July 9, 2014
Ewen and I arrived in Rwanda last night, after 27 hours of traveling. Got a few hours sleep on the plane, ate a lot of bad food wrapped in too many layers of plastic, saw a couple of good movies “20 feet from Stardom” and “The Budapest Hotel”.
Damas, our RSF program coordinator was waiting for us at the Kigali airport. I received his generous and genuine 30 second hug. It felt both warm and calming, as he kept perfectly still, at ease with this level of intimacy. Ewen received a slightly shorter version of the hug. “Welcome to Rwanda!” Damas grinned.
We carried 200 lbs of supplies and had our small carry-on bags and backpacks. Damas stepped away to get us a taxi. Ewen and I were anticipating the arrival of a SUV-sized taxi. A small car pulled up instead. We looked at the small trunk. “Nakiboso” (no problem), said Damas, “you remember that word, don’t you Nancy?” “Oh yes, I replied,” I am happy to hear it so soon after I arrived.”
Settled into our hotel in Kigali for the night, we went downstairs to the outdoor restaurant where the Argentina vs. Netherlands soccer game was playing, while Ewen drank his first Primus beer, made in Gisenyi. He watched the remainder of the game in our room as I dozed off. After the 2nd extra time, and the score of 0/0, he turned the TV off. It was now past midnight. A few minutes later, Ewen mumbled something. “What’s that?” I asked, alway enjoying my conversations with Ewen that we have while he is sleeping. They usually have something to do with a boat. He spoke up, “Someone must have gotten a goal, I just heard a crowd of people roaring outside!”
Welcome to Rwanda.