26 December 2006

Merry holiday seasonal greetings!

by Cecily
Montana is cold, but rainy. Rainy and cold. So was Minnesota, come to think of it. I hate global warming and all the resulting global-freezing-raining.

Christmas around here involved a lot of piratical items, a lot of cookies, and a lot of eggnog. And, as always, a lot of me sitting around drinking coffee and reading murder mysteries. Hooray!

19 December 2006

planes, trains and automobiles

by Cecily
except really it's just planes, planes, and then some more planes. I just realized that due to dumb planning on my part, I am spending an entire month where I am never in one place for more than five days. That started on December 4th: I was in Florianopolis for 4 days and then at the beach for 4 days. Now I'm in DC for 5 days. Tomorrow I leave for Minneapolis, for 4 days, and then Missoula for 5 days and then Minneapolis again for 4 more days.

I'm feeling kind of panicky about it all, I would like to just take a nap now. Or a bath! But I can't take a bath, because it hurts my sunburn too much.

This is the worst sunburn ever. On my back. It is from one whole week ago and it is now all disgusting and peeling all over me and sometimes bleeding a little bit. Was that more information than you really wanted? Sorry. At least you don't have to look at it and feel it like I make all my real-life friends do.

Anyway. Do you live in Minnesota? Call me! I'm coming to see you tomorrow!

15 December 2006

back in the USSR. I mean the USA

by Cecily
I'm home. I'm very, very tired. Goodnight.

14 December 2006

au revoir, Brazil

by Cecily
I'm in the airport at Sao Paulo. I am very tired and bored of standing in lines. Also my back hurts. Also it hurts even more than usual because it is sunburnt to a crisp. And so is Lindsay. I am a real trooper though and I have barely even complained once. Lindsay, however, complains ALL THE TIME.

Ha ha! Really, I was just kidding. Nobody around here complains EVER.

I will arrive in Miami at some ungodly hour of the morning and then arrive in our nation's lovely capitol at 10. Rock and roll!

07 December 2006


by Cecily
Well I'm in Brazil. It is very pretty and the coffee is delicious. The keyboard is a tiny bit different but it's enough to make typing things tedious. And we all know how I feel about tediousness*, so I probably won't type that many things on the internet.

I am in the city of Florianopolis on the island of Santa Catarina. It's kind of rainy around here but warm and summery. And also there are lots of Christmas decorations which is disorienting for me.

My conference is very interesting and I am practicing all kinds of languages, but mostly I am practicing spelling things in British Sign Language which is tricky but fun. Also I learned how to say "coffee", "milk", "sugar", "yes" and "no" in Brazilian Sign Language, which are mostly the only words I really need. As soon as I learn "beer" I will be all set.

*I am opposed to it.

04 December 2006


by Cecily
aerial photograph of Florianopolis, Brasil

29 November 2006


by Cecily
tourist visa to Brazil

27 November 2006

are you holding your breath?

by Cecily
Step 472 of the 589-step process for Getting a Tourist Visa to Brazil has been completed.

How many steps does that leave? I don't know, I'm not a math major. Too many! All I know is, I'm only going back to the embaixada do Brasil ONE more time. And that's final!

Unless they tell me I have to come back again. Then I will, because I am a sucker for a well-dressed government employee. Particularly if it's not my government.

Stay tuned for step 473.

22 November 2006


by Cecily
Halloween was a very long time ago, I know. So much the better. Now you aren't all exhausted and bored of looking at peoples' costumes all day.

The devil costume was hard to capture in one frame. It mostly consisted of horns and a tail and pointy eyebrows.

And some blue suede shoes.

Then there was apple bobbing. Kitty bravely went first.

and the Devil even took his horns off to compete; he narrowly beat out Kitty's score of some number of seconds, only to be immediately trounced by Alyssa and her whole-body immersion technique.

Then we all went back to drinking beer (everyone) and changing costumes a lot of times (me).

Here is me being a cowgirl and Laura being a bound morpheme. You can tell I'm a cowgirl because I am wearing not only cowboy boots and a super-authentic cowboy hat, but also because I am wearing the traditional cowgirl outfit of black lace tights, a black miniskirt, and a black tank top.

You can tell Laura is a Bound Morpheme because she has sparkly chains all around her and her shirt says -ish. This is a hilarious joke to me and my hilarious linguistics-student-friends, and we don't care if nobody else thinks we are funny.

Here are my two best jobs of costume-making: Flamingo and Venus Flytrap.

These are good costumes, but the best part of the picture by far is Lindsay's face. AAAAH! It's a scary plant with teeth!

20 November 2006

I'm back!

by Cecily
I hope.

So, I had a big Halloween party for Halloween, but I didn't take any pictures of it. Some other people did so hopefully I will have lots of visual aids soon. I made some excellent costumes for other people and I changed my own costume every hour on the hour.

Here's what the costumes I made for other people were:
1. Flamingo
2. Venus Flytrap
3. Devil in Blue Suede Shoes
4. Mariachi guy
5. Bound Morpheme

Here's what my costumes were:
1. Big Giant Head
2. Witch
3. Princess
4. Cowgirl

Also at that party we had Bobbing For Apples which was Alyssa's idea. And she won, by diving headfirst into the bucket up to her shoulders. If you ever need lessons in how to win at apple bobbing, Alyssa is your man.

Then I went to New Mexico and was all grown-up and conferency. And played with my friends and a kitten. And ate a lot of foods with green chiles in them which are delicious.

Now I'm back in good old Washington DC, where my cat is friendly and adorable and my bedroom is a disaster zone and my homework is not done.

I have 2 weeks before leaving for Brazil. I got a new passport which I needed because my old one was going to expire next May and Brazil is cranky and requires 6 months of validity AFTER your trip ends. Plus a lot of other things, like proof of hotel reservations and a reason to be in the country and your mother's maiden name and your shoe size in both European and American measurements.

And a visa. Which I don't have yet. What? Last-minute? Poor planning? Nonsense! I still have TWO WEEKS, which is enough time for anyone to accomplish anything.

04 October 2006


by Cecily
Dear Internet,
I didn't forget about you. Well, I kind of forgot about you. Mostly though I just have other things to do.

Here is an interesting thing that happened in my life recently: lots of interpreting all at the same time! A group of educators and students from Vietnam visited my school. (I think they are still visiting really.) Some of them are Americans, one hearing and one Deaf, who set up a Deaf Ed program in Hanoi. Some of them are Deaf Vietnamese students from that program. One of them is a hearing Vietnamese woman who runs the high school. And a bunch of them are other Education Ministry officials from Vietnam. And one guy from Japan I think, although I'm not totally sure why he was there.

Anyway they all came to one of my classes last Monday to observe Deaf Education in Action. That class has one professor and five students. And on Monday we also had 10 plus visitors and two ASL interpreters. So we all shared some information about ourselves and it went like this (for example):

1. Cecily (ASL)
2. interpreter (ASL to spoken English) and
interpreter (ASL to Vietnam sign language)
3. interpreter (English to spoken Vietnamese)

then for a reply (for example)
1. Vietnamese official (spoken Vietnamese)
2. interpreter (spoken Vietnames to English)
3. interpreter (English to ASL)
4. interpreter (ASL to Vietnam sign language)

1. Deaf Vietnamese student (Vietnam sign language)
2. Interpreter (Vietnam sign language to ASL)
3. Interpreter (ASL to English)
4. Interpreter (English to spoken Vietnamese)

Sometimes there were shortcuts. Like straight from Vietnam sign language to spoken Vietnamese. Then everyone would have to back up to make sure all the languages got their turns in. Or sometimes more than one step happened at once. Like simultaneous Vietnam sign language to ASL and to spoken Vietnamese. Or simultaneous ASL to spoken English and Vietnam sign language.

Those conversations took a long time! It was very fun and interesting. And the school program in Vietnam that these guys are running is super impressive. American Deaf schools could learn something from them.

17 September 2006


by Cecily
I'm far too busy for the likes of the internet.

Here's one thing I've been doing: painting

painting by Cecily Whitworth

Also, homework.

More homework than painting.

I'm going to Brazil in December with all my linguisticky friends and professors. Whoo hoo! South America!

So, more homework for me. Bye.

02 September 2006


by Cecily
screenshot of an email; see d-link for contentd

So that's pretty terrifying. I don't know how to give a presentation! To a bunch of actual grown-up linguists!

I guess I am about to learn.

Do you think I have to use a PowerPoint? I really hate PowerPoint. I feel about PowerPoint approximately the same way I feel about Starbucks, the word "blog", Disney, and Times New Roman. Well grow up Cecily! It's time to live in the future!

Anyone who lives in Albequerque, now is the time to buy me drinks. Or November is, anyway.


In other news, my cat is EXTREMELY good at playing fetch now. And my rubber-band-shooting skills are improving rapidly as well.

27 August 2006

too much fun

by Cecily
I have been doing all sorts of exciting things lately, so I haven't been very motivated to type things on the internet.

One of the exciting things I've been doing a lot of is drinking beer with my attractive and intelligent friends.

Lindsay, Julie, and Cecily on the way home

Another thing I have been doing is making lots of skirts to wear. And painting some pictures, and playing fetch with my cat.

My uncle taught my cat to play fetch this summer. It is hilarious and adorable.

I spent a lot of time while I was in Montana looking for videos of "The State" to beg, buy or steal. I couldn't find any! I have a couple of very old tapes but I want more, and there are none to be had. I looked on eBay and everything. No one could help me.

Except YouTube! I love YouTube.

They are not captioned but I don't even care since I have them all memorized anyway.

If anyone has any more videos of The State please share them with me!

21 August 2006

Say Goodnight, Gracie

by Cecily
New York was fun.

If you are ever trying to meet up with an old friend of yours in Brooklyn and you happen to be on the corner of Meserole and another street, you should be sure to find out if you are on Meserole Avenue or Meserole Street and make sure everyone else knows too. That's my advice to you.

Otherwise you are likely to have a weird and creepy conversation in which both parties claim to be standing outside on the southwest corner of Meserole and Lorimer (for example) and yet clearly, you are not both standing on that corner, unless one of you has somehow leapt into another dimension or an alternate reality from which you can still text message each other even while being invisible.

It turns out that Brooklyn stupidly has two different streets named Meserole, and they run parallel with each other and intersect all the same streets, but are a mile and a half apart. Stupid.

After a weekend of looking at art and eating food and talking to people I like, Kate and I finally got back to Washington at 11:00 last night. Kate had to leave for Reagan at 4:00 this morning, so I didn't get much done today, because of being asleep. Hopefully tomorrow will be jam packed with productivity and usefulness on my part. For now, I'm going to bed. I've been awake almost 10 hours! Far too long for someone as delicate and flower-like as I am.

Good night.

15 August 2006

staying in one place is for sissies

by Cecily
I'm in Billings now. I head back to the east coast bright and early tomorrow morning. I am pretty excited to go to the airport at 4 in the morning. My plane doesn't leave until 6:30, but the airport security in Montana is unreal. Getting into the airport takes far longer and the procedure is far more thorough than in any big cities where terrorists actually go. Everyone has to wait at the ticketing area until all of their checked luggage is x-rayed and often opened, in front of you, so you can explain anything that looks suspicious. Then you go through the insanely sensitive metal detectors and have to open all your carry-on luggage.

That was back before water was explosive and you could even have carry-on luggage. I feel extremely apprehensive about having to fly all day with no water and nothing to read. Hopefully that aspect of the Heathrow regulations went unnoticed by the Billings authorities. But I doubt it.

So, I have a long layover in Minneapolis and I'm having brunch at the Day By Day. That is going to be a delicious treat in the middle of my dehydrating plane experience. I hope they still let me out of the airport, because otherwise I'm going to be crying in the bathroom for 4 hours.

Then Thursday my favorite friend Kate is flying to DC to have a fun-filled weekend with me. And it turns out that my other favorite friend Chris Koza is going to be playing some music in New York City this week. So Kate and I are taking the Chinatown bus up there on Friday to mingle with famous rock stars and look stylish.

Chris is playing two shows to my knowledge, with his super awesome bandmate Pete. They are both extremely attractive. And talented. And generally wonderful. And good at climbing trees.

Chris Koza and Pete Sieve in a tree

One show is Wednesday at Banjo Jim's and the other is Sunday at the Rockwood Music Hall. Everyone should go see them and buy their CDs and compliment them on their haircuts.

Then on Sunday I will go back to Washington and think of useful ways to spend my last week of summer vacation and read murder mysteries and drink beer instead. It's gonna be great. Call me if you want to drink beer with me.

11 August 2006

Safety First!

by Cecily
My stepdad and my brothers were teaching Hunter's Safety all week. Today I helped out by being the Cranky Landowner during the field course. I was very good at this job because I excel at crankiness.

All the little 12 year olds with their big guns on their backs would come up to me and say "um, excuse me, we would like to hunt on your land" and I would say "No. Go away."

Then I would make up whatever other cranky things I could think of. Which was a lot. "Don't you think you're a little young to be out here without your mother?" "That's disgusting! Eating meat is unhealthy and wrong!" "You're going to shoot who? Bambi? That's terrible! What's wrong with you children nowadays?"

Eventually I would let them convince me to say yes, (often after making them do fake chores like pretending to water my garden) and they would go off to the next station.

In between groups I drank coffee and read the Atlantic Monthly. What a great magazine. This newest issue has an article about Presidential Doodles. (Doodling as in drawing on your papers during a meeting. Don't be gross.) It turns out that Eisenhower was a pretty good draw-er. And weirdly, so was Ronald Reagan.

They didn't show any of G. W.'s drawings. I cringe to think what they might look like.

G. W. Bush. There is a guy who could use a hunter's safety class. Never point your weapon at a person!

07 August 2006

Guns, Relatives, and Beer

by Cecily
I spent yesterday afternoon shooting guns at things. By "things" I mean "targets and little plastic boxes".

My stepdad took me out to the shooting range in East Missoula. It is right next to the brand-new Something Golfing Community, which is pretty fancy. They have two fake waterfalls and a lot of expensive development housing. The shooting range is not so fancy. In fact it is not fancy at all. I was going to take pictures of myself wielding arms, trodding around on empty bullet shells, and looking tough, but I forgot to recharge the batteries in my camera.

Before yesterday I had only ever shot a rifle. Yesterday I tried out some other kinds of guns. A bigger rifle, a smaller rifle, a shotgun, and two pistols. My favorite was the thirty-ought-six rifle which is the biggest one and the one I was best at. Probably because I used a stand. It was my favorite even before I learned the name of it and got the Tom Waits song stuck in my head.

The best comment of the day was after I was shooting the .357 Magnum when my stepdad said "that was your grandmother's gun."

As it turns out, I am a very good shot. So I'm all ready for the Revolution to begin.

Next, we stopped by the brewery to get some growlers filled. If you are not from the wild west like me, you may not know about growlers. Or maybe you do. Do they have growlers in other regions? Please inform!

A growler is a half-gallon bottle of beer. You can bring back empties and get them filled at a brewery. My favorite brewery is the one that makes Moose Drool, but they were closed because it was Sunday so we had to go to a different brewery instead.

When we got back to the house my aunt and my cousin were there. They had just finished up a week at bagpiping camp in Coeur d'Alene. My aunt is the boss of the camp. My cousin was taking drumming classes.

Then my sister and her boyfriend showed up. They are en route from Richmond (Virginia) to some island west of Seattle where they are going to live in a cabin and work on a farm. So we all sat around and drank some beer while Jamie practiced his practical-joke handshake buzzer toy on us.

Suddenly my stepdad's cousin and his girlfriend were in town! So they came over too. It was a pizza-beer-and-relative festival. Some of us went to ride on the carousel, and some of us went to the Old Post for a pitcher of Moose Drool. Then all of us went to bed. And today, there are no more relatives at all, except me. We are having ribs tonight. My stepdad just started up the smoker and there is fresh homemade barbeque sauce in the refrigerator.

And beer!

05 August 2006

dancing stick people

by Cecily

This is a work in progress. The music is "Drum Trip" by Rusted Root. I don't have anyone's permission to use it. The video clips are from Kigali, Ruhengeri, the road between Kigali and Butare, Akagera, and Volcano National Park (Rwanda) and Stone Town, Chumbe Island, the west coast, and the ocean between the coast and Chumbe Island (Zanzibar). I made the dancing statues on Photoshop, iMovie, and Quicktime Pro.

31 July 2006

...still home on the range...

by Cecily
I'm going to Missoula tomorrow. For a while. Then I'll come back here. Then I'll go back to Washington.

I learned a new word from my highbrow murder mysteries. The word is "hortatory". The context was Miss Silver uttering a slight hortatory cough.

According to my grandfather it comes from the same root as "exhort" and means "something to do with someone trying to convince someone else of something."

That is my own paraphrase, my grandfather generally has fewer words starting with "some" in his sentences.

Reading murder mysteries is very educational and not at all a waste of my time.

I have to go get another cookie, bye

27 July 2006

home on the range

by Cecily
Hello! I am at my grandparents' house in Billings, Montana. I expect to not be doing anything noteworthy for the next three weeks, unless you think reading murder mysteries and eating potato chips is noteworthy. Which I don't, and I am always right.

So I probably won't be typing very much on the internet. Have a nice rest of the summer!

23 July 2006

bon voyage Cecily!

by Cecily
I'm leaving for the airport in 1 hour. I fly to Addis, then have a long layover there. Then fly to Dulles (via Rome, but you can't get off the plane in Rome they just refuel or change the crew or something).

And I'll be in DC tomorrow morning. After travelling for close to 24 hours.

Then I'm leaving again for Montana on Wednesday.

So. Bye Africa! Hello United States!

21 July 2006

home stretch

by Cecily
I went over to the school yesterday for a going-away party for me. There was no Fanta this time. Once was enough of the Fanta adventuring. It was not quite as exciting, without all the Fanta, but it was still as much fun. Although some parts of it were kind of weird.

First we all sat around and talked. Then the head nun told one of the kids to start drumming and some other kids to start dancing. We were all sitting on benches in a big circle on the playground, and one kid at a time would go into the middle of the circle and show off. Mostly only the little ones were doing this. Some of them were doing Rwandan dance moves but most of them were doing MTV-style dance moves. Some like from boy bands, some like Britney Spears, and one really good Michael Jackson moonwalking routine.

Then, the older kids did some skits for me. They were of bible verses. The first one was the Good Samaritan and the second one was about how Jesus teaches the little children to say Our Father and makes the blind see and the deaf hear.

That was a little strange. But all of the students were very hammy and melodramatic so even while it was strange, it was extremely funny.

Then some big girls did a dance. Then they made me dance with them. Then there was a dance party. Everybody danced! Even the nuns. All of us were bouncing around and twirling each other and doing Rwandan and Britney and MJ dance moves, while another nun played a very loud big drum. That was pretty great. And sweaty. But mostly great.


Now I am in my final two days and I'm starting to get all panicky about travelling.

I really hate leaving places. Once I am at the airport or in the car or whatever, then I'm fine. But the building-up part where I am supposed to be doing all kinds of constructive things, that really stresses me out. And my reaction to stress is generally to really want to take a nap all the time. I'll deal with it later! Not conducive to packing.

But, I am mostly packed now. Everything is crammed into my two gigantic suitcases. I'm sure when I arrive, all of my belongings will be covered in coffee and tea, because by the end of the packing I hated it so much I stopped wrapping things carefully in plastic and instead just shoved things into wherever they would fit. Whatever. Both of those things smell good.

P. S. If anyone in D. C. was really desperately hoping they could pick me up at Dulles on Monday morning, do I have a treat for you! Email me.

19 July 2006

puppets and masks

by Cecily
When my brother was here last year, or whenever it was that he was here, he bought a carved wood mask. There are a lot of masks around here in all of the little tourist shops and they are all pretty attractive, so the fact that my brother bought one is not very interesting in and of itself. However, this mask that he bought is still here. It lives in the stairwell to the basement, right next to the 200-pound bags of dog food. The reason it is still here is that there does not seem to be any feasible way of transporting it back to the United States. The reason for that is that it is the same size as me.

Cecily in a huge mask

Apparently the plan is that whenever my parents decide to move away from this country, they will pack the mask along with them. So Ben can have it back at some undetermined point in the future. He asked me to take it back for him as my carry-on but I politely declined. I don't think it will fit in the overhead compartment. Plus I have too much of my own stuff to bring.

When I came here I brought two enormous suitcases and one small regular-size suitcase. Both of the enormous ones were full of things that were not mine. Emily had collected a lot of clothing to donate to the school, and school supplies and toys, and my mom had also collected a bunch of school supplies, and my dad had requested a bunch of weird items that you can only buy in the US. Like patching plaster, which I bought, but left somewhere in my bedroom in DC.

The result of that is that I have PLENTY of room to buy things and bring them back with me. And I have been doing a good job of it. I'm pretty sure I will have both of those enormous suitcases full of things. Mostly it is presents for other people. Most of the number of items, that is. Most of the volume is a present for me, and it is maybe the best present I have ever received. My dad and Nancy gave it to me.

life-sized Rwandan statues

Now that I don't have any fieldwork to do for my research project, I have been spending all of my time on analysis and transcription of the data. And reading instructive nonfiction and classic literature.

Just kidding. I've been spending all of my time making a stop-animation movie of those stick people dancing around. It is very fun. I love Photoshop. I hope you are all extremely excited to see the end result.

16 July 2006

15 July 2006

Presidential news

by Cecily
The reason I went to Akagera was that my dad had to go to a PEPFAR retreat. PEPFAR is "President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief". There were lots of doctors and epidemiologists and nurses and other people. They had "sessions" all day and while I was invited to attend, I somehow was way too busy doing other things. Like painting my toenails.

I magically did have time to sit around with them in the evenings and drink refreshing beverages. I learned some interesting things during the dinner table conversations as well. Last night the new head of the CDC in Rwanda and the organizational boss of the retreat got into a battle about breastfeeding. I'm not super clear on the argument strategies that came into play, but I know that at one point the CDC guy was backing up his case by citing statistics about how many women have three nipples. Or more!

These PEPFAR guys are a riot, I tell you.

It was very fun.

One thing that I was really looking forward to about this trip was the baboons. Everyone I met who had been to this park before told me "watch out for the baboons!" and then they would tell me a story about a baboon doing something rude and obnoxious. Like stealing your sandwich or breaking into a conference room and eating all the dried condensed milk substance. Everyone said that the place was overrun with baboons! They are such a menace! Make sure you roll up your car windows and close your bedroom door all the way!

I thought the idea of baboons running wild in the hotel was pretty great.

But, too bad for me, Former President Bill Clinton is in Rwanda this weekend. Plus some other famous and important people, like Bill Gates and some CNN reporters and a big-name Harvard AIDS book writer man. The Bills did not arrive before I left, but the other people were there already. I didn't recognize them, or know who they were, but all of the PEPFAR guys were very excited.

I still don't really know who they are.

Anyway, because of all the impending fanciness, the hotel had taken extreme measures against baboons. I think they hired a bunch of local boys to chase the baboons away with sticks. Whatever they did was effective, I didn't see any baboons at all until we drove off of the hotel grounds and into the park this morning.

I saw a lot of baboons in the park, plus more animals:
Water Buffalo

and some others I think. We followed elephant tracks for a while but we did not see any elephants. And we didn't see any zebras, because the zebras live too far away and we had to leave early before the roads would be blocked off because of Bill Clinton.

There's some kind of model prototype hospital clinic thing going on near the park. The Harvard AIDS writer guy was involved in that. Or started it, or is running it, or something. And Bill Clinton came to look at it, and then to stay in the hotel. The same hotel I just stayed at!

So, the whole way back to Kigali I kept having to pull way over to the side and roll up my windows because all these huge police trucks and SUVs with tinted windows and buses and other fancy cars kept speeding past me going the other way. Motorcades like that on windy dirt roads are really annoying; they would get past and it would take practically 500 hours before the dust settled again. Good thing that car has air conditioning or I might have died.

Now I'm back in my parents' house, fooling around and doing nothing in particular. I guess I should compress some more video. I'm hoping my dad will come back from the office soon so we can go out for Indian food. Mmm, mutter paneer!

13 July 2006

More travelling adventures

by Cecily
I'm driving to Akagera this afternoon and staying there until Saturday. Again, internet access is unlikely.

Zanzibar was excellent. If anyone is looking for a quick getaway to the opposite quarter of the globe, I highly recommend it. I went snorkling and looked at colorful fish and ate Indian food and Zanzibari food and Italian food. And gelato!

So, adieu once again, until Saturday. Have a good weekend!

12 July 2006

06 July 2006

vacation squared

by Cecily
Apparently, I am going to Zanzibar tomorrow.

"Tomorrow" means Friday afternoon of my world. My plane leaves for Nairobi at 2:00 Kigali time. Which is 8:00 am in Washington, Boston, New York, etc. And 7:00 am in Minneapolis and St. Paul. And 6:00 in Missoula and Billings. And 5:00 in Portland and San Francisco and LA. I could keep listing cities but you probably are already annoyed by the whole thing.

Time zones confuse me. I have to think very carefully about the earth and rotation and geography before I ever can remember if I am ahead of or behind people.

Now it's easy, I am ahead of everyone. Except maybe not Japan and Singapore.

Anyway, last weekend when we were hanging out at the Embassy like we always do, because we are so tight with the ambassador, there was some other guy there that my dad knew.

There were more than one other guys that my dad knew. But I am just talking about this one specific one. His name is Gary. He's from Montana. He was working in Kigali at USAID two years ago when my parents got here, but now he doesn't live here anymore. You might think there would not be that many people from Montana who have worked at the USAID mission in Kigali, but you would be wrong. Just like you might not think there would be that many people from Montana at the Linguistics department at Gallaudet University. But you would be wrong again.

Back to Gary. He doesn't live here anymore. BUT, he was back for a visit and while we were all hanging out on the lawn at the ambassador's house, Gary mentioned that Kenyan Airlines is having some kind of blowout sale on trips to Zanzibar.

Or something.

All week there was much tentative planning and hemming and hawing and not much decision making. Until finally today, we have plane tickets!!!! And at least one hotel room for one of the nights.

My dad and I are going for no reason. Except to get extra stamps on our passports and go swimming in the ocean. I'm super excited to go swimming in the ocean. It's going to be warm and picturesque. I can't wait. I love swimming in the ocean.

We'll be back on Tuesday. I don't really have a clear conception of what internet access in Zanzibar is going to be like, plus I probably won't have time anyway because I'll be so busy swimming and looking picturesque on the beach.

THEN, the day after we come back, Wednesday, we're going to Akigera. It's a national game park. This one doesn't have any gorillas but they have other things. I don't even care anyway because I already saw gorillas, that is so old news to me.

So we'll hang out at that other park for a few days and come back to Kigali on Saturday. I think. I have no idea what date that is, the 16th? Something close to that. As of tomorrow I am all done with my actual official research. I might do some kind of make-up sessions the week after next but I doubt it. I will probably have too much else to do, like watching Law & Order and drinking beer.

Just kidding. I already watched all the Law & Order. Now I'm on the first season of Lost.

SUMMARY: I am going on a fun adventure. I don't know if I will have internet access. Don't be scared if I don't write anything on the internet. If I do have internet access, I will write things. And everyone who has internet access themselves should write me emails so when I finally have internet access again I will feel popular and in demand.

Okay, time to go be fancy with some Germans! Auf wehedersehn!

04 July 2006


by Cecily
I had the day off today, but it isn't because I'm American. The 4th of July is apparently a holiday of some sort for Rwanda, too. It's Liberation Day. It's the anniversary of when the RPF finally took Kigali back, "ending the war".

For reasons of which I am not aware, the Americans celebrated the 4th of July on the 1st of July. We all went over to the Ambassador's residence and wore patriotic clothing and ate hamburgers.

Confusingly, the 1st of July is also a holiday in Rwanda, and it is called Independence Day.

So the American Independence Day, which is July 4th, was celebrated on the Rwandan Independence Day, which was July 1st, while Rwandan Liberation Day is celebrated on July 4th, but not the American Independence Day because that was already celebrated on Rwandan Independence Day.

On none of these days did anyone light any fireworks. So I really don't see the point.

Anyway, for these reasons, I had the day off.