This day was going to be spent mostly driving to Nyarubuye - close to the Tanzania border. However, some of the faculty members had a conference to go to, so we switched the days around. We will go to Nyarubuye on Sunday.
In the morning, we went to a crafts market. It was a small place - a few little green huts with hand-made souvenirs. I didn’t stay there too long, because Paul - one of the guides - was going to take me to a jewelry store. Paul had a really pretty silver Africa pendant around his neck. I really liked it and asked where I could buy one. He took me there in the morning. The jewelry store was a small room in a larger market.
The market specialized in selling cloth. The jewelry store didn’t have much on display, but the man working there looked at Paul’s Africa and told me he will make me a couple designs to choose from. I was to come back in a couple days. We went back to the market. I walked in one of the stalls and bought a bunch of souvenirs. We bargained and everyone was happy with their purchases. The next stop was a real market. It was something to see and experience. It was in the center of the city. Fenced and well organized, it housed many, many vendors. We walked in and some of our group members immediately started to take pictures. I found it quite offensive. I didn’t like the idea of taking pictures of people while they go on in their daily lives.
The market reminded me of one in my neighborhood in Poland. If someone walked in there taking pictures of people - it would not be received well. Very soon, a really elegant lady talked to our guide and asked for the pictures to stop. I, my roomy and another girl split up from the group and went separate ways. It was one of these moments that I really didn’t like to be in a group.
The market was organized by subject. The first stalls had fish and seafood. Later, it was fruit and vegetables, then beans, flour, sugar and such. Deeper in were clothes, shoes, toys, construction items, plastics, and at the end - there were special rooms with fresh, cut up meat. It was very orderly. The stands were very close together, so one had to squeeze by people constantly.
It is too close for comfort for most of the Westerners. I found the market fascinating. Again, I felt safe, not intimidated and I enjoyed the experience. No pictures from this place! But I will post a few pictures from Rwanda instead.
Beautiful faces of Rwanda
We had lunch all together at a nice restaurant with a spread of Rwandan food. The restaurant was outdoors, under a straw roof.
After lunch, some of us went shopping and roaming around town. A few others went to the conference. It was ALARM - a Christian non-profit organization working in Rwanda. I went to check it out. The participants were mainly attorneys and pastors.
There was a talk about Rwandan legal system and later Rick (our human rights guru) was talking about genocide - in context of history of the 20th century. He had a translator who did a great job until he heard who is to blame for all the wrongs. Rick said: MEN. Men? Yes. Men! Men??? It took him a while to translate it, but he finally figured it out. For us - the SMU related people - it was not a new idea. Rick often says in his lectures that men are to blame for most of violence in the world. He explains it in detail, too. After Rick, Pat was the next to tell her part. She is a faculty member of the theology department, so her part was more about the teachings of the Bible and about domestic violence. Both were good. This conference was a bit too religious for my taste, but we got to eat dinner with all the participants and talk. Gen and I sat with Bosco - one of the young staff members of ALARM. Again, I asked many questions on the politics of President Kagame. And again - the answers were pretty much all praises for the government, the president, the policies and the new initiatives. Impressed, again!
Beautiful faces of Rwanda