So there's a thing here in the village called the "canteen". On Wednesdays and Fridays the canteen is open from 3:00-5:00 PM to sell Coke and Fanta, amandazi, yoghurt, gum and some other odds and ends to any students that have pocket money. ("Pocket Money" is something of a mystery and a source of conflict in my family. As you can imagine, availability of this substance varies widely, causes some envy, and unfortunately, some theft.) The canteen is a "club" run by the kids that gives them the opportunity to have some business experience, running the store, conducting transactions.
Upon learning about this, my new found warm Coke obsession/addiction fired and I decided to go by the Canteen for a fix at the announced time. This did not go as planned.
First of all, there are 500 kids in the village. Turns out, all of them want something from the canteen. There was a long line. For the entire two hour period.
Also, by 'line" I mean impenetrable clump of children in no discernible order. I circled like a vulture at 3:20, 4:00, and 4:30 and was each time deterred by the size of the hoard. On my last swoop, at 4:50, there were only a few students still in front of the window. (The set up is like a pool snack bar, with the kids running the canteen inside a structure and the kids making purchases swarming around a window outside.) I decided to go up to the window.
While I was standing there, kids kept streaming up and pushing in front of me. As there is not a line for service, just a mass of people, chaos reigns for who is served next. My choices are to push up to the front, just to hold my ground, or watch hopelessly. I made eye contact repeatedly for about 10 minutes with the kids filling orders, to no avail.
I was just not willing to push my way up to the front. And, as a result, I was not getting my Coke. Initially this was quite frustrating. I felt very German: "Make a queue. Wait your turn. This is common courtesy. " But as I stood there I realized, I've had a lot of Cokes. I'll have a lot more Cokes. This is probably the only establishment IN THE WORLD where these kids have more political and social capital than I do, and the only place in the world where they'd be served and have their needs met before me, and I'm really glad they have a place of their own.
In other news, today Mucaka Mucaka was at 5:15 AM and in total darkness. After that I harvested potatoes with the girls from my family for a few hours and then ASYV hosted a friendly football (soccer) game which we won 3-1! Here's a few pics from the game:
half time strategy session
game time, huh!
And finally, RIP to my second Apple power adapter since I got here! I already had to buy a new laptop charger at about $100 6 days after I arrived. Yesterday, my iPhone charger also died, with no warning or explanation. The writing on the product might say Input 100-240V but in practice the 220 here in Rwanda seems to short them right out. If 'spondence goes dark, indefinitely, that is probably why.