We all live together (a lot of the permanent staff + us) in a little compound about a mile and a half up the road from GHI's office/farm. The house has eight separate bedrooms but currently there are 10 people living there (and visitors coming and going often). Hannah and I are sharing a room with bunk beds that we find very comfortable! The house is spacious, clean and has all of the necessary amenities like running water, reliable electricity, a gas stove, etc. Everyone tends to gather out back in the grotto area, just off of the kitchen (Hannah included a picture in one of the last posts). Here, we eat our meals, catch up, and lounge. There is a bit of a strange dynamic in that the people we live with are the same people we work with, so it is a little hard to completely separate the two from one another—but then again, this work is pretty hard to remove yourself from, no matter where you live. Luckily, everyone gets along great and enjoys each other’s company but also knows how to get away and tend to their personal needs—whether that’s meditation, yoga, a morning run, hanging out with other friends, etc. Tomorrow night we are going to have a South African themed barbeque (a braai??) out back because we have a guest visiting from Cape Town—should be fun!!
We also like to do fun things together as a house like go out to Chinese food and bowling, as we did on Sunday night. Yes, I said bowling! But before I get ahead of myself, a bunch of us from the house plus a few guests went out to a really delicious Chinese restaurant called…well we actually don’t know what its called but everyone calls it Four Characters because the signpost/menu has four Chinese characters on it. Yep. Hannah almost had a heart attack when she saw that they had a scallion pancake on the menu and, even though it took a little longer than everything else, it was uber delicious and doughy.
After that, we all piled in the truck and went over to Mamba Club which a bar/fun park/resort/bowling alley. You can pay 1000 francs ($1.50) to have access to all of the fun things like the trampoline, ping pong table, swimming pool, and jungle gym and/or you can pay 3000 francs ($5) to play a round of bowling—which was so nice. We played in two teams, Middlebury vs. GHI, and although we had one more person on our team, we unfortunately lost. While we would like to think it was because our lane was slightly tilted, it probably because they were just better. Perhaps the best and most hilarious thing about bowling at Mamba Club is that there is no automatic system for changing the pins out, so it is all done by hand. So we think that there was a “pin attendant” sitting on an elevated platform behind the lane but, for us, it just looked like a lone hand reaching down to configure the pins—quite funny if you were not expecting it. So, looking back, while it might have been a little adventurous of us to jump/flip on the trampoline right after eating Chinese food, all-in-all it was the perfect end to our first week in Rwanda.