A French friend currently posted to Rwanda


Valued Senior Member
The acridity in this forum has gone up by several fold. It's so bad that my actual questions are getting drowned out because of the continuous banter. This means that the whole point of a religious forum is lost. Anyway, I’m an Atheist so what do I know. Nevertheless, I thought I’d post a letter that was sent to my Japanese girlfriend from her French friend who is in Rwanda. I thought it was endearing and maybe some people will get the reason I posted it. Others will not ,so I will not bother to explain because these ones may never get it

Dear All!

In the middle of a week made of public holidays and elections, a bit of time to tell you another story on the exciting life in Rwanda! The hero of the week is Patrick again, my houseboy.

Patrick is 23, orphan with no family. He is very conscientious, and works beyond what I am asking from him. Patrick is also religious, Adventist. And s ince he loves Jesus as much as gardening, he recently planted grass in front of my door to write the word 'Jesus'. I love it!

Last week, Patrick tells me he is going to get baptised on the Saturday morning. I take it for an invitation. I can feel that will make him happy if I come, even tough he knows I don't believe (something unthinkable here). I postpone my departure to the shores of Lake Kivu to the afternoon to attendt he celebration.

On Saturday morning, I wake up early to go to the church, at the bottom of my hill, with Patrick and his friend Aoudou. The mass has already started, and we sit on concrete benches aligned on the hillside under corrugated iron sheets. I am the only muzungu, that goes with out saying. And of course I attract a lot of attention, but I am used to it now.

Well, I am going to do the shorter version for you, as the ceremonies went on for 6 hours. All In kinyarwanda (no, I can't speak kinyarwanda, thank you). I'll just point out the kids standing in front of me and staring at me, the pool under the stage where the baptism actually took place, and the final sermon, a good hour and a half. Luckily, last Saturday was not to

Once the photos are taken, Patrick asks me if he can invite three friends to come and pray with him in the afternoon. It is visibly an important day for him, and I can't refuse that to him. No problem then.

I rush back home, I am going to be late for my bus. Aoudou walks back with me to show me the way (as if I was going to get lost on my own hill). He is as tired as me: 'At least for us, Muslims, prayers only last one hour'. A pragmatic, Aoudou.

I pack my bag, and prepare some food. And then, it is not three, but fifteen of Patrick's friends that are coming to pray. In the middle of my couscous-avocado from the garden, I welcome those unexpected guests on the door step. Some panic because they are received by a muzungu, others obviously joined the group to see how it is at my place. Whatever.

Je finish my cousous standing in my kitchen (they have taken all the chairs), to get out of the way. Fifteen Adventists praying and singing in my living room!! Unique. Thanks, Patrick.

That could only happen in Rwanda.

I hope you are all well.