Saturday, May 21, 2011

Muchaka Muchaka

Elisheva Goldberg here, blogging from Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.

We woke up this morning at 5:35am. Yes. You read that right. 5:35am. For you all reading this it was 11:35pm -- and we were running. Well...jogging. Well...sometimes walking kinda fast. Allow me to explain.

Every Saturday all of the students in the village come together early in the morning and do what is called "Muchaka Muchaka". It's a paramilitary exercise in fun. We ran from the village gate to Rubona, the neighboring village in four(-ish) lines chanting, singing, and clapping.

Now, I was not terribly excited about the notion of getting up at such an ungodly hour and running down a red dirt road with hundreds of Rwandan teenagers who were probably as exhausted as I was at that moment. Or almost as exhausted as I was, since for us, like for you, it was actually 11:35pm.

And then we started chanting, clapping, and running. And it was great. Running and singing in call and response, all the while while sort of chit-chatting as we went. There was a moment - at the very end - when the road becomes a hill and you can't see the entrance to the village when you finally start to sweat. But for the most part it's just sort of refreshing. On the way back we discussed bringing Muchaka Muchaka to Penn. It would be great, running down Locust Walk, up Walnut, past Amy G's house, all the way up to 40th street -- it could be great. Imagine it.

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