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    Rhythms of Rwanda

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    EDITOR'S NOTE: Kristin currently is on a two-month journey in a small village in Rwanda called Musanze where she is teaching English at a non-profit organization that combats poverty through housing and education. While there, Kristin is maintaining a separate blog from her regular Schark Bytes column called Rhythms of Rwanda.

    Below is an excerpt from an entry today entitled "When Teacher Becomes Student." Be sure to check her blog regularly to follow her inspiration, adventures and photos in what is easily one of the most interesting summer stints for any NCAA student-athlete.

    "Today, we are going to learn pronouns," I announce to the students before me.

    It's my first time teaching at the MOC, a special session about writing. I've got to admit, I'm a little nervous, but I go with what I know and relay all of the tips that I've picked up as a writer over the last few years. After forty-five minutes of tools to make our writing smoother- namely transitional words and pronouns- we break for lunch and I breathe a sigh of relief that I didn't freeze up and forget my lesson.

    When lunch ends, I grab a notebook and pen and begin the 15-minute trek up the road through Musanze for a little learning of my own. Tucked away in a small row of buildings off the main road in Musanze is a 10×10 room filled with vibrant paintings and intricate sculptures. A zebra with brilliant black and white stripes and an oversized portrait of Paul Kagame in front of the Rwandan flag are just two of a dozen pieces that cover the walls, while sand-colored sculptures that swirl upward from the floor are all over the ground. The room is called 'Volcanoes Arts' and serves as a studio and shop for local artists Jean Pierre (John Peter) Masambuko and Jean d'amour (John of Love) Ntihemuka. It also serves as my own personal Kinyarwanda training center.

    The first time I met Masambuko and Ntihemuka was by chance on a morning walk down the road. When Masambuko and I ran into each other and realized we shared a mutual enthusiasm for learning the other's culture, we bonded instantly. His English is above average and my Kinyarwanda is sub-par; it's a match made in heaven.

    Continue reading at Kristin's Rhythms of Rwanda blog!


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