“Home,” Scene Two

The library is a house with a classroom and a small nook of textbooks and notebooks. The classroom has several desks, a chalkboard, and a map.

LISA: Welcome to Intermediate English Class. Good morning.


LISA: How are you?

EMMANUEL and MARIE CHANTAL: We are fine. And you?

LISA: I am fine, thank you. Do you remember adjectives and adverbs?



LISA: Let’s review. An adjective describes a noun and an adverb describes a verb.

LISA writes two sentences on the chalkboard: “The girl is loud” and “The girl sings loudly.” She points to the first sentence.

LISA: Is ‘loud’ an adjective or an adverb?


LISA: Yes, because it describes the girl, which is a noun. Is ‘loudly’ an adjective or an adverb?


LISA: Yes, because ‘loudly’ describes ‘sings,’ which is a verb.

EMMANUEL: What is noun and verb?

LISA: A noun is a person, place, or thing, and a verb is something to do.

EMMANUEL: Thank you.

LISA: Can you come up to the board and write a sentence that uses a verb and adverb?

EMMANUEL: (Writes a sentence on the board) The singing was loudly.

LISA: Actually, you should use the adjective ‘loud’ because it describes a noun.

EMMANUEL: But singing is something to do.

LISA: Well, you’re right. But sometimes in English, if it ends in ‘i-n-g,’ it becomes a noun. We call it a gerund.

EMMANUEL: Engrish is difficult language. But I will learn because I want to go to U.S.A. and get job.

LISA: You’re doing very well.

EMMANUEL: Thank you.

LISA: What kind of job do you want to do?

EMMANUEL: In Congo I was pastor but in U.S.A. I will take any job.

LISA: A pastor is a good job.

EMMANUEL: Now I cannot be pastor because I live in Kiziba camp.

MARIE CHANTAL: I sold fruit in market. Now I care for six children.

LISA: How old are your children?

MARIE CHANTAL: My youngest is baby and oldest is sixteen. I too want to go to U.S.A. but I do not have husband.

LISA: What do you want to do in the U.S.?

MARIE CHANTAL: U.S.A. has good education for children. I want my children to learn and get good job.

LISA: Can you not be a pastor in Rwanda?

EMMANUEL: Pastor is important job. Not a refugee job.

LISA: Marie-Chantal, can you sell fruit at the Kibuye market?

MARIE CHANTAL: The market is long walk away. And I have no means to purchase fruit to sell. All my money goes to school fees.

LISA: Do your children go to school here?

MARIE CHANTAL: They go to Kiziba school. They would get better education in Kibuye but we are not Rwandan.

LISA: How long have you lived in Rwanda?

MARIE CHANTAL: Twenty years.

LISA: Your children have lived in Rwanda their whole lives.

MARIE CHANTAL: But parents are Congolese. I know how to live in DRC. I do not know how to live in Rwanda.

LISA: So, DRC is home?

MARIE CHANTAL: For now, Kiziba is home.

LISA: But you do not want to stay in Kiziba.

MARIE CHANTAL: Kiziba is home because I live there.

LISA: Home should also be a place you love and want to stay.

MARIE CHANTAL: DRC was my home, but now I cannot go home.

EMMANUEL: I would like America to be home, but my Engrish is poor.

LISA: Your English is getting better every day.

EMMANUEL: Risa, what languages are spoken in U.S.A.?

LISA: English, but some people speak other languages, like Spanish.

EMMANUEL: Do they speak French?

LISA: Some do. I learned French in secondary school.

MARIE CHANTAL: Do you learn Kiswahili in secondary?

LISA: No, mostly Spanish and English. I also studied Chinese.

EMMANUEL: You have been to China?

LISA: No, I learned Chinese at University.

EMMANUEL: Why do you love languages?

LISA: The more languages you speak, the more people you can talk to.

MARIE CHANTAL: Most of the world speak English because of colonized by British.

EMMANUEL: But Rwanda was colonized by Belgium, so we were Francophone. Now we are Anglophone.

LISA: I love Kinyarwanda. It is a good language.

EMMANUEL: It is not useful in communicating with other countries because Kinyarwanda is mother tongue of Rwanda only. English is an international language.

LISA: Kiswahili is an international language.

EMMANUEL: Only Africans speak Kiswahili. It is better to speak English.

LISA: Just because more people speak English doesn’t mean it’s better.

EMMANUEL: I cannot get job in U.S. if I do not speak English.

LISA: Your English is getting better and better.

MARIE CHANTAL: Risa, how long have you been in Rwanda?

LISA: I was in Kigali for two months and I’ve been in Kibuye for a few weeks now.

MARIE CHANTAL: How do you see Rwanda?

LISA: I love Rwanda. It is so beautiful.

EMMANUEL: Have you tried food of Rwanda?

LISA: I’ve had ugali, matoke, and mendazi.

EMMANUEL: You have not had chipati?

LISA: No. Can I find chipati in Kibuye?

EMMANUEL: Yego. After class we will take you to Kibuye town and show you chipati.

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