I’ve been trying for over two weeks (and failing up until now) to write a post to close out this blog. My tardiness stems in part from how busy I’ve been since I returned to the US. To blame my schedule, however, would be a incomplete explanation. I’ve had enough time to write, plenty of internet access, and even some fresh Rwandan music to inspire me to author the greatest blog post in the history of blogs. What then, kept me from writing? Put simply, I was overwhelmed by the depth and extent of the experience that I was trying to “sum up” in a few paragraphs. I was at a loss for words, a state I rarely find myself in as anyone who knows me will readily acknowledge. I don’t really have the words now, but I’m going to write anyway. Now, lets get on with this post……
I learned a great deal during my 4 weeks in Rwanda—about the country, its people, and myself. I picked up a few words of Kinywarwandan, the most important being “amazi” (water). I acquired an appreciation for Rwandan music. Personal favorites: Kitoko, Dream Boyz, and King James. I witnessed affluence and poverty, often side by side. I saw images that will remain etched in my memory for years to come, some beautiful, others horrific. I heard stories of violence and conflict, brokenness and division. I heard stories of unity and hope, redemption and reconciliation. I confirmed that I do, in fact, want to pursue a career working on issues related to peace and security in Africa.
Since my flight home wasn’t scheduled until 1am, my final day was a long one. It started with packing, then goodbyes at NCV.
Next Chris and I went to Kigali to meet up with a few of our new-found Rwandan friends We did some shopping, enjoyed a relaxing dinner and then met up with the NCV staff at a Chinese restaurant. After another round of goodbyes, Chris and the NCV crew took me to the airport for the final sendoff. When it came time for me to go through security, the entire group walked me up. And then I was off. Actually I waited 5 hours at the gate for my flight to take off (4am by that time, thanks Turkish Airlines)
As I conclude, I want to offer a word of thanks to you, the faithful readers of this blog. Chris and I thoroughly enjoyed checking the stats on our posts. We were pleasantly surprised to top 1000 views. Then again, my mom may have accounted for about 500 of them…
Everyone at NCV seemed pretty confident I’ll be back in Rwanda at some point. Sounds good to me!