Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Elections Interlude

At five yesterday morning, loud music started playing somewhere in the neighborhood. Dance-y, uplifting tunes, probably in Kinyarwanda (?), from which our tired ears could sometimes distinguish a single word: "tora," or "vote". Yesterday was presidential election day here in Rwanda, and at four thirty in the afternoon, the powerful stereo still hadn't stopped playing in the nearby secondary school where, as far as we could tell, all the inhabitants from our hill and the one across had been congregating to vote. 

Earlier yesterday morning we went to have a quick look in the school-turned-voting-station (we didn't dare take pictures), and the atmosphere was festive enough: families in Sunday dress chatting with each other, loud, cheerful music, kids playing (very impressive) soccer in the dirt field below the school... And long, long lines of men and women apparently eager to place their vote. We couldn't tell you how well the scene represents Rwanda's democratic system, though - but there are plenty of knowledgeable analysts for that.

At night, celebratory gunshots kept some of us awake, but most of us were tired from a hard game of tennis and a filling Chinese meal. 

On a less politically sensitive note, yesterday we also met a street-seller so eager to purchase the BB5 that he was ready to trade his 40,000 RWF (about 65 USD) mobile phone for it. We politely declined his offer, because the BB5 we were carrying with us (for marketing purposes) is our only working prototype. But his dedication was encouraging, and we promised he would be the first to know once the BB5 hits the market.   

No comments:

Post a Comment