It has been about 3 weeks since I arrived here in Musanze, and though there is still a lot to adjust to, I am adapting, getting a better sense of my surroundings, and trying to pick up on the language. Last week I even had my first moto lesson! That’s right, I’m learning how to drive a motorcycle…in a third world country. For those of you who have never been in a vehicle in a third world country, let alone drive one…let me just tell you: it takes mad skills. I don’t know this from personal experience yet. Just observation. Neither S.J. (one of the other teachers) nor I have ever been on a motorcycle before, so Julie was very gracious to not only teach us how to drive one, but to let us do so on her motorcycle. Lesson number one took place on the grass, in the back yard, in first gear. So it didn’t take too bad of beating, but…we did have the opportunity to practice what to do if your motorcycle is on it’s side. What do you do when you turn a bit too wide and are headed straight for the end of the clothesline? You bail. Very gently of course.
Aside from learning important things like how to drive a motorcycle, how to walk on the dirt roads without tripping over large rocks, and how to eat the local fruit, I have also had some time to enjoy Rwanda’s beautiful scenery. Last Sunday, I went with a family to Lake Bulera (after first missing our turn and going to the Uganda boarder). We spent the afternoon relaxing by (and on) the water, which was surrounded by green hills and a view of one of the five Volcanoes here in Rwanda. This past Sunday I had another chance to explore as I took an afternoon ride (on the back of Julie’s moto) up to Kinigi, which is where the Volcanoes National Park “base” is. It was nice to drive outside of town and see some different scenery, including an up close view of Mt. Sabyinyo…one of my favorite volcanoes that can be seen from my house.
Ok, back to the fruit. So my first week here, I went to the Market to buy some fresh produce, including some of the local fruit. I purchased a few Japanese plums, as well as some passion fruit. I’ve heard of both of these before, but never actually seen or eaten them. Well, not really sure what to do with the passion fruit, I would admire them on my counter each day as I reached for a more familiar peace of fruit to eat. After a couple weeks of picking around the intimidating passion fruit which looks like an old shriveled up something that shouldn’t even be eaten by an animal, my collection grew to a good size. So on Saturday, I decided it was time to try one. Despite their strange slimy texture, I think I’m a fan of this tart, soupy fruit hidden inside of its lifeless outer shell.