It’s been a bit more than a week since my last post, but take that as a good thing because I’m finally settling into the flow of life here. I think there will always be some ways in which I’m still adjusting, but for now life has fallen into a sort of routine which to me is a comfort. It means not everything is new or crazy different or a jolt to my system anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, my heart still skips a beat when I see the volcanoes rise up out of the clouds from my front gate, and I still smile like a lunatic when the kids give me hugs in the morning or play with my hair, but I can navigate the hectic bus station to get to Kigali by myself now, and it doesn’t bother me when people I don’t know want to chat with me as I walk to town. I can even ask someone how they’re doing and understand when they respond in Kinyarwanda! Small steps, but I’m still moving forward.
On Friday, the funniest thing happened to me on my way to school. The moto driver who regularly picks me up was busy so he sent a friend to get me. We were cruising along, it wasn’t raining (it’s rainy season so this was a miracle), and I was ready and prepared for the day (and weekend) ahead. Everything was going great until the moto started to slow down. It went slower…..and slower……..and……….slower…………until…………….it stopped. We had run out of gas. Surprisingly, I wasn’t even phased (Af-rica, my second self, is getting stronger!). I got off and offered to walk (It was a less than ten minute walk from where we were), but the driver waved the offer away. Instead, he bent down into a squat, scooped the bike up with his hands, tipped the whole thing forward, and shook it. I had never seen anyone do this before and the moto is big! And heavy! But this guy just scooped it up and shook it like no big deal. Like you shake ketchup or salt. Effortless. Then he set the bike back down and we got back on. He had to press the ignition a couple times, but it started and we made it to Sonrise in one piece. I was so impressed!
Rwanda is nothing like the US in so many ways, but in others it’s just the same. Cars run out of gas, sometimes it rains for days on end, and everybody loves french fries. It makes settling in and embracing the rise and fall of the day-to-day a lot easier. As this weekend comes to a close I can’t help but enjoy that feeling of familiarity. Another weekend done, another week just beginning. It feels good.