I’ve been in Rwanda for 134 days and in that time everything has changed, is still changing. The way I think about poverty has changed, what I consider an inconvenience has changed, how much sunscreen I use on a daily basis has changed, and what I am thankful for has changed. And yet some things are exactly the same: how much I love cheese, how much coffee I drink on a daily basis (Rwandan coffee is way better than Starbucks), and my deep appreciation for quality wine.
Before this week I had 126 days left in Rwanda, but that too has recently changed. As of today I am officially coming home early, September 25th to be exact. I’ve got 58 days left! While this change is somewhat of a disappointment, it is also an opportunity for renewal. Coming home to recharge, refocus, and lean into the person I’m becoming regardless of where I am in the world. Bringing Af-rica back to America, as it were. Can I hold onto the peace, gratitude, and joy-within-stress I’ve found here? Can I leave the anxiety and constant go-go-go where I left it 6 months ago? I think I can, although certainly not perfectly and definitely not without help.
So here we go, slowly transitioning from one continent to another, one culture to another, one season to another. Honestly, I have no idea what’s next, but the gift of the unknown, not having a plan, winging it, these are things I’ve been learning to embrace here–to trust that there will be a way forward. It makes it a lot easier to breathe. And while I’m sad to leave the home and family I’ve found in Rwanda, I’m excited to return to the home I have in Virginia. To see friends and family, to wander down the aisles of Target, to drive my car again, to have a shower curtain. And one day I’ll be back here, of that I have no doubt. But for now, I’m going to focus on enjoying the time I have left in Rwanda and preparing for another kind of culture shock: going home!
See (some of) you soon!