I met Melissa my first year of undergrad. We were in the same economics class and she heard me speaking on the phone in Kirundi and waited until the end of the lecture to talk to me. Now that I am thinking about it, I probably said something about her(without knowing she can understand Kirundi) because she kept staring at me . I suspected her to be East African though.
This Rwandan girl is the funniest but yet the shyest girl I have ever met. She is the kind of person who will never stop surprising you. When we met back in 2013, we were the only international students from Burundi/Rwanda at our school so we had no other choice than becoming friends. 🙂
Three things you miss about Rwanda
- Bargaining for prices. Here, the prices are fixed and you have to give the exact amount of money when you go shopping. Back home it depends on what kind of mood you’re in, which is usually a cheap mood. (laugh) I promise you’ve never lived until you’ve bargained for your food.
- I miss socializing “à la Rwandaise”. In Rwanda, it doesn’t matter if you know somebody, you just get along quickly. If you go to a party in Rwanda, you meet your friends’ friends and they become your friends too. Here, people don’t have the time to socialize; they’re all too busy with their lives.
Three things you’ve learned since you live in Canada
- Being independent. Well, I was already independent because I went to a boarding school when I was 12 but then here it’s different. I had to learn how to spend my money wisely. Having to think about every expense I make was very hard.
- Small talk. Talking to people without meaning. At first, I was very uncomfortable with people talking to me at the bus stop. But I’ve learned that it is normal to have a 3-minute talk with someone and know everything about their life at the end.
- Being patient with ignorant people. People don’t know a lot about Africa and you have to learn to patiently explain stuff to them and not taking personally every question they may ask.
Three qualities you want your man to have:
- He has to be funny. He has to understand my stupid jokes and make me laugh because I don’t like to force myself to laugh,
- He has to be kind. I need someone who can balance me out because I can be rude sometimes, (pause what?)…around people I don’t know!
- And obviously he has to be taller than me
Three languages you would like to speak.
- Portuguese. Okay, that was way back because I was obsessed with Cristiano Ronaldo. Now he is old. Well, he is 30 so he is not too old but then…
- Lingala, that is the craziest language
- I would also love to learn some Scandinavian languages
Three compliments you often get from your friends: Wait. I never get compliments! Okay, NO:
- People usually tell me I am funny. (I approve this message). But I don’t think I am. I just happen to say what’s on my mind and it happens to come out funny, I guess. Melissa is a very shy person but only if she is not familiar to you. She is the kind of person you can always count on to crack a joke at every occasion.
- I’ve been told that my hair looks nice. I think I got this from my mother,
- People like to tell me “Useka neza”. I think people like my smile because I am gap-toothed but I don’t even like it that much. It’s the first thing people notice when I talk
You indeed have a cute smile, Meli 🙂
I was a little anxious that Melissa wouldn’t want to be interviewed because of her shyness and for that, I truly appreciate her time and willingness to do this. I hope you enjoyed reading this!
Lots Of Love