"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

3.09.2006

rise up to heaven and come back down on me

Wednesday was SO boring in Goma. Apparently, the rest of the world celebrates March 8 as International Women's Day, so businesses were closed, there was no hope of interviewing anyone, and the men were left at home while their wives and daughters headed to Goma's stadium. It took 20 minutes to find a moto-taxi to get into the middle of town – a process that usually takes about 30 seconds.

There are so many things that happen here that I wish I could take a picture of – the site of thousands of women headed to the stadium is one of them, but unfortunately the stadium is across the street from the police station and taking pictures there would almost guarantee getting arrested and/or losing my camera. Women get with their groups of friends, family, or mutuelles (mutual aid societies), sew up matching dresses, and march behind a flag. I would have liked to have gone to the ceremony, but my friend Aime had to work and it would not have been a good idea to go alone. (Aime stared at me in total disbelief when I told her that we don't celebrate International Women's Day in the good 'ole U-S-of-A. ("Mais c'est mondiale," ("But it's worldwide."), she said.) Come to think, Aime stares at me in disbelief a lot. She also watches everything I do on the computer – you try to explain the Berlitz German coast guard video!)

It turned out to be a good thing that we weren't in the stadium, though, because after two hours, the sky dropped out. After waiting for it to subside for another hour, I gave up and went home. It rained THE REST OF THE DAY, so the plan for tennis with Anna (Emannuel's girlfriend from Tanzania who's in town this week. Time to make a chart to explain the relationships between all the interantional aid workers?) was completely out. What a boring holiday – I should've gone to Rwanda.

The only good thing was that in the three hours at the internet café, I had time to download the new Neko Case album with a stupid title, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Is it an homage to YHF? The initials of her last four boyfriends? A reference to an obscure Canadian/Polish folk tale? Do we care?). The reviews on it are mixed, but I really like it so far, especially the gospel overtones on "John Saw that Number." Case's voice is totally unique – I will never forget the first time we heard her at ACL a couple of years ago – everyone I was with said, "Wow." You can hear a few tracks here.

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