Toto we aren’t in Togo anymore…

This is my favorite picture from this last weekend. We have a pretty killer chameleon pic that will go up soon, but this picture captures our morning wandering the countryside. It shows the texture of the trees, the jackets and sweaters on the children and, yes, somehow it even manages to include a cow. How perfect a picture of Rwanda. After visiting a place that beautiful, I’m having a hard time adjusting back to Kigali life. It’s much warmer here, the dirt is all red (not black) and the shrubbery just doesn’t have the same green of life.

I took this picture with my zoom lens because I wanted to catch some kids before they began the “Mzungu!” shriek. They look so peaceful. Most kids wanted to have a conversation that went something like this, “Mzungu! How are you?”
“I am fine. How are you?”
“I am fine. What is your name?”
“Amy. What is yours?”
“Oliver…Give me a pen!”
“I don’t have a pen.”
“Give me a pen”
“I’m sorry. I have no pens”
“Goodbye”
“Goodbye”

The older kids would often skip the pen part, engage us in some interesting conversation about school and then ask us to give them “small money” to buy a dictionary or to help with school fees. I always enjoyed the conversations up to that point. I’m not yet to the point of culture shock where it bothers me to be asked for money. Mostly I was just sad for these kids who are growing up in such a tourist location (that area of the country is where tourists go to see gorillas). I’m sad that they are learning to use a request for money as a way to convince rich people that they can quickly fix problems.

Enjoy this picture this picture though 🙂 These kids don’t want money…they’ll just clean you out of pens

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3 Responses to “Toto we aren’t in Togo anymore…”

  1. so they just ask you for pens? why do they want pens? well it made me laugh and I realy like the pic.

  2. I guess tourists come and just give out pens sometimes. I don’t know why. Maybe because they are easy to carry and just about every person has one or two with them

  3. Gorgeous! The artist in me LOVED this pic! It’s beautiful!
    ‘Sorry Bren and I have been such slackers when it comes to writing. Nonetheless, you two are in our prayers!

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