Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Sounds of Musanze

This morning, I woke to the sound of drums. I ducked out from under my mosquito net and stumbled to the window where I could see the volcanoes rising into the clouds in the sleepy blue of dawn.

As the light grew, so did the sounds of birds. I thought it sounded like the zoo, until I realized that it is the zoo that sounds like Africa. Two grey crowned cranes preened and cawed under my hotel window.

Sitting on my bed, preparing for the day, I heard a chorus of praise from the church across the street, a joyful ribbon of sound snaking its way down the street.

At the start of our meeting, we sang three songs, one Tanzanian, one American, and one Bangla (from Bangladesh). "Alive, alive, alive forevermore; My Jesus is alive, alive forevermore," still hops its way through my head in a fast Tanzanian beat. During the day, I heard my voice talking parallel phrasing, and the voice of my coworker, Silas, booming out Reverend King's "I Have a Dream" speech in his rich Kenyan bass - as an example of parallel phrasing.

At afternoon tea, the rain whished as we drank African tea: black tea with milk - a lot of milk - and ginger. A delicious new gelato flavor in the making.

After the day's training, we went for a walk in the twilight. We walked very slowly, as is custom for non-Americans, while motorcycles beeped as they whizzed by. Here are Carol (Uganda), Vera (Ghana), Tigist (Ethiopia), and Charles (Tanzania), very blurred I'm afraid, walking next to our hotel.

After dinner, I heard the thump of techno music in the cafe below my room, where Europeans laugh and clink their glasses while I try to sleep.

3 comments:

Tara said...

How amazing!! Can you teach me when you return home? I am sure I could learn a lot from you!

Your pictures are amazing and the trip sounds wonderful!!

Aubergine said...

I wish you could record the sounds and play them for us. Thanks for the bringing us along on the journey. I think I may want some bush tea too :).

Michael Jonathan Van Schooneveld said...

I love those cranes. I have a curious affection for them. Wish I could have one as a pet.