Sunday, June 10, 2007

Driving and Other Man Things

The culture of Rwanda has been unfolding before Kelly and I slowly as being very male dominated. When having a conversation men were speaking almost exclusively to me, making very little eye contact with her. I have even found this after she pointed it out to be the case of women talking to us. Kelly was even finding most translators spoke only directly to me and she was having trouble hearing. When we have been shuttled around I noticed very few women drove. I started counting and it took an entire day before seeing double digits of female drivers. It should be noted that Kigali is the capital city, very dense, and the traffic is often bumper to bumper morning to evening. Thereby, plenty of counts for the statical analysis.

Over dinner tonight Pastor made a very open statement when asked by a visitor, Cheryl, from Australia. He candidly stated that boys don't want to learn how to cook because it is "women's work." Ironically, a young man, John, was at the table and said he could cook! He lives alone of course, and also is an orphan, so presumably it has been a matter of necessity for him.

Along the lines of "man" jobs must be driving. Last summer there were three female law students that were visiting. We were told that they had a driver, Fred, who took them anywhere and everywhere they needed to go for the four weeks. But just after one week Pastor handed the keys over to me! He didn't ask Kelly if she could drive. I have been entrusted twice now on taking his kids with us to the church, and have apparently been a relief driver tonight as he sent Fred off to enjoy the evening himself while I drove our guest from Australia home.

Along with these observations, we have noted how the boys and girls are asked to do different things around Pastor's home. Everything is starting to weigh heavily on Kelly. She has more than once told me she has had to bite her tongue. I think that we shall be moving out of Pastor's home the final week to avoid a trainwreck of emotions spewing forth.

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