I have not slept in 36 hours. 24 hours of travel plus a little exploring for me 🙃. There is a 6 hour time difference so I’m all sorts of jet lagged. First off, this flight was so swanky- I legit didn’t want to get off the plane. I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring omelettes, sandwiches, and chicken tikka misala accompanigned by all you can drink spirits. I was one very happy passenger. I watched 8 movies including “the shape of water” which I watched with my head cocked to the side the entire time. Layover in Qatar and Uganda- then finally Kigali. I met so many amazing people and hearing their stories was incredible. One other black woman was going to Qatar by herself to help Syrian refugees. She said she saw their need and felt a call to action. She was impressed by my OB/GYN status, but I assured her that I hope to one day have the kind of passion to drop everything to serve a cause bigger than myself. I was awe-spired.
Africa is a fascinating place. It’s so beautiful and filled with so much rich culture. I love seeing all the beautiful brown and black faces around me. Rwanda is so advanced!! Ok, it’s no Wakanda but it definitely exceeded my expectations especially when I compare it to my experience in Haiti. There is electricity, running water (even hot!) street lights, fancy hotels, reliable internet connection, and all the other things that are luxuries other 3rd world countries (I.e Haiti) do not always have.
In any case today went very smoothly. I was a little nervous traveling across the globe by myself, not speaking the language, and trying to find my way around– but things went seamlessly. My taxi driver was standing outside the gate with a sign with my name on it. His English isn’t great and my French is no better so we struggle communicating- maybe tomorrow we can try sign language.
He dropped me to the house I will be staying at and it’s lovely! It’s very quaint and comfortable. 5 rooms but I’m all alone!! There is a security guard here all the time (although I feel so safe) and I met the cook, Safrina, who is absolutely sensational. I begged her to sleep over but she has 5 kids and told me she’d be back on Monday . Sigh, I thought my pouty face would win her over, it didn’t. She did manage to fix me the most delicious meal I ever had- more than enough to feed me and her 5 kids !! I asked her to join me but she refused– she said it’s all for me. She made beef, salad with avocado, and veggies, some type of bread that I call naan because I can’t remember the African name, spinach, and boiled eggs. Ugh. Followed by dessert. I told her I had dinner plans but she insisted I eat. I didn’t push it because in my preparation I read that it is highly disrespectful to refuse a meal. I shoved as much food as I could in my mouth. My tummy hurt after.
Next I got ready to go meet Christina (my attending) at her hotel. Coincidentally she is in town for a summit with the leadership for the sustainable village in Archaie, Haiti. So I met up with them and went to a fancy restaurant on a mountain with an amazing view. We had great conversations about Haiti, Rwanda, and goals for the future.
Today was a great day. Now excuse me while I sleep under my mosquito net for the next 18 hrs.