What NOT to do
This is a good way to look like a stupid mzungu at a high school basketball game. Jacob can kind of get away with it since he’s the coach and he always shakes hands later with the people he yells at. (plus some people think he’s Jesus because of the beard) I don’t have any way to get away with it. The Jesus-thing won’t work for me and I think I look a little less spectacular when I yell.
American can yell at sporting events and people think it’s normal. Rwandans think you look out-of-control.
Chelsea is here! We’ve been best friends for forever and now we are actually living together. (That’s a little scary) But she’s here working on research for her masters paper and she’ll be here for a few months. Last weekend Robin and I visited one of her work sites with her. She started off explaining what she was wanting to do at the site. They (the people in charge) interrupted her and made her back up, greet, shake hands and then explain why she was there.
Americans just say “how are you?” if they feel like it. Rwandans begin nearly every conversation that way.
I don’t have a good third example…hmmmm, this will seem like an unbalanced post, but I can’t think of a third culture-point right now. Oh well. Just remember, don’t yell so much and make sure to begin your conversations with some pleasantries.