder. Gusaba ni umuco mubi  (Begging is a bad habit).   He stops for a moment, perhaps he is surprised that I know how to say that…Read more »

Indra’s revenge*

They say that this is the most rain in 36 years in Rwanda.  All I know is that it never stops.  Indra, the Hindu god of the heavens, lightning, thunder, storms, rains and river flows appears to want us to take notice of him, to what end I do not know. The world outside my…Read more »

Silently we waited for night to fall…*

Silently we waited for night to fall.   Nestled in dunes of chocolate-brown volcanic sand, the I could hear the waves rushing and spilling along the shoreline.  I imagined that they too were waiting, invisible, just beyond the water’s edge, paddling through the waves in anticipation of the rising the tide that would bring them into…Read more »

Kwibuka (Remembrance)*

As I look out my window at the red brick walls that separate me from the world, the first being the wall between my house and the one behind it, the next being the wall surrounding the main house, behind which my and my neighbor’s houses are located, the last being the wall surrounding the…Read more »

I know my place*

“I think the invitation can go out as it is, you will simply have to replace ‘..a unique opportunity’ by ‘….another opportunity’ because the faculty had other opportunities previously and they will even get others to advance in their profession”. I looked at the sentence in question in the invitation.  It was harmless enough, and…Read more »

May I help you learn to fish?*

“I agree with Mr. Njabo.  I don’t think we should be treating Africa as a continent in perpetual need of handouts.  I think we should do as he says and find our own solutions.” “Yes, I agree, in the long run, but other countries outside of Africa have skills that we do not yet have,…Read more »

Paper Clips – Large *

“Do you have large ones like these?”  I say, pointing to a small paper clip.  I had already forgotten the rather long and complicated word for paper clip in Kinyarwanda.    “Do you know Lingala?   You should know Lingala.  It’s the language spoken in the Congo, where I am from?   Do you have a husband?  You…Read more »