An old post I realized that I forgot to post! Written on April 14, 2011:
Casey and I just returned from our first real break since early November, where we spent three nights camping on a little island on a lake in Uganda – called Lake Bunyonyi; the deepest lake in Uganda. The border of Rwanda/Uganda is only 2 hours away from Kigali, so taking advantage of a particular week in Rwanda when everything is officially shut down**, we slipped away for 4 days to rest.
And rest we certainly did. We stayed in this lovely safari tent (picture) on a sweet little island called Busara Island, which could only be reached by boat. We walked around the island multiple times and took in the variety of extravagant birds that would creep up and sing to us. We read books, talked for hours, explored the island, slept tons and ate wonderful food. It was beyond peaceful.
Upon our return from the Lake this morning, we were greeted with our suitcase that made it safely to Kigali last night!!!!!
Long story, but the short of it is that our moms sponsored a large suitcase to be carried back to Rwanda through a colleague that was visiting in San Francisco, but due to a family emergency she was unable to make the trip to SF at the last minute. Therefore, our suitcase was stranded. Since that time, a friend of a friend offered to carry it for us since she was coming to visit her daughter here in Kigali. We pay the extra baggage fee of $150 and this lovely woman, Julia, kindly brought our goods to Kigali for us.
I cannot begin to tell you what a treat it was to get all of these goodies from the US that we can’t find here (quinoa, grape nuts, dark chocolate), our important motorcycle helmets, and the love that came from our moms Cindy and Stephanie, and dear friends Liz and Katie. There are certainly many treats, but also big essentials for us that we haven’t been able to find here (for instance, quality motorcycle helmets). At one point Casey says, “you can tell your friends had a hand in this when you find Clift Blocs inside, and it has your mom written all over it with all your favorite comfort foods!” It’s like getting a care package back in college all over again!
** the week following Genocide Memorial Day on 7 April is designated an official week of mourning. Cities throughout Rwanda, Kigali in particular, shut down their businesses and take time to remember the genocide and talk with genocide survivors in an attempt to work through the tragedy.