There will be a Kigali Impressions III. I am writing it all down now for…reasons that will become clear.
As you might have noticed, there is a big part of me which has not left Africa. Chantal says it never will, and she would know.
I met Professor K last week in Bourgogne. He’s really, really kind and has big ambitions…he wants to open a journalism school at Lumière on the Carleton model.
We had dinner and a few drinks and reminisced about the good old days at Lumière…ironically named, because the word means “light” and the electricity only works half the time.
“I think the hardest part was having to lecture in a room with a tin roof when it was pouring down rain. And then hearing them, because I can’t get them to speak loudly anyway.”
“Yes! I don’t know what he was thinking, that architect…how many students did you say you had, twelve?”
“Mmhm. Thirteen, with Pierre.”
“Well, you should try doing that with eighty! I had to do that with eighty.”
“…and so I’m congratulating the students on their English, and then Alexis says, in French of course, ‘You know your level of English is still quite low…'”
“Alexis who’s probably more articulate in Russian?”
And so on and so forth. But we also talked a bit of business. There is so much Carleton can do for our students. So I’m working on that, organizing an equipment drive and a pen pal exchange with Carleton journalism school.
I’m pitching around a story about Brahim and the other “house boys” (see Nyakabiga Dreams post).
I’m also working on another Burundi story that I learned about through one of the professor’s friends. There’s a very important story about broken political promises in Cote d’Ivoire. I was at a fair trade fair today and learned about the problem of access to sanitary toilets in West Africa (which is a problem in Burundi as well). Not to mention two non-Africa-related stories I’m working on, one of which has already been approved. And a book I might be (MIGHT BE) editing soon.
The Gazette may publish a words-and-photos piece about Rwanda that J-S and I are working on.
Antoine and Pierre email often, full of all sorts of questions. So do some African journalists I worked with on a Carleton project last year. I’m trying to find Antoine a job with someone I know and helping Professor K introduce the concept of an independent student press to Burundi.
I am applying for internships in Africa and proably working at the fair trade store in Nimes.
I could not be in this any deeper if I had sprouted roots in the African soil. So don’t be worried if (except for Kigali Impressions III) you don’t hear from me for a little while. I’m loving it. As ridiculous as it sounds, I feel like I am actually using my talents to build a better world.