Thursday, July 23, 2009
Once again I'm at the Kigali airport. I'm picking up two volunteers from Boston who will be working with us for the next five weeks. Unfortunately, I'm also dropping off. Another goodbye, this is a big goodbye.
Rebecca decided to leave a couple of weeks ago. I knew it was coming. She is completely, totally, head over heels in love with her fiancee, John. She has been in Rwanda since January when she originally came here as a Peace Corps volunteer. Rwanda has taken its toll and the pull of love in America is too strong. It happens. We all leave at one point. I am happy for her and selfishly sad for me.
I met Rebecca the first night I was in Musanze. She lived down the street from Jock in this unbelievably sketchy horror house provided by the Peace Corps. She had become friends with Jock through John, who had met Jock at Interbike last year. If you don't believe in divine intervention, or cosmic shift this connection will make you a believer. John met Jock. John had just started dating Rebecca. Rebecca had decided to join the Peace Corps and did not know what country she was going to be sent to. She ends up in Rwanda, and after training gets stationed in Musanze, right down the street from Jock. She stays with the Peace Corps until May when, due to her frightening living conditions, ends up at my house and eventually leaves the Peace Corps to work with Project Rwanda. Believe in cosmic forces now?
From the first night I met Rebecca we connected. Yes, another girl and I actually connected. She was easy to be around and incredibly funny. The first night we cooked dinner. Rebecca does not cook, but is a great dish washer! I remember feeling so "at home" that first night. She helped me slide right into my new life in Rwanda.
The laughs we have shared. I will most miss the laughs. The MTV video shoot with the Hugh Hefner of Gisenyi was the highlight of our trip. I know my red bikini butt will show up on some You Tube video clip someday!
Our discussion with Suzanne about "E Pussy" still makes me burst out in laughter. I still wonder what that German tourist thought of our conversation. By the way, that is what they call "cats" in Rwanda. What did you think we were discussing?
The last dinner I had at La Palme was with Rebecca. I haven't been back since the goat "womb" brochette incident. Something about goat womb just doesn't sit right with my intestines. Embrace the parasites and projectile vomit on the side of the road. It is after all a great weight loss system!
I laugh about our bad hair, coloring our bad hair with even worse color. I laugh about our bad skin, all broken out due to bad water and the fact we've actually embraced not showering. How will I ever be able to reenter my "American" world? Do you think they will actually be able to remove all the dirt from under our finger and toe nails?
Everything was always so easy with Rebecca. Jock, Rebecca, Max and I were our own little family away from family. I came to rely on Rebecca not only for the incredible work she did for Project Rwanda after coming on board, but for her insight, her friendship, her humor and her half of the crappy over priced Rwandan wine! Through it all we've managed to get so much accomplished. We've helped Project Rwanda move forward even with the demise of the gin soaked Apple computer!
Today as we were driving to Kigali for the last time, we found ourselves listening to this awful CD, which happens to be one of two really bad CDs I was sent from home. We sang with all the gusto one can muster up for Air Supply's "All Out of Love" on the Road of Death. We waved at the young kids yelling "Muzungu" and yelled back with all our love, "Little Black Kids". We went to lunch at Bourban for one more round of really bad Rwandan service. Oh, Rwanda....
This is a hard "goodbye". I do not express myself openly at times with friends. She probably never knew how much I appreciated her being here. I am so happy for her and her new life. Although I will see Rebecca in September at Interbike she was a constant for me here. She helped keep me sane with some very difficult home dynamics. If at any time I needed someone like her it would be now. She'll just have to keep me laughing via SKYPE....just keep the Gin away from the laptops!