Rwanda: Day 4

by Sarah Luna

January 14, 2012

Today is Saturday. The four of us went to the school at 10am to oversee the building of a wall and three tables for our workspace. While that was happening, Laura and I were given the task of asking the girls about famous women. One of the cognitive tests being used includes a facial recognition portion, so the professor needed faces that the girls knew. We, as girls, needed to figure out whom they would recognize.

We approached a group of girls doing their weekly washing. They were about 16 and thus had had English for a few years. We walked up and immediately stalled…uhhhhhhhhhhh…

“Um, we need to ask you a question”… “Who are famous people?”

Giggles, blank stares, smiles, what? We tried again. “If we had a picture of someone [mimes picture], who would you know?” “You want to take our pictures?” “No” [thinks really hard] “Who are famous people like Miss Jojo?” “Oh!!” And then we get names. At first they named a bunch of male American movies star. Then we got Beyonce, Miss Jojo, Miss Shanelle, Aline Gahongayire.

Then we handed over the writing pad and had them write down the names. During that exchange, we attracted a lot of attention, and girls started crowding around us asking us who we were and what we were doing at their school. We explained as best we could and then gave them our email addresses. They promised to find us on Facebook.