Our day in Kigali

7 Feb

Here’s the majority of an email I wrote to my good friend Jeff just a few minutes ago that is pretty comprehensive of our day so I figured I would just copy and paste it so that you could know as well!


Well, man, it’s pretty interesting over
here.  Imagine that you’re in a small town somewhere in southern VA.
Now imagine that everyone there is black and doesn’t speak much
English.  WELCOME TO RWANDA!  Well, at least Gahini where Maggie and I
are.  We’re in a rural area where the people are a bit more
conservative (both in thinking and in how they dress) and so at times
we can feel a bit isolated, but we’re adjusting slowly by slowly.

Today we went to the capital city of Kigali an met up with a friend of
mine that is over here.  His name is Deke and he’s the guy who
essentially facilitated the internships for Maggs and I over here.
His girlfriend, Jocelyn, is also over here.  Both of them were in my
program at Eastern for International Development.  First we ate lunch
with both of them which was nice.  Everyone got a salami sandwich,
which is essentially salami on a croissant.  It cost us about $1.20
each, so that was pretty great.  Afterward Jocelyn had to go do battle
with the immigration office here (I’m afraid that she may have come up
short again but we’re praying that she’ll get her visa soon!) and we
went with Deke to get cheap cell phones with built in flash-lights!
We also got a simple modem for the internet (it’s a flash-drive that
connects you to the internet, pretty awesome actually!).  Bartering
for the phones was a bit of an experience.  We visited 4 shops before
we found someone willing to give us a normal price and not a “you’re
white so we’re going to screw you big time” price.  Then we went to a
grocery store to get a few toiletries (Maggs got shampoo & conditioner
while Deke and I got Citrus flavored Fanta in retro-like seventies
cans) and Maggie ended up winning a prize somehow.  The bag-guy at
the check-out said to her “you have won a gift.”  So they took her to
a customer service desk, presented her with the “gift” and then had
her pose with a manager for a photo.  It was quite hilarious if I may
say so.  The gift ended up being a 1999 bottle of Chardonnay from
British Columbia.  Go figure.

Afterwards we spent some time with Deke at
his place, just hanging out and catching up.  Then we jumped in a car
with the Bishop to come back to Gahini.  The car ride is about an hour
or so long.  It can be a bit scary at times, especially at night!
Then we came back, ate chicken shish kabobs, and went to our room to
discover a new (much larger and softer) bed!  Last night was miserable
as we slept on a bed that felt like a soft stone (rock) that was about
as large as a twin size bed.  Since Maggie and I aren’t small people
this was a bit of an issue.  Especially when you consider that we had
to still put the mosquito net around it and so that makes it even more
squished because you don’t want to be touching the net because then
the mosquito’s can simply land on the net and bite you from the other
side.  So last night’s sleep sucked.  No other way to say it.  So we
were thrilled to discover the larger bed and also that it is quite a
bit softer.  Now my feet won’t hang off the edge of the bed and my
body won’t ache from laying on such a hard surface for such a long


That’s all for tonight my friends.  Maggs is already in bed and I’m about to brush my teeth, take my malaria medicine, and head there myself.  Just wanted to share a bit with you.


J & M


3 Responses to “Our day in Kigali”

  1. emily elizabeth February 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    whhhhaaaaa? You won something at the super market??????? I didn’t even know that was possible! sounds like things are good…and I am still jealous our paths did not lead to Rwanda at the same time…when you get an address to receive mail, let me know!

    xoxo Em

  2. Susan Taylor February 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    I love hearing what you two are experiencing! Sorry the first night sucked! Looking forward to more updates.

  3. Bonnie Pasquarelli February 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    I just read in amazement all of your posts and waver between being very proud of both of you on your wonderful adventure… and truly jealous! I want to do that too, with Jeff!!! Though I think it would completely freak out my sweet GQ redneck hubby:) So I conclude that I will happily live vicariously through you and look forward to hearing and seeing more! Much love and prayers for you both, Aunt Bonnie

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