Field Notes

Updates from the field

Baking Cakes in Kigali: A Book Review

Baking Cakes in Kigali: A Book ReviewDecember 6, 2016 — I adore this little novel. Set in modern-day Rwanda, Baking Cakes in Kigali beautifully intertwines the stories of everyday Rwandans through the lens of a charismatic yet incredibly warm protagonist, Angel Tungaraza. Angel runs a successful cake business in Kigali targeting middle-class Rwandans as well as expats. When customers come to her house to place an order, she brings out some baked goods and sugary tea and listens to their stories. While the writing itself not the greatest literary a... Read More

Searching for Authenticity

Searching for AuthenticityDecember 6, 2016 — How many of us have experienced the cringing awkwardness of being driven from one place to another by an organized tour company and feeling like we have to purchase some service or stuff we do not need to make it “worth” their time? I remember passing by makeshift Maasai villages while on a safari in Tanzania and watching vans after vans taking turns visiting the huts for an “authentic” Maasai experience. While traveling in Morocco, I paid more than what I cared to pay for a 2 oz bottle ... Read More

What to do in Rwanda

What to do in RwandaDecember 6, 2016 — “What’s there to do around here?” I ask at the reception desk of a small, rural hostel. To my surprise, the most enticing of the responses I got was, “walk around.” That was after being here in Rwanda for about 3 weeks. In the seven months I've been here, I’ve heard similar responses too many times. It’s just not true – there’s a lot to do in Rwanda! Don’t get me wrong; walking around is a great chance to experience a new place. It’s just that I sprained my ankle, on... Read More