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Butare Rain

I am sitting in my Butare hotel room overlooking the garden courtyard. The rain is pinging loudly against the tin roof above me -- a sound I welcome today as I doze off for a lazy afternoon nap. However, earlier this week I was cursing the ubiquitious tin roofs of Rwanda and the music of the rainy season.

Finding a location to film interviews is a challenge anywhere you go. It requires a large quiet space that can be lit dramatically, has electricity and is more or less accessible to all parties involved.

Last Thursday, we went to a rural village outside of Nyamata to film some interviews. We managed to locate a large room at a conference center that was removed from the noisy road, had a multitude of working electrical outlets (fingers remained crossed that it would stay that way given the frequent power outages) and there was even a cafe nearby and a nice waitress who delivered chilled water on a platter.

When we "took a listen" to the room the sun was shining. But when the interview began, it wasn't long before we became aware of the roof above us. The rain started and was so loud against the corrugated tin that despite the sensitive microphones, we could barely hear the words of the person we were interviewing.

We waited for ten minutes until the rain subsided and had to pause again for the Muslim call to worship broadcast over a loudspeaker down the street. We got a few hours of clear interview sound, but as the sun began to set, the cicadas announced themselves. Any other day I would have welcomed their chirping. I think the location goes on record as being the noisiest I've ever experienced...and I usually shoot interviews in one of the noisiest cities in the world: NYC.


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