I have arrived in Kigali, Rwanda and have spent the past four weeks settling in, meeting old and new friends and getting through traveler's "malaise," jet lag and a bout with an eye infection. The weather here is beautiful even though it has rained almost every day - sometimes at a torrential level. I have been staying in the Kyovu section of Kigali at the home of Shirley with three other housemates. We are a truly international group - Australia, Malawi, Germany, Canada and American. The house is great, sitting on a hill (of course!) overlooking Kigali - very restful and quiet. I will not stay here the whole time - in fact will be moving today but what a great experience getting to know these new friends.
I have traveled with Robin and Moses, a truly indispensable Admin. Asst, to Rwamagana several times getting ready for classes to begin, sometimes by car and sometimes by taxi-van or bus. Brings back memories! I have met the students who came for pre-testing and they are great. Hopefully we will have attended to all the bureacratic necessities and classes will begin soon. Moses and I have been working diligently to be sure the office is functioning well before we do start.
My first big "aha" for this trip has to do with the sameness of people. Here I am in the midst of an international group of women, all of whom are talented and working at jobs/careers which are making a difference in the world but what really strikes me is our sameness. We all get up in the morning, yawn, scratch our heads and look forward to the first cup of tea or coffee. We all eat the same food, complain about the same things, and laugh together over the humor of living together. We all do our own laundry, brush our teeth, etc. It strikes me that this observation carries over to the students who will attend Rwamagana Lutheran School. Just like you, dear youth of Muhlenberg and America, they get up in the morning, get ready for the day and have the same hopes and dreams any American kid has. They, however, face a lot more problems realizing those hopes and dreams. Your help will give some of the Rwandan youth the chance to work towards their goals. I hope you will add them to your daily prayers as well as all the youth in the world who are struggling. Those of us who are more fortunate must always be aware that it is up to us to choose to help or not.
So, I am now ready for round two of settling in and will write more as soon as internet again becomes available to me. Thanks to those who have responded to this blog. I enjoy reading your postings.