Saturday, 1 August 2009

Africa Time

One of the things that drives me, and most of the other bazungu I know, absolutely crazy, is the fact that here it is not only acceptable to be several hours late for meeting someone, with no obligation to call and let them know that you’ll be late, but also that it’s OK to just not show up. But there is, of course, a flip side, and I wanted to share an incident from my trip to Rwanda; while we were walking along trying to find our hotel, we stopped a young woman and asked for directions. Rather than just pointing us in the right direction and sending us on our way, she walked with us almost the whole way to the hotel, on the way telling us that she had just finished qualifying for a lawyer and was in the interview process with a job with Avocats Sans Frontiers, and that she hoped later in her career to study International Law in The Hague. Figuring that she was probably on her way to meet someone and will have been late because she was showing us the way makes me feel much better whenever someone is hours late to pick me up!

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