A big hello to all my dedicated readers! (aka mom)
I am safely back in Rwanda and have been without internet for a week. I apologize for the lack of updates.
I went home for my grandmother’s funeral and it was truly wonderful to be able to celebrate her life and to be with family and friends for a few weeks. I have been back in the village for about a week now and I must admit that it has been a slow transition back into life here. I slept for two days when I arrived which led my landlord to have small breakdown since he assumed that I must be dead if I wasn’t answering the door for visitors. Of course I was just sleeping with headphones or earplugs and the few times I did hear voices I must admit I just rolled over and continued sleeping. I woke up from one nap and had 12 missed calls from him. I found this to be a tad excessive but cute to know he worries about me. One colleague came to visit me, and when I didn’t immediately answer the door, proceeded to knock for an entire hour. I finally answered when I heard her conspiring with my landlord to find my extra set of keys. Can you imagine if someone in America knocked on your door for an hour straight? I forgot I wasn’t in America anymore and ignoring people doesn’t get rid of them.
For the first few days I wasn’t very social (as in I never left my room) because I was much too busy throwing myself an epic pity party. Last time I went home it was really easy coming back so I assumed this time would be the same. Unfortunately it was a tad rougher. The spiders in the latrine seemed bigger than before and I somehow forgot that cooking anything takes hours and the electricity is often out at night. Last night I killed a giant spider that was camped out on my pillow and was overcome with a sudden urge to crawl into my sleeping bag and weep. Bugs and spiders in my bed, my safe haven, really gets to me. One of the lowest points came when I finally ventured out to my little shower room to take a bucket bath. Yes, it took me three days to bathe after my arrival- judge away. I usually check the walls to check for big spiders or wasp nests but lizards never really bother me, unless, as I discovered that fateful afternoon, they fall onto my head. When I shut the door it must have startled the lizard perched above it, which apparently caused him to loose his grip and he came plunging down into my not so luscious locks. By this point in time my hair was nice and greasy and he became momentarily entangled in my web of disheveled tangles and I experienced a few moments of sheer panic as I scrambled around the tiny room trying to shake him onto the floor. After what seemed like an eternity (realistically a few seconds) he was free from my hair and running for cover. I later saw him on the wall by my little cinderblock windows and he seemed traumatized- I saw it in his beady little eyes.
So the transition back into village life has come with a few bumps along the way but I am starting to feel more at home and my social life has picked up once again. I went down to the orphanage to visit Mama JoJo’s new baby. They sent 35 kids home to relatives over break (since the government is closing all orphanages this year) and the compound is way too quiet now. I was able to spend the afternoon cuddling the new baby, Tom, and visiting with Mama JoJo and the missionary family who lives there. They had made pizza for lunch and when they shared some with me I once again wanted to weep since I had been living off of granola bars, raisons, and boiled rain water for four days. I have also been to visit two teachers from my school and have another visit planned for tonight. During one visit I played with the baby while the dad and uncle watched a Chinese drama that had an obnoxious voice-over in Kinyarwanda. It was truly painful, except for the baby, of course.
So life goes on and teaching starts again so stay tuned for more adventures! I will end with a cute shot of IRADUKUNDA MUGISHA Tom. That is how you write a name here, last name first in all capitals and then the first name. Iradukunda means “God loves us” and Mugisha means “blessing”- a pretty solid name in my book!