I am FINALLY in Kigali 🙂 🙂
Just getting here has been such an adventure and I met so many wonderful people on the way!
Sitting next to me from Washington Dulles to Addis Ababa was the sweetest Ethiopian lady who encouraged me to stay in Ethiopia with her. Most interesting tidbit – she’d been all over Europe and the States but has never traveled outside of Ethiopia to the rest of Africa. According to her, “Ethiopia is Africa.”
I also met the director of World Vision in DRC who was kind enough to help me locate my baggage once I got to Kigali and nearly freaked out when they closed the baggage lines. Turns out that (contrary to the repeated assurances of Ethiopian Airline reps) my suitcases arrived a day before on the flight I was supposed to have taken to Kigali.
So, according to my friend Belise, I arrived in Kigali on the worst possible day: the first day of political campaigning for the August presidential election. The first thing I saw upon exiting the airport were lines of trucks filled with armed soldiers and roads packed with cars trying to get to the stadium. Apparently (and unfortunately), the three “oppositional candidates” to Kagame were former members of his staff (i.e. this is a pretense at an election…go figure). Oh well, I suppose it’ll still be interesting to see politics at work while I’m here even if Kagame has pretty much already determined the results.
Other than that, I really like the house I am staying in – even if the faucets don’t always work and I am currently taking refuge under my mosquito net – and I’m super excited to have my own room (for the first time in my life!) and be able to wake up every morning to a scenic view of Kigali (pictures to come). I still can’t really process that I’m finally here after years of wanting to be here, months of applying for grants, and days of traveling disasters. Life is good.
Tomorrow morning I will visit the Learning Centre and meet my students for the first time. Can’t wait to tell you all about it!!