Me-go Mix: Track 2
“Amanda” — Javex
To download using Windows “right click” and save to disk. Mac users, you know what to do.
My first morning in Kigali, Rwanda, Grace and I woke up to a man knocking on our hotel room door. It was the hotel manager, insisting in broken English, that there was a man waiting for us in reception. Despite my insistence that I don’t know any men in Rwanda, the manager was equally insistent that there was an American man upstairs that needed to see us at eight in the morning. I asked for his name and a slip of paper with an unfamiliar name was returned. Grace eventually figured out that our early morning visitor was an Israeli man she had met in Uganda.
We had lots of errands to run, most importantly getting our hands on some local currency, but Grace’s friend insisted on breakfast first. It was in a small basement restaurant eating an omelet that I first heard “Amanda.” I liked the energy of the song and it immediately made me think about my good friend back home named Amanda. Our waiter didn’t speak English (one reason for the omelet, which translates accurately in most languages) so I approached the most well-dressed man behind the counter, pointed to the air and said “music?”
He spoke English, uncommon for Rwanda, but didn’t know who the song was by. The rest of the staff bustled around me exchanging confused looks. He explained that the song wasn’t on a CD or the radio, it was playing off the computer. Without missing a beat he suggested that he give me the mp3 if I liked it so much. I grabbed my USB flash drive from my daybag (yes, along with a compass and a knife, a flash drive is part of my daily kit) and handed it over. My flash drive usually serves to transfer non-sensitive files between my Mac and public PCs running Windows on the road. Naturally, it was riddled with viruses that don’t show up on Macs (and I can’t see) so the man cleaned the drive of viruses before uploaded the mp3. Although Rwandans appear more reserved than Kenyans and Ugandans they are friendly once you get to talking.
It should be noted that, although I found the song in Rwanda, “Amanda” isn’t a Rwandan song. The lyrics are Swahili (Rwandans speak Kinyarwanda and French) and the restaurant manager guessed that it was from either Kenya or Tanzania. Sounds good to me! Please leave a comment below to tell me what you think.
The main bus station in Kigali—a twenty minute downhill walk from our hotel.