29 May 2008

bye now

by Cecily
Everyone I know is moving across the earth!

Lindsay: headed to Australia on some kind of fancy PhD fellowship craziness. For FOUR YEARS!

My mama and stepdaddy: China! What?

And while it is less dramatic, since they sold my childhood home and moved overseas forEVER ago, still:

Daddy and stepmama: Bangladesh! (probably).

Good grief.

MEANWHILE

We're racing against the clock to put up another video before we get on a plane and are en route back to Constitution City.

See you around, Rwanda!

28 May 2008

hold steady please!

by Cecily
Today we accomplished many things. One of those things was not a vlog post. Or even a blog post. We are very sorry.

Instead we bought a lot of Fanta, and bought some banana beer, and bought coffee and maracuja juice and vegetables and milk, and picked up a box of flip-flops, and had lunch at the Embassy, and looked at offices in the Embassy, and admired the new building and many t-shirts of the Embassy.

Then we took the flip-flops and the Fanta to IFS and handed them all out, and handed out t-shirts and photographs and talked to many, many, many children.

Then we sat on the balcony and drank beer and complained about things.

Then we went out for a very delicious Indian dinner with my parents and Lindsay's running buddy Sraith, where we ate too much food and talked about how to start a fiscally rewarding cult without going to hell.

Tomorrow we don't have anything to do except pack and get on an airplane, so maybe you will get a better blog entry then. Don't hold your breath though, because I am notoriously unreliable and Lindsay is already a member of my new cult.

xoxoxo!
Cecily

27 May 2008

sorry

by Cecily
Today was a very boring day. Me and Lindsay sat in a room and worked. For ELEVEN HUNDRED HOURS.

We had to import video and compress video and print pictures and identify subjects and photograph drawings and sort t-shirts and groan and sigh and whimper and moan a lot.

Now we're done doing those things! We are watching Bugsy Malone. You'll get your Video Blog someday, just be patient please.

drawing of two hands, two stars, and a butterfly with kinyarwanda words

26 May 2008

the research is over

by Cecily
Are you guys SO EXCITED to find out all about our elicitation procedure? That's what I thought! I don't blame you; it's a pretty exciting procedure.

Our project is supposed to be analyzing phonological processes in narrative strings. Unlike my old project which was just supposed to be analyzing any old phonology. So, we had to think of a way to get these kids to produce narrative strings. We decided to give them little booklets to draw in and then have them tell us about the stories.

In conjunction with my explanation of this whole thing on the first day, I also demonstrated an example of drawing in a book and then telling the story to the camera. My example story was about me and Lindsay getting in a plane and visiting Rwanda and meeting a bunch of deaf kids.

That day, 60 percent of the stories were about Cecily and Lindsay getting in a plane and visiting Rwanda and meeting a bunch of deaf kids. It's a good story and all, but we were hoping for a little more variety in the subject matter.

So then I drew a different story, and so did Lindsay, and we used these as samples for the rest of the days. Our stories are awesome and it was very fun to watch each other get more and more dramatic and ridiculous as we practiced the stories more (and as the participants' ages lowered). Finally today we remembered to film ourselves throughout our explanation and demonstration and it is pretty funny. Lindsay's story is about herself drinking water and going swimming. My story is about a lonely fish and his friend the cow. They are both CLIFFHANGERS so I won't ruin the endings.

And as we hung around at the school and learned more and more about AKR, our tellings of our stories shifted to include more AKR words and fewer ASL words. So that at the end, the last day, today, we were doing what was probably a pretty study-worthy creole of our own design.

Anyway, now we are all done with the data collection and all we have to do now is compress, code, and analyze all of it and think of something interesting to say about it.

Instead of starting right away, though, we spent the evening sitting on the balcony drinking beer. We'll probably have another video up soon.

25 May 2008

that weekend was fast!

by Cecily
We will say more about it soon. Don't give up hope. However, the gist of it was that we drank a lot of beer at a party on Friday and we drank a lot of beer at the Hash on yesterday and we swam in a lake a lot today. Then we had to leap out of the water and rush to the car and drive like maniacs back to Kigali because we were on a tight tight schedule for this evening which includes (1) wine (2) cheese we bought on the way up to the lake and (3) Season 4 of the Wire.

So. As you can tell we are far too busy for you right now. Bye.

24 May 2008

wrap it up

by Cecily
Dear internet,

Well, we're almost done here. Time flies when you're sitting around on the balcony all day drinking drinks and staring at birds.

Our schedule until we leave is very full and demanding. Here let me tell you all about it!

Today we are reading books and drinking coffee. Then we will go souvenir gift shopping (list: masks. coffee. banana beer. Who wants what!? Email us!) This evening Lindsay will go run around with those crazy Hashers some more, and I will sit around in a bar and read some more. And then we will all sit around and enjoy some Mutzig.

Tomorrow. Well, to be honest, I don't exactly understand what the plan for tomorrow is, but it seems to involve driving somewhere and looking at some kind of wildlife and swimming in a lake.

We have one day left of data collection: Monday. So we have to make one more batch of booklets and do one more batch of booklet photography and one more drawing and filming session at the school.

We have Tuesday off (La Directrice: Je vous le donne, 'I give it to you' Us: um... oh! Oui! Merci! okay bye!). Wednesday is another Fanta Party. And Thursday we're out of here! Fin!

Then next I'm going to Minnesota. Africa isn't exciting enough for me; I need a vacation with some Midwestern rock stars. Get ready, Minnesotans!

Yours truly,
Cecily

23 May 2008

conversation

by Cecily
from one of our elicited stories

drawing of a goat and a cat. see d-link d

22 May 2008

Audiological identity

by Lindsay Ferrara
Utter sabotage- complete with beer. humph. I swear Cecily wants me to fail out of school // oh wait, HAHA, never mind.

“Oh she doesn't talk?”

What is interesting here, as the hearing person, is that I get all the comments about us signing.

Actually that is not true. What I get is, “So, she can't talk?” And with this question and in this situation I always freeze, like a Mutzig in the freezer*. How am I supposed to respond?!

My first thought is to say, “Yes, she can.” (However, this seems a bit like if I got pulled over for speeding in South Carolina and as he hands me a ridiculous ticket, the police officer asks if I have any questions and then I ask him how many seagulls are there on Hunting Island**.) It seems to me that they are actually inquiring about why we are flailing our hands about and that saying “Yes” will not actually answer their question even if it IS their question.

Cecily, I agree- discourse is confusing!

So...after an awkward silence to a seemingly simple question... I just continue to freeze. I think most of the time I just mumble my way through and smile. Who wants to get into a whole freaking debate about the difference between being Deaf and not being able to speak and why signed languages are important ...and....and.... who knows what else in the grocery line at the German butchery. I SURELY do not-- as you all must know by now, I have more important things to attend to—like going to watch the storks!***

No, Cecily's driving; LINDSAY must be deaf!

And recently, at the school (full of Deaf children) we have sort of, half way been in a bunch of conversations discussing why Cecily is driving and why I am not. As I try calmly to explain that it'd be better for society in general if I do not drive-- they get into their own arguments about who in fact is deaf and who in fact is hearing. Apparently the driving conditions these labels. Then we have to clarify, once again, Cecily is Deaf. Lindsay is not. Cecily is driving. Lindsay is not. END OF DISCUSSION.

Then they all ask for a ride.



* SOMEONE may have accidentally left 5 or 10 giant bottles of beer in the freezer after the dinner party last Friday. This may or may not have been the reason we were buying more beer at the German Butchery.

**This happened once. In my head only. Thus, I did not spend the night in jail.

*** and drink the beer!

mean!

by Cecily
over-the-shoulder view of a child drawing

Lindsay keeps looking at me sternly and telling me I am not allowed to bring any orphaned children home with me. She claims that it is illegal, and that the IRB would frown upon me. She always uses a very no nonsense tone of face so I will pay attention.

child and adult looking at a book

Come ON Lindsay. It's not like I would take ALL of them. Just a couple of the very small ones!

children at desks

Muzungumuzungumuzungu!

by Cecily
Sometimes it's hard to figure which rules I'm supposed to be following around here. (well. For me, it's always kind of hard. I'm not very good at even IDENTIFYING cultural norms, let alone obeying them with a facial expression conveying the appropriate attitude. A True Story: through most of high school I thought the expression "toe the line" referred to a situation where some authority figure drew a line and then the person subject to the authority refused to stay on their side, and instead kept toeing the line. Like "oooh look, I'm on your side! Now I'm not!" As in what you would do to your younger sibling in the back seat of the car. I thought when people praised someone for being willing to toe the line, they were admiring the independent streak in a willful disobeyer of silly rules. I was totally insulted when my mother said something about how I had never been willing to toe the line, at which point we got the whole thing straightened out. Down with line toers!)

Oh, my, that was a long and tedious digression. Let's start all over again.

Sometimes it's hard to figure out which rules I'm supposed to be following around here. Just about silly minor things, I mean. Like how many times you are supposed to kiss somebody on the cheek when you meet them (three) or whether I am supposed to hug or shake hands with what age of children (I do not know).

Here is one example: We're working in a big, just-built building at the school that houses a chapel and an auditorium-type-room. We're in the auditorium. This building wasn't even built four years ago, and had some external stuff left two years ago. But now it is up and running, and has electric lights.

We hadn't been using the lights, because we're only at the school between 2 and 4 in the afternoon and there's plenty of sun to run the camera. Also, I'm not positive, but my understanding is that the school has a generator that they can only afford to run three hours a day or so, which is kept for meals and dorm rooms after it gets dark (at six pm).

So, but, the other day it was very rainy. And surprisingly dark. And one of the teachers turned on the lights for us. This was good, and we would not have been able to film anything without it, but I had (and still have) no idea how big a deal this was. Maybe it was nothing. But I don't know enough about what kind of politeness expressions are expected to understand how to navigate this situation. If I am offered something, am I supposed to accept it? Or reject it? Is one rude and one not? Should I have rejected the lights? Did I use up all the kids' bedtime hanging out energy?

Often people will just do whatever I ask, because I asked for it and I'm from America. Even when I'm not trying to ask FOR something, I'm trying to ask IF something. If we turn on the lights, will that have a negative impact later? Too late, now the lights are on.

For another example, my parents were away (they will both be back today I think. Dad was in Capetown for some USAID thing and Nancy was at an EGPAF staff retreat) for the past few days. Lindsay and I were trying to figure out how to offer to Sam the Housekeeper that he take a day or two off if he wanted.

We talked about different ways to approach the subject but ended up just not doing or saying anything, because it seemed like any way we brought it up would get interpreted by Sam to mean that we were requesting that he not come. Which we weren't. Or that he would feel obligated to take time off whether or not he wanted to, because we had suggested it. This is why I don't like studying discourse: it's uncomfortable! I don't want that kind of power in a conversation! I'd rather just not think about it at all; that way I can pretend that everyone is equal and happy and loves each other.

It's kind of relaxing, to have my automatic main role out and about be OHMYGODTHEREISAWHITEGIRLRIGHTOVERTHERE!!!!! (in Kinyarwanda: Muzungu muzungu muzungu!!!!) and as such,not really be expected to know any of the local mores. I clearly don't belong to this country plus I keep waving my hands around all the time instead of talking: who knows WHAT I'll do next. But also that means no one will tell me what the mores are, even if I ask. I always get responses to questions in French, when I ask for translations to Kinyarwanda. No meta-discussion allowed!

***

(tangential other story about this topic: Laura and Lindsay were in France one time and after drinking a bottle of wine together at a cafe, decided to have one more glass before they left. The waiter was taken aback, but, you know, these crazy Americans, who knows why they ever do anything, so he took their glasses away and wrapped them up for taking home. Because they accidentally asked for the glasses themselves, not "glass" as a quantifier of wine.)

***

Lindsay and I have taken to yelling "Muzungu muzungu" whenever we see white people, too, now. That's what the LOCALS do! We're just trying to fit in!

Storks remind me of flamingos....except they hang out in trees.

by Lindsay Ferrara


This is my favorite tree in Kigali. It's next to the German butchery La Galette. (Let's think about this for a moment: a German store with a French name in Rwanda. Yes, I like it. Plus, they sell beer.)

21 May 2008

FAQ

by Cecily
1. Hey Cecily wanna meet me at Kramer's tonight?

Oh man I totally do but I am in Africa.

2. wtf?

yeah I'm doing research here. I'm in Rwanda. My dad lives here.

3. when are you gonna be back?

May 30!

4. well you wanna meet me at Kramers after you're back then?

Yes! Yes I do!

5. hey tell me more details about this "research" thing you mentioned

That is boring to me, but I will let you read a segment of our [APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!] IRB application.

6. oh okay

here you go:


Phonological processes in AKR:

This project will continue to investigate the phonological system of the signed language at use at the Institut Fillippo Smaldone (ISF), a residential school for deaf children in Kigali, Rwanda. Very limited documentation of this sign language has been published to date. This project undertakes to continue work towards a description of the language and its phonology, with a primary focus on phonological processes that occur during narrative signing. Conceptions of phonology and definitions of phonemes for signed languages and for all human language will be particularly affected by this research.

We are seeking IRB approval for a project documenting, describing and analyzing phonological processes in Rwandan Sign Language (Amarenga y’Ikinyarwanda: AKR). The main research questions for the project are: (1) What phonological processes occur in narrative production of AKR? (2) How do these processes compare and contrast to those documented in other signed languages? (3) Can generalizations be made about signed language phonology in general based on these results?

Banana Beer

by Cecily
bottle of banana beer on a table

a different kind of banana beer

two bottles of banana beer with ingredient labels showing

Tuesday night, 5:50-6:30

by Cecily

20 May 2008

trilingual

by Cecily
from the dinner party last Friday:

The guests were all Rwandan and everybody was speaking mostly French with occasional English or Kinyarwanda. Except me and Lindsay who were mostly signing with occasional English or French.

stepmother: ... so Lindsay is trilingual; she speaks English, French, and ASL.
Rwandan guest: Oh, so she's not an American then.

much hilarity and mockery of the United States ensued.

19 May 2008

Grog Vlog Deux

by Cecily
In which bottles are examined, beverages are consumed, faces are made, and dogs are encouraged to sing songs.



UPDATE: I seem to have edited out all the parts where we mention that this is the much-and-justly-maligned Banana Beer that we are trying to drink. Other non-banana types of Rwandan beer are very tasty and we are happy to drink them all the time.

Hash Run TWO: Nyambagogo.

by Lindsay Ferrara
Last saturday at 16:00, Cecily and I went to La Gazelle hotel and bar to meet up with the hashers again. We waited around for a few others to show up while we sipped on a Fanta (I still do not understand the appeal of drinking carbonated soda before an hour long run- but hey, when in Rwanda, run like the Rwandans... right?). It seemed this week would be a much smaller group, and it ended up being only two runners (Sraith and me) and two walkers (Egide and Peter).

This week's route was straight up and straight down a mountain. I'm not sure where the running was supposed to come in—but me and Sraith ended up walking most of the trail. Some would argue that this is because we are not in shape enough to run up a 90 degree incline for forty minutes. Humph. For argument's sake, we are that in shape. I, however, was focused on other things such as 1. not falling off the mountain and 2. of course, the baby farm animals. And above all else, we had to safely arrive back to drink beer. Priorities people! But, I have to say this crazy trail has won a place in my top ten runs of all time (joining the ranks of the harry potter run in England, the Clamart-Meudon run in France, the Uluru run in Australia, and the Central Park run in the US).

mountain and parking lot with mural

As we scaled “the hill,” we passed through a community of houses/ dwellings that could not be imagined in the US. Groups of children ran behind us laughing and letting me know that I was a mzungu. So, right, my dear children, so right. A few said “bonjour!” As we climbed, the houses became fewer, but they still dotted the landscape in the must unexpected places. How do they even build houses here?!

hill in Kigali

We passed by manioc patches and exotic flowers. A group a kids sat together under a tree staring at us as we passed by. A little later we'd realize we lost the trail. (The “trail” is marked by shredded paper from the embassy I'm told. How curious!) So, we headed back the way we came (just to let the kids stare again) and eventually found the trail again leading up some obscure path that was not there the first time.

At the top, we took a few minutes to enjoy our accomplishment: a view of all Kigali. It was stunning. Everything looked so far away and so peaceful...ridiculously different from the crowded chaos we'd left behind just a half hour before.

But all things that go up must come down. Remember, the beer was down there-- and Cecily, and ... beer. Our descent was fast. This was not particularly by choice. It was due to the fact that going down a 90 degree incline lends itself to gravitational pull... and falling. Sraith said if I fell off the mountain, he'd watch until I landed and mark the spot in his mind. Then he'd continue on to La Gazelle and get a Mutzig to bring back to me... how thoughtful!

Luckily however, and by some miracle of I don't know what, I did not fall. I did get distracted by a little really cute baby goat-- which again I did not pet, although the adults around could totally tell I wanted to. And there was a little child who held my hand for some ways down the mountain until someone told him to let go. I got petted a few times too-- felt like I was in Japan again. MZUNGU MZUNGU!

Lindsay and Hash runners drink beer

The beer was delicious and totally worth the run. I wish we could have stayed longer to hang out—but it was getting dark, and well driving in Kigali is scary enough as it is. Driving in the dark is just.. eh, let's all just give a round of applause to Cecily. She deserves it. So another successful run on Africa, hopefully I have time for a few more. One of these days I might get my lazy butt out the door on a non-hash run. We'll see....

18 May 2008

where we at

by Cecily
panoramic view of Kigali from my parents' balcony

moon in twilight over Kigali

If you have GoogleEarth installed on your computer, you can see my parents' house. It's at 1^57'38 S, 30^03'54.5 E

I used ^ instead of a degree symbol because I am too lazy to figure out how to make a degree symbol

I mean, I am too busy doing important things.

The school is at 1^58'44.5 S and 30^03'03.5 E

If you look right now maybe you can see us outside waving up at Big Brother! (and at you of course)

twilight Lindsay

just wait

by Cecily
we went to the Genocide Memorial Centre today, so now we're cranky and mad at the world. We're drinking wine on the balcony and complaining; we'll have something else to say tomorrow.

here's another movie of driving around, in the meantime

17 May 2008

16 May 2008

Will you be having pig or cow tonight with your Fanta?

by Lindsay Ferrara
It seems my friends that another Friday is upon us..which means another dinner party!! Woop woop! Sam has been cooking dead animals alllllll day (Sam: So Lindsay, if the people do not like pig then they can eat cow. Lindsay: okay, that sounds good Sam.), and we have a lot of beer and Fanta to hold us through the night. It should just be downright lovely. (oh- I made brownies ALL BY MYSELF.)

oh yeah! we did research today. However, someone forgot to mention that on Fridays everybody gets done early. So, after only an hour at the school all the kids and the teachers were making their way toward the door. Oops. This happened also to be the one day that we did not have a car. So we waited with some of the kids until someone picked us up. They were all very worried about the idea that we might be walking home. Or that we lost our car. And they were very very concerned that we did not have a cell phone. (I later found out, anyone who is anyone in Rwanda has a cell phone. Including, apparently, most of the deaf kids. Eh.)

It was fun. Yay for research! Yay for dinner parties!

15 May 2008

grog vlog

by Cecily
In reality, this post is not about grog. It is about beer.

Sam took us to buy more beer the other day. Because as it turns out, we drink a lot of beer. We went to the place I told you about before to buy it. And it was another exciting adventure.

d

14 May 2008

dog vlog!

by Cecily
at last!

d

ready set GO!

by Cecily
Lindsay and I are racing to see who finishes a blog post first. I should totally win because she is uploading a photograph and I am not. Except I keep getting distracted by emailing people and stretching and looking at facebook. I am the hare in this race and she is the tortoise.

We made and edited and captioned a VLOG yesterday but we're having some trouble getting it live. My attempts to upload to youtube kept failing (I think because it was a thunderstorm maybe). Then I put it on google video which worked, sort of, except it has said it is "processing" for like 10 hours now. I have never really uploaded any vlog before so I can't tell if this is normal or not. Should I try it again? Should I recompress the movie in a different whatever-it's-called? (um. I should know this word. ooh CODEC!) Is there a better program or website for uploading videos on a really slow African connection? People who know answers to these questions should share the wealth please.

Today was a fun research day. We had 6b: the second half of the sixth form. That means 15 year olds. They were awesome and told us a lot of ridiculous stories. Then we all watched the recordings we had just made on triple speed and laughed our heads off.

Then it started raining again, all sudden storm like. At the beginning of the drive home, all the people outside were running to get somewhere before it turned serious, and by the end of the drive home the streets were deserted. I've never seen so few people in the road. Lindsay suggested that maybe we should always drive in the rain, to make sure we avoid pedestrians. I said no because where's the fun in that? I suggested that she steer while I held the camera but she told me no. What a killjoy.

Ha! I win! See guys, never trust what you read in a book. Slow and steady got CREAMED by inconsistent and disorganized.

13 May 2008

this blog always gets an A++

by Lindsay Ferrara
okay- so we made a vlog about dogs. say that three times fast-- hah, for fun say it four! BUT, it is taking a very very long time to upload. (it is raining after all) So, y'all'll just have to wait. sheesh.

Today cecily and I bought beer, videotaped children, drank beer, made a vlog about drinking beer (although what you will see is mostly about dogs), and are now watching the hilarious comedy 'napoleon dynamite.' We just got to the part where Napoleon has a date and now he's shopping for an outfit. "That suit-- it's incredible." You know where we're talking about.

It's been a hard and trying day.

hopefully tomorrow if the technology gods are smiling upon us (and you know how much they smile at me) the vlog will be READY FOR BUSINESS!

a+


***

(note from Cecily: Lindsay wrote "a+" and I laughed and said it would be funnier if she gave herself a B+ instead. Then she explained to me that "a+" is trendy French slang. And also PHONOLOGY. It stands for " à plus" and that means "see ya later" if you're French.)

12 May 2008

day one

by Cecily
Nancy came home for lunch and then Lindsay and I took the car and dropped her off at work and then headed over to the school. Lindsay was excited to be driving around with me and she thought I did a really excellent job of driving and that it was not at all scary or threatening.

We were planning to spend a few hours at school. We didn't really know what we would be doing for those hours because nobody has been answering my emails lately. But we thought maybe discuss scheduling? And maybe start filming? We were prepared for anything.

Except we couldn't get in. We pulled up to the gate and honked, which is the standard way to announce your presence at a gate around here. Usually when I do that somebody opens up right away. Today, not so much.

So we waited a few minutes, and waved at the people who had gathered around the car to stare at us and yell "mzungu mzungu mzungu". and then we honked again. And still nothing happened.

Lindsay got out to peek through the bars and look for signs of inhabitants. She couldn't see any. We decided to go home and try again later.

Luckily, the "later" plan worked out well. We got let in and hung out with the directrice and agreed on a schedule and were paraded around to all of the classrooms. All the children hugged us a lot and spelled their names at us a lot and asked me where Emily was and told each other that Emily didn't come this time.

Those kids really love Emily!

The actual project starts tomorrow.


nuns and children playing outside

11 May 2008

school's out

by Cecily
Papers are all finished!

stay tuned for adventure.

sky and cityscape from the balcony at dusk

status report

by Cecily
Since Lindsay's run yesterday, here is what has been happening:

-dinner party
-wine
-Flight of the Conchords
-coffee
-Ultimate Frisbee (Lindsay)
-paper about word order and copying in ASL (Cecily)

Research starts tomorrow!


me and Lindsay smiling at each other at the dinner table

10 May 2008

introducing: LINDSAY

by Lindsay Ferrara
So- isn't it just super nice that Cecily let ME be a part of her blog awesomness? I think so. But, anyone who knows Cecily knows she's a rockstar like that. Ahem.

BACK TO THE POINT PEOPLE (although Cecily being a rockstar is a perfectly acceptable point in and of itself)... The impetus for this blogging debut is that I recently finished my FIRST EVER RUN ON AFRICA.

go ahead, take a moment to read that last part again-- I know I'm still adjusting.

For any of you who know me, you know I have a thing about running on all seven (it is seven right?) continents. And, now, thanks to Rwanda (and Cecily's dad), Africa has been checked off my list. And, I have to say, it was soooooo much better than my most recent running adventures in in Asia (China) and South America (Brazil). I was dealing with some things there that'd I'd rather not remember.... ::shudder::

Anyhooooo-- this afternoon, Cecily's dad took me to run with the Hash Harriers of Kigali. Interestingly enough, this was my first ever hash run too. It just keeps getting better. We met at a bar somewhere in the city (i'm not oriented yet) and then after a while, we set on our way. The course was about 6-8kms depending on who you asked, and the scenery was very new and exciting. Oh, and it was high. I don't remember the exact number but Kigali is way higher above sea level than DC...or Georgia. Oh and there were hills too. Usually I'm not a fan of hills, as some of you know, but today I just didn't mind it.

The weather was not too hot either, which was nice. We started off and were soon on trail/ road/ something that people walked along. Kids called out 'Mzungu mzungu!' and ran beside us. They were laughing. I decided to laugh too, because then it was like we were laughing together and not them at us. I saw chickens. I saw cows. I saw goats. YAY- farm animals! (I did not touch them however, b/c well 1. I was running and 2. i'd have to mark the 'yes' box on the American customs/ immigration form on the way back that asks if you have come in contact with farm animals-- and there's NO WAY IN &%*! that I'm doing that.)

The flour marked trail led us through fancy areas with big houses inside big gates and not so fancy areas where the houses (made of mud/ clay?) were small and very VERY "basic." We got odd stares often. "Why are those crazy people running," I imagined them saying to themselves. Hah, or maybe they did say it out loud-- my kinyarwanda is a bit lacking.

We finally wound our way back-- after an hour or so through fields and over creeks. What a lovely run--Full of people, and flowers, and animals, and...and...and I recommend it to any traveller to Kigali. Oh- and I found out there's a marathon tomorrow. The Kigali Marathon. Perfect timing right?! WRONG-- there's no way I could run a marathon right now-- crazy people. crazy talk.

Now, me and Cecily are drinking beer. She's been working too hard on a syntax paper. She probably needs beer more than me--but I never leave friends to drink alone. Plus, I need to celebrate my recent accomplishment. Now all I have left is Antarctica....

BRING IT!

Vortex!

by Cecily
My uncle's friendly neighborhood Aeronautical Engineer tells us about the airplane science:

My initial thoughts were that it was a pair of vortices coming off the engine nacelle or off the end of a leading edge flap (called a slat). This photo appears to have been taken at low altitude during takeoff or landing. You see only sky in the photo, no ground or horizon, so it was either at high angle of attack during a climb out after takeoff or was in a banked turn to the right either after takeoff or to maneuvering for a landing approach. Also, you generally only see a vortex in a high humidity environment, which is usually at low altitude. The vortex becomes visible only when you have condensation within the vortex as you do in a high humidity environment. The vortex motion drops the pressure and temperature within the vortex and the air becomes supersaturated causing the condensation.


He is right, it was during takeoff and landing. Both! On the flight between Addis Ababa and Kigali. The picture's from the landing takeoff part.

09 May 2008

we still haven't left the house

by Cecily
It's a little ridiculous. But I'm still not done with my homework.

I finished one of two papers and Lindsay finished one of ONE paper (Lindsay's a way smarter worker than me) so now we have to go out for Indian food.

Later I'll upload you a picture. But not right now, the internet is too slow and I am too hungry.

Update:

OKAY IT'S LATER!
hawks flying over Kigali

08 May 2008

not done yet

by Cecily
Lindsay and a computer on the couch

We didn't leave the house yet. Maybe tomorrow! Fingers crossed!

07 May 2008

nous sommes arrivées

by Cecily
Hey sciencey types. What is going on in this picture?

view out of an airplane window, with a weird vapor arc thing

It intermittently appeared for a long time during our flight from Addis Ababa to Kigali this morning. I've never seen anything like it before.

So we're here! Hi! Flight to Ethiopia was long. Ethiopia was full of thunder and lightning and rain. Rwanda is hot although I mainly stared blankly at things and then slept all afternoon.

Tomorrow: drinking coffee on the balcony; finishing my final paper; drinking coffee on the balcony; finishing my other final paper; drinking beer on the balcony.

later gators.