I could probably write a book on my two week experience in Rwanda. Not because I changed the world in 2 weeks, but because of the culminating meaning of the trip.
Many people dream about what they want to do when they grow up. For me – I had no freaking clue. I started off in fashion/modeling (dream, not reality) when I was 16, moved to business when I was 17 and signed my life away to the military at 18. Needless to say – I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.
The one thing I have decided, however, is that I want to live a life of service; service to others, in whatever capacity. Make whatever argument you want, to me you have not known true fulfillment until you have the ability to life for others before yourself.
While meandering down this path, I decided to look into life as an aid worker. What better way to see if this was for me than to volunteer in a developing country? Which one to choose? Well, I was going to be in South Africa for the World Cup, so why not tack on a trip to Rwanda!
With its tumultuous past, seemingly quick recovery and uncertain future, to say Rwanda was interesting is an understatement. While I was placed in Kigali, the capital city, my initial impression was pretty much what one would think of an African country.
First, I started off on kind of a bad foot – I missed my initial flight to Kigali from Johannesburg. My fault? Mmmm… note to self – leave at least 2 hours to check in at any African airport. I arrived an hour prior to my flight (having forgotten most of my money, credit cards and dignity in the rental car my friends dropped me off in) and was told by the Airline manager that they could not possibly let me one the flight. Apparently, an hour is cutting it too close. Their loss really since he ended up expensing a 2 night stay in Johannesburg as well as free transport to and from the airport…
So 3 days later, I finally was met by one of the local volunteers, Muvunyi. After pushing the car down a hill to get it started, we made our way down the dirt roads to the compound where volunteers lived in a family style housing.
Crawling into my mosquito-netted bed, I wondered what the next few weeks had in store for me.