06 July, 2009
Today is my third day in Rwanda. I slept in this AM, having had a crazy schedule since arriving on the 4th. I am currently sitting on the balcony of the guest house, with a slight breeze, sunshine abounding, and someone practicing the drums. The missionary life is tough, let me tell you.
I am not in Rwanda on a missions trip. I am not only here for a short time and therefore do not need to fill up every moment with tasks and "doing something." I was exhausted and needed to sleep - being overly emotional and touchy wasn't doing anyone any good. And just pushing through would have, in the long run, done more harm than good. So I'm taking a day off and might go investigate Kigali later. Maybe tomorrow I will write about my first motorbike taxi ride. Language and lack of culture keep me in the guest house - which is safe and comfortable. But I will not know my surroundings if I do not go out. My fear battles my need to acclimate - I'll keep you updated on who wins!
Rwanda is an amazing beautiful country. Little know fact: the elevation is the same as CO. It's true. So while it is hot there is no humidity. It's like the perfect CO summer day. Rwanda is 5,000 feet above sea level and just goes up from there. It truly is the land of 1,000 hills. Everywhere I look all I see are rolling hills and they don't stop. Every time you turn one hill there are a 1,000 more waiting for you.
I got to see the volcanoes in Ruhengeri yesterday. The highest once reaches over 13,000 feet. We went to show As We Forgive at Sonrise School . It was an amazing experience. Today is the 90th day of remembrance for those killed in the genocide. Many in the room were in early high school, meaning they were not alive for the genocide, but live in the wake of it. One girl's father was killed in those 100 days - she never knew him. But the need to talk about it, to grieve, to forgive, to move on is still as necessary for her as for her mother.
It's amazing being here. I will say it again and again - Rwanda is more than the genocide. It is an amazing country that is trying to healthily deal with and more on from its past. You cannot live in the pain - you must look for a better tomorrow. That doesn't mean it didn't happen or that it wasn't important - it just means you are not going to stay in your tragedy.
I am floored by it. Even sitting here, looking at Kigali, it hasn't sunk in that I am here. I feel like I am watching a movie about Rwanda. That I will wake tomorrow in DC. It feels like I always been here, that I was meant to be here. One does have to love the honeymoon phase.
I miss home. I miss my family and friends and the familiarity of my culture. Last night at dinner we were talking about how dang hard it is to find books in Rwanda. They are expensive to buy and more so to ship. So there is one comfort gone. But, Rwanda does have coffee - lots of it! And I am already slightly addicted to Rwandan tea (so good!). It's a bit sweeter that American tea, and with a splash of nutmeg and milk - AMAZING!
Most likely I will head to Nyagatare by the end of the week. I am ready to go to Deo's and get settled. I am a tourist in what is to become my home, and I don't like that feeling.
Please be praying for homesickness, and for friends and health.