After another crisply beautiful morning walk to the University, greetings were exchanged, nametags were affixed, and we gathered in a great, big “uruziga” (Kinyarwandan for “circle”). Ahn and Jess led our warm-ups this morning – a spirited ‘3-Part Handshake’ and ‘Steal the Space.’ Counting “rimwe, kabiri, gatatu” (rather than “one, two, three”) we made up a three-part greeting with a partner, which we then taught to as many other pairs of people as we could. (My partner added a joyful “WOW” at the end of ours.) Hands were shaken, elbows, knees and shoulders touched, and peer-to-peer learning commenced!
‘Steal the Space’ was full of silliness and sneakiness – people making eye contact and trying to change places in the circle, without getting caught by the person in the middle.
The high energy continued with Helen’s rousing game of ‘Alphabet Race’ and then Chris’ ‘Four Corners’, with the corners representing different aspects of why an education is important. Lots of compelling cases were made – including a surprisingly persuasive one for “to make a lot of money!”
We then separated into groups again (I said a fond “turongera” to my Group C and turned them over to the wonderful Last Town on Earth
team) to lead our workshops. So much more learning was packed into that hour-and-a-half. I wish the students here could know how much they are teaching me.
And then . . . the highly-anticipated, much-discussed market. Helen and Chris have done an extraordinary job of preparing us for this trip, but they could have talked for three years and I wouldn’t have been able to imagine that market. The beauty of the fruits and vegetables, the stand with seemingly one of every single lotion produced across the globe, the butchers, the aisles and aisles (and aisles) of fabrics, baskets, earrings, stuffed giraffes, carved wooden gorillas, stone elephants, shoes (Rwandan flip-flops, Converse – you name it), whirring Singer treadle sewing machines, clothing . . . it was dazzling and overwhelming.
Suffice it to say, items were acquired.
Then: check-ins about our sessions, eagle-eyed observations, more planning, dinner, and a whole heap of exhilarated but tired M.A. students are off for a little rest.