Tuesday, March 31, 2009

R.O.L.L.E.D ankle

If we're lucky, Rob and I play Ultimate Frisbee on Sunday afternoons at Circle Sportif. This past Sunday with rain threatening, we decided to give it a go and chance the weather. We normally split the field with a women's soccer team; however, due to a recent price increase the women play elsewhere and the entire field was ours. We divided up into teams and play began. It felt great to be running around and the rain clouds passed us by with only a few cooling drops. My throws were accurate and my teammates were a lot of fun. The afternoon wore on. We normally stop playing before dark and we all knew we were on the last few points of the game. My team was losing and I was guarding the guy with the disc.

What happened next I don't quite understand, but I heard a loud POP! and immediately fell to the ground. I immediately thought, "oh no, I've broken my ankle, I'm in Africa. I'm in Africa, I've broken my ankle" I tried to shake it off and pretend that I was fine, but my ankle couldn't support my body weight and it was doing this weird thing where I had no control over the movement of my foot between 12 o'clock and 3 o'clock on the imaginary description clock. Rob carried me off the field like a hero and our friends gave us some space while I DIDN'T CRY, but dealt with the pain and we decided what to do.

Some friends came over and diagnosed my injury as a rolled ankle, gave me some advil, and told me to ice it. Rolled ankle?!?! Someting causing this much pain surely has to be called something much more sinister. It has to be some sort of acronym. Hearing them say it wasn't broken made me happy enough and Rob carried me up the 4 flights of stairs to the car. I made Rob tell me story after story to keep my mind off the pain, I wanted to hear all about his past sports injuries. He claims he had none in little league!

My ankle began to swell and bruise. I was definitely going to be off my feet for awhile. Rob heated up some left overs and we decided a HOUSE marathon would be in order. I made it through the night and next day okay. The swelling stayed the same and the bruising became worse.

Tuesday I continued to experience the most awful feeling when I walked. It felt like the tendons around my ankle were moving and each time they did...pain! I remembered the POP! I heard when I first injured it and worried that I had snapped the tendons. I decided it would be good idea to look it up on the internet. Bad idea. I scared myself so! I read about how if you hear a POP you probably have broken/torn something, and that you can still walk on a broken ankle, but if you do you can cause irreversible damage or require surgery.

I cried, apologized for not being a strong sporty girl and asked rob to take me to the doctor. Rob said, crying over a sports injury was not a deal breaker and carried me to the truck. We went to Dr. Waswa who decided I probably needed an x-ray, went and got an x-ray besides Executive Car Wash (awesome, but oh so sketchy food), and then took the x-ray to the Belgian doctor in town to read it. After examining the x-ray, he determined there was no fractures and after all kinds of poking and proding of my sore ankle, he said in a heavy french accent, "the tendons they are not so good, but they are not too bad. It is a bad sprain."

He sent me home with instructions to try as best I can to walk normally, wear good shoes, and apply an ointment for the swelling. I left feeling much relieved that it will heal on its own and it was not broken. I have to have patience with how slowly I move now, I guess everybody takes for granted bounding up steps, carrying things while they walk, and just standing up for long periods of time.

3 weeks I can start being more active and 6 weeks for a full recovery. Although, I think I've lost the nerve to play Ultimate anytime soon.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rohith's Tea Plantation

Saturday we took our second trip to Rohith's tea plantation, SORWATHE, with friends. Eleven of us piled into Alan's Land Cruiser around 6:30 am to get out of town before Umuganda began. I think I've mentioned Umuganda before.

Umugand is held the last Saturday of every month and is basically a day of community activity. The morning usually consists of outside hard labor and the afternoon concludes with community announcements and meetings. All Rwandans MUST participate or stay in their houses. No shops are open or anyone allowed on the roads until afternoon. Urban legend has it that even foreigners will be put to work if they are caught out on the roads, but we decided to risk it and plead tourist if caught. About an hour into our journey we were pulled over, but after a few minutes of explaining and a warning to slow down we were on our way once again.

We arrived and took a short version of the Tea Factory Tour (Post forthcoming on how tea is made) and then went to Rohith's house for tea (of course), snacks and to get ready to start the day of games!

We played tennis, table tennis, golf, and darts until early afternoon. Some chose to take walks around the grounds and our next door neighbor painted a lovely picture of the surrounding mountains. (You can also see some volcanoes on a clear day). We had a great lunch of Sri Lankan dishes that Rohith's wife taught the cooks to make and were soon too full and lazy to play anymore.

We took a break after lunch to let our food settle and talk and enjoyed each other's company. Alan knows how to get the cheapest airline tickets, Ben was a pretty good disc golf competitor in Houston, Rohith expained the rules of cricket, and I would love to go to the next Olympic games.

Some of us squeezed in one last doubles match of tennis before changing out of our play clothes and loading up in the cruiser. One 2 hour bumpy ride later (no shocks) we were home shortly after dark. Rob and I came in the house sat down and then remembered that Heaven Restaurant was showing the basketball tournament live. And, we were off again!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Family Cookbooks

My Tuesday morning women's group just printed a cookbook of expatriate's favorite recipes, 'Cookin' in Kigali', using ingredients we can easily find in stores around town. Combined with a little imagination this book offers instructions on how to create almost anything we've left behind. Recipes that result in meals with familiar tastes and smells. Recipes that hopefully won't leave you with a husband saying, "rice, again!?"

I thumbed through the bound pages as bible study began, and I thought what a special book. It brought back memories of the old country church cookbooks my mom and aunts kept around. Guides well worn and well marked. You could always find the family favorites by the amount of food staining the pages. Tomato sauce, oil, and melted chocolate awarded the tried-and-true recipes as badges of honor.

As a little girl, I'd love to flip through, page by page and pick out family names, second and third cousins, follow different family lines and watch maiden names turn into married ones. I'd pepper the women of my family with questions while joining them in the kitchen. "Mom, was this Grandma's neighbor?" "Aunt Margaret, how am I related to the Treadways?" Those cookbooks were my geneologies. I'd daydream about family gatherings complete with the many recipes I found in the books and of family passed that I'd not had the chance to meet.

After I married, I realized that Rob's mother also had these wonderful treasures. I again set out in search of family names, learning a new family history introduced to me by my husband. I recognized his grandmother's salad as the one that we had shared last Christmas and his sister-in-law's soup that was our niece's favorite when she was sick.

My family circle has once again grown since coming to Kigali and this cookbook will be a way to remember them. Hopefully, one day I'll have a little girl who sits in the kitchen with me and thumbs through my book. She'll ask me about the names she finds there and how I knew them and if we were friends. We'll cook our favorite recipes and I'll share stories about our time in Rwanda and the family we met there.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rob's Coming Home!

So for the past 9 days Rob has been in South Africa at a conference. 9 Days! Had I not had good friends who packed my social calendar and a part-time job, I would have gone mad. I would say I did fairly well while he was away, pulling him out of a session only once to, uh, say good morning and thinking I was going to die only once...maybe twice (the power went out, scary movie, neighbors away, bad combination.)

Every morning I would greet the driver with "7 more days", "4 more days", etc. and he would just laugh. I spent the early evening hours baking brownies, one pan for my women's bible study group on Tuesday, I'm bringing the "sweet treat" this week. And the other for us at home to celebrate his return.

While Rob was away I tried to make good use of my time. Re-organizing the house, catching up on reading, watching movies that I've missed while we've been over here, and hanging out with friends. But the house stayed entirely too clean and way too quiet. I woke up Saturday morning, the first morning he was away after having left at midnight the night before and it hadn't registered yet that he was not there. Then, I felt the glasses on my face. Realizing I had slept in my glasses, I knew Rob wasn't there. He ALWAYS takes my glasses when I fall asleep in them. My heart just fell when I thought about him being gone for 9 more days! It was awful.

But tonight won't be like the other 9 nights, tonight when I fall asleep it will be knowing that Rob will wake me up when he gets home.