For me, living here in Kigali has brought many of the “firsts” in life – my first trip overseas, my first long-term job, and my first experience(s) as a teacher. As of Sunday, we can add to that list the first time I have successfully driven a car with manual transmission.
I wanted to get out on Saturday morning or afternoon, but due to a variety of circumstances beyond my control, that didn’t happen. No big deal. Sunday came and Amy and I decided to go out around noon. She drove from our house, to the main road, up to the roundabout and eventually out of the city altogether. Once we were in a remote enough place (read: without cars to hit or very many pedestrian spectators to laugh at me) we pulled off the road and switched. I didn’t have too much trouble getting on the road, or staying on it…. it definitely takes a lot of focus – not a lot of opportunity for light conversation or being half-asleep while driving a stick shift on these Rwandan hills. We drove 20-25 kilometers outside of the city and took in some beautiful countryside. I was able to drive all the way home, even up the steep driveway into our compound (on the third try). I and the Samurai are sure to have a long, eventful life together.