Friday, January 6, 2012

Umwaka mushya muhire!

For those who speak English, happy new year! I spent the holiday at a friend's house away from the craziness of the 7pm-dawn party at the large expo center. It was a nice gathering, complete with my terrible attempts to play rock band.

These past weeks have been very busy for me. I have continued getting great interviews. Also, I have been able to get clearance to attend a gacaca. Gacaca is pronounced gah-cha-cha, and it is a local approach to justice for genocide crimes in which the community gathers together to hear/make accusations, prisoners respond, and decisions regarding punishment are made by community leaders. The gacaca system is supposed to end soon, but there are a couple lingering cases. When I was here in 2009, I also received clearance to attend gacaca but it was delayed and I had to catch my flight out of the country. I had hoped to get a chance to see one before they closed and it seems that I, along with Andy, will get that chance.

The weeks of having the house to myself are over as a new housemate has arrived and the woman from whom I rent has returned as well. It was a really quiet couple of weeks and I am quite exited to have other people around at home again. The new housemate and I tried the cheapest local buffet I've found yet, and it was one of the tastiest! I was very pleased, and in addition to being cheap (1200 RWF = $2.00) it is a block from my house.

This post is a particularly short, but more will follow! I just wanted to quickly update on big happenings of the past weeks and assure everyone that I am safe and sound. It will be even better when Andy arrives tomorrow! I had considered taking him to the Ethiopian restaurant when he arrives since there will be dancing and music for Ethiopian Christmas, but I suspect he will be too tired. To all those celebrating Christmas tomorrow, melkin yelidet beaal! For everyone else, take care and stay tuned for future updates!