Really, I have no clue why I’m back in Africa. There were so many reasons to return that it was impossible to articulate a particular aspect that draws me back. On the other hand, there are also so many people, pastimes, and obligations that keep me strongly rooted to America that I ask myself time and again why I’m going back to Rwanda for “fun.” However, after much discernment, prayer, and daydreaming I’m here in Kigali for about a month! Mostly I’m looking forward to working at the same school with my beloved students, teachers, and Sr. Anna, seeing some old friends, working with new friends, and experiencing the simplicity of life in the beautiful “land of a thousand hills.” I think that Rwandans have some extraordinary sense of courage, community, perseverance, joyfulness, and hospitality. Despite the dark shadow of tragedy and horror that lies in their recent history, they know how to live with the hope that tomorrow will be better. Their unmatched resilience and enthusiasm for life have inspired me every day of this past year, and I will probably learn more from them than they will learn from me on this second journey.
Fortunately the teaching should be easier this year- though this vocation is never an easy endeavor. I’m now equipped with a full year of teaching in my own classroom, and have a general knowledge of Rwandan pedagogy (which is drastically different than the content and method of teaching in American elementary schools), and the teachers, students, and I actually know how to communicate well with each other now! Boston College sent two new theology students, Martha and Bernard, to work at ENDA, so I’m psyched to experience the summer with them! I’m really going to miss Emily and Aaron’s company from last year though. I also am so thrilled to be back in Kigali with my African inshuti (friends)! God has a plan, I’m not sure what it is, but I can’t wait to see it unfold this summer!
I’ve been here fewer than 24 hours and it already feels like I’m back home. The streets are familiar, I understand exactly how to speak to people, and know how and where to catch my bus. It’s like a breeze compared to last year’s abrupt awakening to a language barrier, lack of direction, and the ridiculous amount of attention that a white girl cannot escape. A huge highlight so far was the layover in Nairobi, Kenya. Though I never got to leave the airport, I felt that I somewhat accomplished a life goal to be on Kenyan soil. There have been so many other blessings since then, however! In one day I’ve already been back to my school, attended Mass with the kiddos, drank a Fanta, co-taught an English class, attended a meeting, caught up with friends, and miraculously connected to wi-fi. Time to get some sleep before attempting an early morning run- with emphasis on the attempt.