Thursday, July 22, 2010

Campaign Season--I Can't Escape It

It's campaign season in Rwanda.
On Monday night, as I left pub trivia, I noticed several little signs like the one above that had been placed on columns lining the street between the time I went into the pub and the time I left. I thought this was curious.
Then, as I traveled to work to work on Tuesday, I noticed that the same signs were EVERYWHERE in Kigali--on (huge) billboards, on the bumpers of cars, on the backs of (public) buses, on the city's shiny new LED advertising screens. I realized that campaign season, which lasts only 3 weeks in Rwanda, had officially begun. There was even a FPR/Kagame rally at Amahoro Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, which was attended by tens of thousands of people (including most of the employees of the Ministry of Justice). And all day, every day this week there have been trucks full of people in Kagame shirts with megaphones and (incredibly loud) music cruising up and down the streets!
Notice anything about my comments so far? Yeah, in case you were wondering, there aren't any signs or bumper stickers (and certainly no scheduled rallies in soccer stadiums) for opposition candidates. At least, I haven't seen any. **Sigh**
As an American who's just visiting this country for the summer, I try to withhold judgment of things that I don't completely understand, i.e. the Rwandan political system, but I am... conflicted, to say the least... about this campaign season. It's exciting, eye-opening, and interesting. It's also frightening and worrisome.
But I don't have the energy to get into that here and now.
One week til Zanzibar!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One More Thing...


Wedding Pics, Or: The Continuing Saga of the Almost Complete Lack of Internet Access in Rwanda

It's now been three days this week without internet access at work... which makes... you know, work, difficult. I've heard that it's because of a severed cable located anywhere from southern Uganda to the street across from the Supreme Court.
I'm posting this from a cafe... with spotty internet access... which makes it maddeningly difficult to upload more than this picture of me and my "date" to last weekend's wedding. Clearly, though, this is the best of the pics.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Midsummer Classic

Following up on my last post--two days later, as I've been trying throughout the entire time between then and now to upload a few simple pictures from this past weekend's wedding... to no avail, of course--I'll say congratulations to Spain. I called that one! And my apologies to Matt Holliday (who got bumped in the first round of last night's Home Run Derby). I didn't see Big Papi winning, that's for sure. For that, I suppose I will also say, begrudgingly, congratulations to DW.

I promise I'll get the wedding pics up eventually. **Sigh**

Oh, and one more thing...


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Another Great Weekend!

Yesterday, Ivan and I attended the wedding of an uncle of several of our friends from the One Love family. We had an absolute blast!

There was a beautiful reception with traditional dancers, a very filling buffet, a live band, (mostly) free booze, and dancing... lots of dancing.

Pictures to come!

On another note, this evening will mark the close of the 19th World Cup. According to the poll I set up a while ago (on the right-hand side of this blog), many of you have been seeing visions of a Spanish victory for a while now. I have to say I just don't see any way the Dutch can overcome all that Spanish talent--Spain reached the final by defeating Germany... without Fernando Torres even taking the field! Either way, we will have a first-time Cup champion. Exciting stuff!

Back home, today is the beginning of the Major League Baseball All-Star Break, meaning tomorrow is the annual Home Run Derby (Go Matt Holliday!). This will be the first time in my life that I won't have watched the derby. Weird milestones I'm setting here in Africa...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Ava!

Speaking of this time of year, Happy 4th Birthday to my niece Ava Bliss Biggs!!!
As I will be attending a Rwandan wedding tomorrow (more on that to come), it's not likely that I'll be able to get to a computer, so I'm posting her well-wishes today! I hope you have a great day, Ava!!!

A Year Ago Today...

I receieved a phone call from Alex Thomas, Clinton School Director of Admissions, offering me a spot off of the waiting list in the Clinton School's fifth class. I was (a) Stunned. People actually get called off the waiting list?; (b) Excited by the propect of diving into this new adventure; and (c) Full of questions--for Alex, for my family, for my friends, for Dean DiPippa regarding concurrent law school enrollment. I remember telling Alex that I needed to sleep on my enrollment decision... for several nights. Conveniently, my niece's birthday was coming up, I would be heading home to celebrate and would get to talk and think things over.

Fast forward 12 months... I'm in Africa. Rwanda, to be exact. Been here over a month now. I guess you know what my decision was. Crazy, right?