Term three is in full swing: I’m teaching sports and yoga to 50 girls in one class, twice a week, and 70 girls at once another two times a week and also running with 90 students through the village at 5:30 in the morning. One of the funniest parts so far is doing attendance because A; it takes quite a while. And B; I’m terrible at pronouncing their last names so they get a good giggle out of that. This week we’ll be doing kickball and yoga with music. Soon to come: self-defense and dancing.
Last night for my Spanish Club we finished up watching Spider Man 3 in Spanish with English subtitles but some girls came in late and I’m sure they were like “Whaaa? Why is this guy in a weird suite and why is that guy made of sand… and what the hell is going on?”
Today my friend and I walked into Gashora. On the way, this kid who goes by the name of Big Dog around the village waved to us and said “Hello!” He’s a nice kid who speaks some English and often translates for my friend Jennie when she’s at the market. We waved to him and said hello back. And when I saw what he had with him in his hand, I stopped dead in my tracks. He was holding a pool cue! And just behind him, sure enough, was a small pool table. If you know me, you know I love playing pool. So naturally, I immediately thought how awesome it’d be to play some pool. I didn’t realize how much I’d been missing it until I caught a glimpse of that pool table in that little room. But we don’t speak Kinyrwanda and we weren’t sure what the cultural implications would be so we continued on our way.
We popped by the market to pick up some greens and avocados (the avocados are INCREDIBLE here!) and had a soda at this little restaurant. But on the way back we ran into our friend who speaks Kinyrwanda and she said, “Sure, let’s go over there.” So she talked with the guys at the pool table and they set up a game for me to play against one of them. The pool tables here are much smaller and there are no numbers on the balls, only red and yellow ones, and the cue ball is the size of a big walnut. So it is slightly different than playing pool in the States but the rules are just about the same. So we started to play and I took an immediate lead (which I was glad to see they seemed impressed about rather than pissed off) and a small crowd of kids and people gathered around to watch. But then he started catching up and soon we were tied: it was neck and neck and only the eight ball remained, everyone watching with curious smiles. I nearly made the winning shot by banking it off two different walls, but alas, no win… Yet. His turn. He hit it too hard and missed. My turn. I set up my shot, taking my time absorbing the suspense and then glided the ball into the corner pocket. My friends cheered and the small group of people clapped. Luckily he was not a sore loser; he was very nice about it. It was a pretty cool game of pool.