Leaving for Rwanda

By Robin

August 3, 2008


Category: Uncategorized


We leave for Kigali in less than two weeks. We didn’t even know our departure date until just this week and finding out an exact date and time for our flight made everything much more real. Suddenly it actually feels like we’re leaving the country.

We’ve begun our good bye rituals: we’ve eaten at several favorite restaurants for the last time (Hula Boy, Namaste, Burgerville?), we’ve made a pilgrimage to Powell’s for teaching resources, we’ve purchased our black trunks, we’ve (hopefully) done our last major round of grocery shopping and we’ve started to blurt out to clerks in stores “we’re moving to Africa in a few weeks.” The process is a familiar one for me and is somewhat comforting. I know that in the next few days the excitement of the adventure will change to a feeling similar to what I think it would feel like to die. Our entire lives will be condensed into a few small boxes. Our cell phones will become unusable. Our friends will have nothing to speak to us about because they are ready to hear about life in Rwanda. Our routines will be thrown out the window. Our families will be ready to cry at the drop of a hat. And we will be stuck with an almost unbearable sense of the impending unknown.

We have trunks of supplies but no way to visualize how/where those things will be used. That lack of future context makes the future seem absurdly out of reach. It’s possible to *know* what teaching is like, but impossible to picture ourselves in those shoes. It’s possible to *know* that we need to take plastic mixing bowls for our kitchen, but impossible to picture that kitchen. It’s possible to *know* what we have for classroom decorations, but impossible to fathom how they will stick onto the walls (what is a concrete nail anyway?). We’re prepared for a life, but we have yet to know anything about that life.

It’s a fun place to be šŸ™‚


2 Responses to “Leaving for Rwanda”

  1. šŸ™‚

    I’m glad we’re kind of in the same boat. People are starting to ask me if I’m scared about going, since I leave in less than one month and I’m really not! How can you be? I mean, it’s so much of the unknown that it’s a “fun place to be”. You just have to go with it and see what happens and just try to enjoy every bit of it.

    I love you.

  2. “Our friends will have nothing to speak to us about because they are ready to hear about life in Rwanda.” – OK, now that part is ENTIRELY inaccurate. 1) Arkansas is always rife with stories. 2) I’M always rife with stories. 3) I really don’t like you guys enough to pretend to listen about a continent I’ve never been to. Sorry.

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