LilypieExpecting a baby Ticker

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Speedos, Mosquitoes, and Teaching

Yesterday I spent most of my day at the Novotel. It is a hotel here in Kigali where you can go hang out and swim and just relax. I was so needing that yesterday, as the past few days have been tough. During my time at the hotel I noticed an alarming amount of Speedos. Now being a lifeguard I have seen many Speedos in my life, yet that doesn’t make me like them any better. I do think there is a purpose for them, like if you’re Ian Thorp (Australian Olympic swimming) and you are competing or training then yeah go ahead. But when you are just lazy around the pool, please for the sake of your fellow humans swimming shorts are better! Perhaps your comments will double as a petition against the dreaded Speedo! As I was leaving the hotel I over heard some people talking. I am sure they were North American as they sounded much like me. They were talking about the news and I found myself suddenly craving information from the rest of the world. I wanted to watch the news and see what life is like back home. It's funny how much you long to hear from the things that are a comfort to you.
Coming out of the Novotel was a surreal experience. Going from this place of comfort and slight reminder of the things of home back into the poverty of Rwanda, was almost as surreal my first trip into Kigali from the Airport.

All my life I have been blessed in not having to worry about mosquitoes. They never seemed to bite me while my sister was always covered in bites. The mosquitoes here are different. They like me. Lying in bed at night it sounds like an airstrip. Here they come at you like a 747. They are so loud!!! But you can feel them biting and the bites don’t itch too much. It just looks like you have a flesh eating disease cause they get red and swollen.

One of the ministries I will be doing here is teaching English. This scares and excites me and so I am asking all of my friends who have taugh English as a second language, who are teachers, really anyone with any ideas for me on some teaching techniques that might be useful. I would appreciate any and all advise you have for me!

Just a note. International Teams Canada has updated their website and there is some stuff on me in there. If you click on the ITeams link on the right hand side of the page you can check it out for yourself!

To bring a bit of the Rwandan world to you I thought I would offer up a challenge. This may be one of many or one of one challenges I bring to you. haha! In Rwanda there are no showers and no hot water from the taps. So bathing involve boiling you water and washing yourself from a tub. So here's the challenge can you for lets say 3 days to 1 week bath in a tub. All you can do is get hot water and add some cold to it. Then you have to wash your entire body including hair with that small amount of water. I am getting better at this but I still feel that I may not be entirely clean until I get back to Canada! That's a disgusting thought.

Well I am off, I pray you are all well and safe. Thank you for you support during this time of heartache. I am feeling better but it is still hard being here and not at home.
With much love,

p.s. there has been a WONDERFUL amount of emails sent to me which I love and appreciate and I do intend on writing you all back, but this will take some time. But know that I LOVE hearing from you.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:2-4


  • At 5:01 AM , Blogger Ed Doerksen said...

    your posting was interesting and as I stumbled on your blog by accident, I found it interesting.

    One thing I have learned in my limited travel experience. What ever goes on in another country is their business. If you don't like speedos, well that's too bad, they do.

    There are many cultures where no one cares about speedos, Brazil being one, China another, Japan another, and some European countries as well.

    It appears to be a north american and western culture thing. Personally I like speedos, been wearing them for years, even as a lifeguard. I see a double standard though with most people.

    They way fat men shouldn't wear speedos and I agree, but niether should fat women were bikinis or even one piece suits. Fat is fat and its ugly.

    However if you don't look bad in a speedo or a bikini, why not and who cares. I doubt if you have worn board shorts in the water, I have and I can hardly swim when I'm in them, hence I have opted for speedos.

    The rest of your post, I enjoyed reading. I boiled water and gave myself a sponge bath from a pot of water. Another trick is taking a shower very fast in cold water, or just washing your hair in cold water.

    Oh yeah, if no one has told you already, don't wear anything like perfumes, or scented. Insects love it.

  • At 8:42 AM , Anonymous Theresa said...

    Okay Ed, you cannot say that people can wear speedos if they want, and then say that fat people shouldn't. Fat people can't wear what they want? If we're going to allow speedos, lets go the whole way and let fat people wear them too!! YAY FOR FAT PEOPLE IN SPEEDOS! (ew!) But, I mean, we can't say "You can wear whatever you please, unless you are fat, in which case, please wear a tarpaulin."

    And Erin, if you can, find some vitamin B1 and take 100mg per day...it is water soluble and comes out in your sweat, and mosquitos hate it. Also, do you not use a mosquito net at night, or is Rwanda not a big malaria area?

  • At 8:43 AM , Anonymous Theresa said...

    Oh, one more thing Erin, Don't eat bananas, the mosquitos are attracted to the smell....I wonder if the Vitamin B1 fixes that too though!

  • At 12:00 PM , Anonymous Jackie said...

    Erin...I was just catching up on your blog and it is so interesting. I am absolutely loving the fact that your donating your time and energy to teaching other people the word of the lord. I love reading about your adventures and I am sure that you are making the most of everyday. Keep up the amazing work and enjoy every moment of it. I am sure the Lord would be cool with you teaching them volleyball as well. God Bless..Missing you and love you.

  • At 6:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Erin - This is Mary from Elmira. About those baths. Would it count that up until I was 10 years old, we always did baths in square wash tubs hauled into the kitchen on Saturday evening? Heated water and added cold just like you are doing.

  • At 9:47 PM , Blogger Asylum said...

    One word...Speedos ROCK (ok, two words). Speedos make me laugh, so I like them. Things that make you laugh are awesome. Ya and Erin, come to Taiwan...they l-o-v-e their speedos here. I say ROCK ON with the speedos! Power to them...fat and skinny alike!

    Also...yes, you should get a bug net. I too was once like you, driven mad by the mosquito who was IN my ear ALL night...I got a bugnet and have slept like a baby ever since. Sigh.

    ALso, bathing is for wimps. DId you know that your body naturally cleans itself after you let your oils return to their normal levels. ALSO...stop shaving your legs...it's a waste of time! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (had to throw that one in :D).

    OK, long comments this time....some controversial stuffs! LOVE IT! LOVE YOU. PEEEEASS!

  • At 2:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    haha...saweeeet blog! melissa's right about the taiwanese loving their speedos too. i think it's just a fact of life...we just need to become resigned to the fact that fat and skinny will wear the mini. haha, yes...i just made that up right now. anyway. theresa was right about the banana's...the mosquitoes love them...umm...about the showering. well, if everyone else around you is stinky...go stinky, if not...you must tought it out. and please...shave your legs when you get the chance. :)
    miss ya tons!


  • At 10:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hahah don't we all love those speedos....ok so who the heck is Mr. Ed neways (lol ok that struck me as very funny!!) Way to go Theresa calling his double standard!
    neways about the challenge I dont' think i can participate as I don't have a bath tub. THose are VERY RARE around here, I guess b/c was is very limited. We have been VERY lucky living at the school b/c we have only run out of water once and it was less then a day, however some of the teachers that live off campus have not had water coming in since the beginning of APRIL!!! they have been carrying water jugs home everyday so they have water to keep daily functions going. craziness so thankful for water!!
    how is the water supply there? don't really know if they have a rainy season there or not.
    Heidi 8)

  • At 5:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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