At least it makes a good story – Waiting in Rwanda

June 17th, 2010

Hello and welcome to another episode of The Thursday Blog; with chapters filled with excitement, pages full of adventure, and a movie that isn’t as good as the book.

Books – Stories – Segue (It is kind of a lazy link hey)

Today’s episode is called:

At least it makes a good story – Waiting in Rwanda

There was the time when I was in Rwanda. Sounds really impressive to start off a story like that and it was really impressive…… until the final day. We had had a really amazing trip, visited so many people, spoke and encouraged the youth, and put on a rock concert that 30,000 people rocked up to.

When I say rocked up to, that is exactly what they did. The start time was at 5pm but at that time only a handful of people turned up. We waited and waited for more people with no luck. Because the band didn’t want to start playing their set to no-one, they sent out someone to fill in and entertain. That is right. It was me.

There were a group of 30 kids that I asked to sit in front of me and I started to perform for them. Behind them there were a few rows of people standing up, so altogether there were about 600 people watching me perform to these 30 kids. Forty minutes later when I got to my finale (I am still impressed I got through forty minutes as I had no microphone plus I couldn’t speak a word of their language); things were a bit different. As I climbed the shoulders of a man, to juggle, I noticed that the few rows of 600 people had grown to a sea of 30,000 people all looking at me, enthralled in the show. I tried so hard not to drop what I was juggling!

See this is common amongst the African people. Not that they love FMD though I am sure they all do; but that they have a thing called “African Time”, which is anywhere between 20mins to 6hours later. For example, on the final night of our 3 week trip, we were invited out for dinner at a lovely local man’s house. We were told to be respectful so we had to be waiting in the hotel lobby at 8pm. Our whole group were there, slightly dressed up, standing around waiting. 8:30pm came and we were still waiting. 9pm came, and we were still waiting and starting to sit down with 2 of us on the chairs in the lobby, the other 12 of us on the floor.

Our group leader called our host. He said sorry and that he would be 5 minutes. I am not sure if the word ‘minute’ was mistranslated because 9:45pm came and we were still waiting. Conversation was slowing fading and we asked if we could go to our rooms and come down when he arrived. We were told in their culture it is respectful to be waiting ready. Did anyone tell our host that in our culture it was respectful to pick us no more than an hour late; or if it is longer than an hour to let us know so that we could do something more productive in the interim; like going on MySpace (it was 2005) or watching re-runs of MASH??

After our leader made another phone call we found out that he was just around the corner. This was good news except that the word ‘corner’ must also of been mistranslated as he ended up arriving at 11:30pm and was smiling like nothing was wrong. Well something was wrong – we had been waiting for 3 and a half hours for dinner.

We piled into the back of a mini van taxi whilst our group leaders went ahead in our dinner hosts car. We traveled 20mins down a straight road and then turned down a tiny street that was very long, and then it was a further 15 minutes until we finally arrived at the host’s house. We had a lovely dinner (thought it was more closer to breakfast), enjoyed some great company and soon it was time to leave. We had all forgiven and forgotten the whole ordeal. It turned out that our host was so happy to have us for dinner he had been frantically making sure everything was perfect, so much so that we were eating at midnight.

Exhausted yet happy we piled into the mini van taxi. The host was about to follow us out of the tight street so he could then get in front on the main road and lead us back to the hotel. We drove off but the host person didn’t. We got to the main road and waited. 5 minutes, then 10, then 15. We called our leader who let us know that our host had had to show them something and they were still at the house. The car’s happiness left quickly.

I had had enough so I piped up and said ‘we can just meet you back at the hotel’, only to be told ‘NO. You could get lost’. LOST!!!!!!! It was one straight road!!!!!!

We were told to stay and that they wouldn’t be long. I said to the other people in the car ‘let me guess, they will be five minutes because they are just around the corner’…!

There was no life lesson I got from this experience but oh well. At least it made a great story.

Have Fun


This entry was posted on Thursday, June 17th, 2010 at 9:48 pm and is filed under The Main Event!!!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “At least it makes a good story – Waiting in Rwanda”

  1. Demy Says:

    Dear Dan,

    I am receiving the THURSDAY blog on FRIDAY?? it too ma confusion me!

  2. Samw Says:

    Great story as usual! can’t wait for next Thursday! :)

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