Friday, August 03, 2012

Day 1

I slept 17 of the 19 hours in the air to Rwanda. I landed feeling refreshed.

Alas, the 1st of many challenges began when my box containing 4 computers did not arrive. I am choosing to believe that they are simply misplaced vs a scan showing 4 laptops perfect for snitching.

We had closed a wonderful win for Carat with the GoPro account the day I left, but there was much to do when I landed but technology failed me. Thus I was left with only the ability to text. That and lots of conversations with the top people at AT&T which revealed why my data wasn’t working on the iphone…AT&T changed a system 1 month ago and unfortunately Rwanda has not thrown the switch on this end. At 4AM I finally put my head down hoping the 2.5 hours of sleep would come.

Chantal greeted me with OJ, pineapple and banana bread. AHHH, I am calling this the pampered trip as I usually stay with the kids, but our rental house does not have room. Thus I now have running water, always on electricity and AND hot water. YA, don’t feel bad for me at on on this trip!!!

We went to MTN , one of the local carriers and found a way to make my ipad work with email. Not exactly pocket size…but it will do for now.

I picked up my scooter and followed Chantal to the new temp housing. The road was a bit perilous including crossing 2 rivers that have only logs to ride over. The locals where we used to live know me, so they get use to seeing me doing all sorts of strange things, but here, the Muzungu (white person) on a scooter crossing rivers on logs was a new sight, so needless to say, the cheers and hoots were heard down the entire road.

Thru the gates and into the arms of our kids is a wonderful joy. You simply can’t explain it. The big kids are getting a little cool for school to come running to greet me but the little kids hoot, holler and scream for joy when they saw me. Missy Donna Missy Donna echoed through the lunch room.

We spent time just playing and chatting. When the little kids laid down for their naps the 12 bigs kids and set out to explore our new neighborhood. We walked the dirty bumpy road, then cut through a path to an open area to assess if we could play football (aka soccer) there. It was a no go. Then we heard a stream and wondered over to check it out. Next the kids saw some corn that was 2x as tall as me and told me they wanted to see it…but they really wanted to see was a prison near by.

Part way through I asked if everyone knew how to get back? This was met with yes and no’s…ok not really no’s…but lots of puzzled facing trying to remember. 45 mins to the walk I said we needed to go back the way we came try this other road which I hoped would take us back. There was a split decision so we decided to take the adventurous non traveled route which thankfully took us back home.

I brought out my ipad which followed Harvin’s lead from last time…and well, that’s the last time I saw the faces of the big kids for two hours. It worked out well as it gave me more time with the little kids.

I learned we have lots of kids doing well in school. Alice and Grace did well..and Dorus is #1 in her class. Luv it!! We’ll be having a special time together to celebrate. A new tradition to reward the good students.

Issac then returned home from an extra 1.5 weeks of school where he was studying for his exams this fall. These exams are huge. The kids greeted him like the pied piper and he loved on each and every one of the little kids.

He said he could not tell any stories or answer any questions today as he head was …and made a dizzy face…from studying sooooo much. Then he turned and laughed.

More time loving the kids and trying to split myself into 2 to give them each some attention which is of course impossible.

I scootered home just before dark as I didn’t think I could make it with just the headlight of scooter on this tough road.

Dinner with a wonderful group of people in from a variety of places to help the Mbanda’s on one of their beautiful projects or to serve as a contact for them.
One many was expecially interesting. He runs the coffeee company – Land of 1000 hills…this is the name for which Rwanda is famous.

Home I am trying to help Mbanda with some faceook issues for his church and hope to sleep tonight.

Time here is so precious.

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