Sunday, May 26, 2013
That sinking feeling... Our final day in Kigali
You know that sinking feeling you used to get when your holidays were over and you had to leave home to move back to school? Sure, you were excited to reunite with friends, but it was always tough to leave home after a wonderful break. I had this feeling all day today. I really do not want to leave! I finally feel connected to the city, to the hills, and to so many people. And I really do not want to say goodbye! I was Skyping with my brother, Malik, today, and he made a good point, that it's far better that I'm leaving wanting more of the city, than if it was the opposite, such that I was ready to get out and had to stay a while longer. He always knows what to say to cheer me up, and I'm glad he put things into perspective for me.
In the morning, I was greeted by a number of geckos on the wall across from my bed, and enjoyed the sun spilling across the room, allowing the geckos to show off their brilliant colours. I completed another physics lecture, quiz, and some more work at home, before deciding I needed to get a fix of Rwandan coffee before leaving this country! The Rwandan coffee is brilliant; it's actually so rich that we don't get it in North America, as according to Anny, it's apparently too strong.
I therefore went to town, and sat in the famous Bourbon Coffee Shop for lunch. I sipped my Rwandan coffee on the terrace, overlooking the hills and just breathing in the peaceful nature of this place. I really love it here, and never would have thought this place could become a home away from home! The atmosphere was quite serene, and I enjoyed the alone time, just absorbed in my thoughts. I was also very productive work-wise, which was great!
Following my lovely afternoon working session, I went to prayers again, and was asked to sing. One of the ladies asked me which ginan (hymn) I was going to sing, and when I told her, she became quiet. She told me that this week marks four years from her husband's passing, and that there are special prayers for the souls who have moved on in the particular piece I had selected to recite. I therefore knew I wanted to do a really great job with the recitation, and really put my heart into it. And I did. I went up to the front, and really felt it as I was singing. Afterwards, so many people came up with the most lovely compliments and kind words, and someone actually said she teared up a bit. I was thankful for the opportunity to lead the congregation in this recitation, and for the appropriateness of the selected piece.
As I started my goodbyes, I became quite sad to be leaving all of these people. Over the last few days attending prayers regularly I've become quite close with a couple of the kids, and other leaders of the congregation. Everyone, over the course of our four weeks here, has been so kind, warm, and welcoming, and all went out of their way to make me feel comfortable in this new city, for which I'm truly grateful. They made me promise that I would come back again one day, and I most certainly hope I can!
Rehman dropped me home, and only after I texted my brother to tell him I was ready to Skype, did I realize I had forgotten my backpack, with my laptop in it, in Rehman's trunk! I didn't want him to rush back, so to pass the time away from work, I walked down the hill from SFB with Jamie, to buy enough airtime for our last day of internet. Our normal guys were not there, as it was so late at night, and therefore we had to go further into the streets. It was quite the sketchy walk through the uneven, dark dirt roads, but the people were still so kind, waving hello to us as we passed. We bought our airtime, and took one last look at the SFB campus at night, with it's brilliant moonlit campus. Once Rehman graciously returned with the bag, Jamie and I booked our flight to Dar es Salaam from Uganda, where we will be heading tomorrow, and we researched things to do while on the touristy portion of our trip. Even though we have to be up at 7:30 tomorrow, I stayed up until 3:30am, just browsing through pages and pages of research on Safaris, tour companies, and lodges.
The sinking feeling has not gone away, but I definitely agree with Malik, that it's good to be leaving on a high note. I will always cherish the memories, the people, and the adventures here. And I look forward to the new adventures commencing tomorrow!