Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Work has been fascinating these last few days...beginning to see the data from the first ever surveys conducted by media here in Rwanda and it was conducted, however poorly, by my teams. There is a total lack of research regarding product usage, branding, awareness or anything. Lots of issues with each study, but for the first ever project of this type in this country, I am mighty, mighty proud and the teams should be also.

Karibou (car-e-boo) means "welcome" in Kinyarwanda and Sawa, means, "sure." Slowly picking up some words and I am actually beginning to understand the gist of some conversations which are conducted in French. The last official language here was French. The government, literally over night, changed the official language to English. Think teaching school...texts in French, teachers fluent in the language and overnight, a whole country begins to learn another language. Think what would happen in the US if the government said the official language would be Spanish on Monday! Funny.

I just finished reading Mudbound, which is a wonderfully sad and emotionally wrenching book about the South, race relations, how we treat/ed our returning military and more. I highly recommend it! Now, reading a book by a Tanzanian woman who lived here in Kigali and wrote a book called Baking Cakes in Kigali. If you want to get a very good flavor for how things are done this one by Gaile Parkin.

Eddie and I have been fascinated by the huge retaining walls being built around the city. Photos coming when I learn how to upload from her camera to my computer. Groups of men are in the streets with huge piles of mammoth boulders and they hack and chop at these to make stones which will be set into the side of the hill. NO jack hammers. No machines...just hours and hours of back breaking work.

Flat Stanley, now renamed, Bite (Bit-A) and I have been very busy. While outside of the city, I cannot take photos of him with people...a bit shy and a bit nervous about folks stopping to shoot photos. Today, we went to Skol, a beer company and they are located way outside of town on the worst road ever...and we pull up to an actual building that looks like it would be perfectly situated in the USA or in Europe. NOT the typical building here. I accompanied one of the Blink Magazine guys on a couple of sales was a learning experience for Andrea (yup, HIS name is spelled this way but pronounced, Andre). tomorrow.

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