Thursday, August 13, 2009

First Impressions

It was so interesting to experience Kigali for the first time again through someone else’s eyes. When we drove up to the market we were surrounded by at least 20 screaming young men with their faces pressed against the windows wanting to help us shop or watch the car. They saw three white women and dollar signs; Luanne said she felt like Paris Hilton. We were there to help Hillary buy presents to take back to Boston tomorrow. We spent time browsing those aisles and of course we bought things as well. She had lots of presents to buy so I took Luanne for a tour of some of the other parts of the market; Luanne’s amazement made me smile.

We met for lunch across the street for one of the African buffets that include at least 5 starches some vegetables and either meat or fish. This one had soup a well but I was not interested in eating hot soup after spending over an hour in the stifling market. We were all impressed when we were presented our own box of dessert that included one small banana!

After a nap, we got dressed for dinner at the Deputy Chief of Station's (2nd in command of the US Embassy) home. Ann and Karl were great hosts and the dinner was one of the best I have had in Kigali but it was the conversation that was most enjoyable. Ed, the Political Officer also joined us so there was lively discussion about many African issues including: AIDS, corruption, US policies, the drought, healthcare and the list goes on.

Luanne saw more rural sights on her way to visit schools in the Nyamata district while I completed work on two projects.

We had dinner at Republika and she met the wonderful Solange and a few of her sisters who were also there for dinner. I made one last visit at the gift shop and bought myself another necklace (I have really gotten into jewelry here) and a t-shirt I know David (my brother in law) will like.

My volunteer work is completed. We will pick Betsy up late tonight and the last remaining thing to do before our adventures will be to deliver the very generous donation from Seventh Generation and the Community to the HOPE CENTER Friday afternoon.

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