Have we met?


When someone you don’t seem to know greets you like they know you… is it awkward to say “I have no clue who you are or why you just said hi. Have we met?” Ever since I moved to Rwanda, I have noticed that a lot of people know me. Many of whom I’m sure I’ve never met before, and some of whom I have probably ran into briefly.  I’m terrible at remembering names and often faces of people I just met. I’m always embarrassed to tell people I don’t remember them. A lot of people take it personally and then things get even more awkward than they already are by default. Most times, when people are being introduced to me, their names go in through one ear and then right out the other ear. That’s not because I don’t care. It’s because I am trying hard to memorize your face so I can remember you next time.

This has strange side effects. For example. I might know someone for a couple weeks or longer and not remember their name, and be too ashamed to ask. So I ask other people or wait for someone else to call that person by their name.

Majority of our students I don’t know their names. And some I don’t even seem to remember their faces. A month ago or so, one of our students came asking for wifi access. I was confused and asked “Errr, where are from?” You know? Like, who are you with? State your purpose. He tells me he’s a student. From the 2014 graduating set, even. Wow. Sorry, dude. Sure you can access the wifi.

Ironically, I love to give people nicknames. And most times other people will adopt the use of these nicknames, too.

I guess it’s like that old saying, if you can’t beat them, make them join you. Right?


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