Saturday, October 31, 2009

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

I heard this phrase years ago, most likely from someone watching me deal with the fourteen spinning plates in my life. When you have so much to do in life, so many responsibilities, so many people pulling from all different directions how do you wrap your head around it? When I look at my ever growing "To Do" list accompanied by the new "Must Do" list I want to crawl back into bed and sleep. I've been in avoidance mode for two days now and it's time to sit down at the table and start eating that elephant....one small bite at a time.

I got back from Zambia Saturday afternoon. Jenny and I flew through Nairobi where we not only met up with my sister, Danielle, who was flying from Dakar to Rwanda through Nairobi, but also Team Rwanda returning from the Tour of Senegal. Go figure, we all end up in the Nairobi airport at the same time. After hanging out for 6+ hours we finally head to Rwanda. Jenny and I had left Lusaka, Zambia at midnight the night before, flew an hour to Harare, Zimbabwe, then three hours to Nairobi all the while I'm smashed in a window seat with no escape and no extra seats. My claustrophobia was a minute by minute taming of the irrational fear beast. Needless to say, sleep was not in the cards.

We landed in Rwanda around 1:00pm, left Jenny with Mike at the airport, picked up my car, dropped off my iPhone, which had died in Zambia, to the local hacker and then went and had much needed pedicures. Hey, I might live in Africa and traipse through the farms, but I'm still a girl!

We finally got home to Ruhengeri early evening, pulling into our driveway hearing the inescapable sounds of Max and European techno music blaring in the garage. It was good to be home and good to know Max was home too. I hadn't seen Max since he left in mid August when he returned to France for a couple of months to decompress.

Jock in the meantime had left Dakar after the Tour of Senegal, spent a day in Brussels and was back in the US to attend Tom's wedding. It's funny to think that at any given moment all four of us plus the Team were somewhere in the air over Africa or the Atlantic. The airlines were loving us the past couple of weeks!

Sunday I finally got back on my bike....it had been almost a week. Never ever a good thing! Danielle and I took the mountain bikes out with Max and got totally muddy. We had about a three hour reprieve from the rain and made a break for it.

Monday morning, during a break from the rain, I took Danielle to Gisenyi for lunch and a 20 minute sun filled lounge on the beach at Lake Kivu. Danielle had just spent four weeks in The Gambia volunteering at a local hospital teaching ultrasound. She had had very intermittent electricity and had learned the joys of bucket bathing so although we were not really do a whole lot during her time in Rwanda, I think just having a shower, a little less intermittent electricity, and food other than rice, was good enough for her.

Jenny returned from Kigali Monday night. She came back to help with a bike tour I was doing on Tuesday morning with Michael Kollins from World Bicycle Relief, and Vipin and Kruti, some friends of a friend who are in the midst of a six month world travel excursion. Tuesday morning the three of them, Max and Kiki, riding the new tandem mountain bike, Danielle, Jenny and I headed out. The weather was perfect, no rain a little sun, a little warm, we totally caught a break. When we got back to the house, I helped my sister secure a gorilla pass for the next day to go trekking with Michael, Vipin, and Kruti, got everyone settled in the house and ran around trying to get some work done before heading to Kigali to pick up Jock who was returning from the US.

So, I pawn my sister off on Johnny Muzungu for the night, load Jenny, Kiki and his bike in the car, run to Kigali, drop them off in rush hour traffic, cut back across town to check on my iPhone which is still unhackable, then to the airport. There are days like this when I'm just overwhelmed running everyone around and hearing that nagging voice in my head, "have you done your work today". Some days, it just isn't possible. There are not enough hours, enough people to help and enough conveniences in Africa to make that happen. Jock and I finally head out from Kigali around 9:00pm back to Ruhengeri. Although it's good to have Jock back because it takes some of the day to day work off my plate, the feeling is a little short lived as I know he gets back on a plane to Namibia in less than a week for the Continental Championships.

Wednesday, I finally get through my 100 urgent emails, talk to Felix about his bicycle road show proposal, hammer him about the 80+ sales we have somewhere in the pipeline and express the urgency of closing some of the sales. Also, I need a mechanic to come to Kigali to assemble 15 bikes for distribution and Max will be in Namibia. Jock's still in bed at noon when I have to go pick up the freelance reporter who's coming to interview him about the Team. I can only imagine how jet lag funky he's feeling at this point with two trips back and forth from California to Africa in the past two weeks.

Wednesday night we have dinner with Anna Reed and Tom Allen from Bridge to Rwanda. Anna is leaving in a few days for two months back in the US. It is a great dinner with amazingly great people and I literally cannot keep my eyes open. As we're finishing dinner, the electricity goes out so Danielle and I decide to spend the night at Jock's since for some reason he had electricity. At 3:00am I wake up to lights on, chairs moving in the living room and I walk out to see Jock rerouting the electrical cords for the computers and crawling around on the floor. Jet lag is a amazing thing to view in action. He is almost "manic" cleaning the house, unpacking. I totally know what he's experiencing. At 4:30, after helping me unpack and talking about all the things we need to catch up on, (like I'm going to remember the visa question for Max we discussed at 4:15am), I head back to bed.

Thursday morning we get up...again...and race around the house trying to finish some last minute things before heading to Gitarama. The Team has a sponsorship appearance with Fina Bank at the opening of their new branch in Gitarama about 2 1/2 hours from Ruhengeri. Kiki was supposed to be there with Obed and Nathan. We decide to all go for the day, since Danielle had to catch the 3:00am Kenya Airways flight home later that night. When we get to Kigali and the intersection to the road to Gitarama we call Kiki and find out he's training the opposite direction from where we are. He completely blew off the event. We call Nathan, he's working. Obed is our last shot and luckily he lives in Kigali and he's home. We grab him throw him in the car and head to Gitarama. At this point, Jock and I are so irritated with another example of Rwandan lack of follow through. This is not the first time and surely won't be the last. As we race to Gitarama, we are speeding around a corner and see a guy in a Wooden Bike Classic tshirt waving at us and yelling. It's Daniel, a former Team Rwanda rider. We turn around, ask him if he still has a jersey and we throw him in the car. Looks like Daniel will be speaking about Team Rwanda at the event! He completely broke the stress in the car. How could we not just laugh, it was truly comical.

The event in Gitarama went great, Daniel was the hit of the Children's Home. Obed and Daniel talked about their stories and then answered questions, once again, I had no idea what they were saying but the looks on the children's faces said it all. This is such good experience for the riders to give something back to their communities. Even if they're not actually a rider anymore!

We got back into Kigali about 7:00pm, met up with Jenny, did some passport pictures for Max for his Visa...yes, Max is having visa issues AGAIN. He's going to Namibia, however, his visa for Rwanda is a single entry visa. Now we have to figure out how to get him back into Rwanda after Namibia. Why can't he be American?

We finally got to the airport around 9:00pm after a great dinner. Jock, Danielle and I hung out until about 10:30 and then sorry to say, Jock and I left her there and headed home. We finally got in around 12:30 in the morning. A few hours of sleep then Jock gets back on the motorbike at 10:30 Friday and heads back to Kigali for a meeting just making it back to Ruhengeri by 2:30 to meet some guests that had come in from Technoserve, a potentially great partner for Project/Team Rwanda.

I guess it's no wonder I slept to 9:45 this morning....and now, I must eat that first bite, well, second, posting this blog was my first!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

If You Dream It You Can Do It......Cliches That Do Work!

If you had told me last year year at this time that I would be doing what I'm doing, living in Africa and meeting the people I'm meeting I wouldn't have said, "No Way!" I would have said, "I hope so..."

I've always had hope...hope that all the dreams as a little girl with all the pictures of Africa on my "Dream Board" in my bedroom would someday come to life. They have....they just took a little longer than I had planned when I was 13.

Tonight at dinner in a Ikea decked out Italian restaurant in Lusaka, Zambia, I was reminded how what dreams you can dream can become reality. I have just spent the last day and a half meeting with the dynamic young owner of Zambikes, a bicycle assembly and distribution for profit company in Zambia. I'm almost twice his age with half the experience of operating a company on the African continent. I have spent hours picking his brain for ideas on how to maximize the potential of Project Rwanda. I have tried to figure out our next growth expansion move. I've been trying to figure out how they have done what they've done in less time then Project Rwanda has been around. They have an incredibly successful business model and are generously letting me beg, borrow and steal ideas to improve our own organization.

So, at dinner is Dustin, one of the founders of Zambikes, Wankunda, a Zambian, educated in America who now works for Zambikes, Scott Sloan an Irish guy doing his masters in Zambia and Jenny and I. All of us passionate about the work and lives we lead in Africa.

I was just a girl growing up in Kansas with dreams of living in Africa....three decades ago...and here is life.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Traveling Bike Sales Caravan

Friday morning I met Felix at the warehouse in Ruhengeri to load up our Project Rwanda Cargo Bikes to take to COPAC, a coffee coop in Gisenyi. Thanks to the generosity of Heidi Morgan, from Equal World Coffee (www.equalworldcoffee.com), and her group, ten coffee farmers in Gisenyi just got a break...

Felix and I were met at the warehouse at 7:00am by my driver and my rental Diahatsu. I love Rwandans...our driver was all dressed up in his Sunday best, pin stripe pants, black and iridescent blue shirt straight from the set of Saturday Night Fever. As you can see we managed to get all 10 bikes into the back of the truck, plus 1 demo bike to take to the Police Commander in Gisenyi.

We finally got on the road to Gisenyi about 8:15. The road to Gisenyi is nice, no potholes, not too twisty, a nice easy drive. Jenny and I were following Felix and the driver and we were so amazed by the looks on the faces of all the people as we passed. Everyone and I do mean every single person, stopped and followed with their eyes and the direction of their head, our truck of bikes. I had never seen anything like it! They were completely mesmerized.

A little over an hour later we pull into COPAC and start unloading the bikes. Heidi's group was coming the next day to present but as soon as we began unloading we had a crowd. All the workers wanted to have their picture taken with the bikes. Even our driver had to get in the mix.

It still always amazes me how these bikes impact these people. A bike is everything to them. It is their livlihood. I continue to be overcome with emotion when I deliver bikes. I am Mrs. Claus on an October afternoon in Rwanda. It rocks!

Our next stop was the Police Commander's office. We had a lead on a couple of taxi coops that wanted our bikes but had been told by the police they could not use them in town. We wanted to get the blessing from the Police Commander. We found out that no they couldn't transport people on the tarmac (asphalt streets) in town but they could still use our bikes to haul goods. Dual purpose, dual income streams the people of Rwanda do understand distribution. Plus, there really isn't much "tarmac" here in Rwanda!

So, with the police commander's assistant in tow, Felix, Jenny and I (and our happily involved driver), head through some gnarly, pumice covered roads behind the town and arrive at the Taxi stand/mechanic shop. It is nothing like you see in the movies! What I love about Rwanda but what makes most people very uncomfortable is when you stop, especially as a Muzungu, and start talking to a couple of people, before you know it you are surrounded by a crowd that continues to grow. It's the weirdest thing. You don't see all these people when you first start talking and then you look behind you and all before you is a sea of Rwandan faces hanging on your every word....well, Felix's words. Kinyarwanda is not progressing well for me. If you are claustorphobic it would freak you out. For some people it is just too uncomfortable and unnerving. I oddly feel right at home.

We walk away from the taxi coops with an order for 80 more PR bikes! YES!!

Jenny and I race back to Ruhengeri to meet with three guys our friend Tom Allen wanted to introduce us to. They work for Tyson. Tyson is currently in the process of starting an egg laying facility. I have been working with them to design and manufacture an egg rack for our bikes. They would like to haul at least 30 dozen per bike. Tyson is looking for entreprenuers, independent contractors to work the egg distribution routes....all done on PR bikes. This is when I'm reminded that I really do live in a third world country.

Project Rwanda is distributing bikes...a lot of bikes....why the sudden upsurge? For another blog...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

9 Days...9 Million Stories

Back to life in Rwanda the good days, the bad days, the frustrations, the joys, the sheer volume of life that is led every day is completely staggering. Most days I can't even begin to sift through the day's events to even figure out what to let the world in on.

I've been back 9 days....today it feels like 9 months. Dog years I'm telling, dog years!

Saturday I slept in, simply because I didn't fall asleep until 4:00am so technically at 9:00am I was still in the red. From the second I moved Kongo to the other side of the bed so I could get up I did not stop. Sunday morning I had to head to Kigali to drive support for Team Rwanda in the Tour of Kigali. There were race supplies to gather and pack, bottles to wash, a car to load and all the administrative "stuff" that was on tap for Monday morning meetings in Kigali. I also had to pack two bags for the Team to take with them to the Tour of Kigali. The mental checklist was breaking down quickly. Can't forget the racks and tools for assembling 12 Project Rwanda Bikes on Monday. For the Team and the race I need to remember tubes, wheels, spare bike, bottles, thank God I brought bottles from the US since Max actually never made it to Rwanda. Due to visa issues he was still in France and was now headed directly to Senegal. Guess the Senegalese like the French so no visa issues. How I could have used a guy to help me! I admit, I needed an extra pair of hands...guy hands. By the time Johnny Muzungu showed up at 8:30 with an incredible bottle of wine all the way from Washington (he is a true friend), I was ready to pass out, and it wasn't the wine.

Saturday night....again insomnia. What is wrong with me? Why won't the brain just shut off, just shut UP? You know it's bad when you start sending yourself emails at 3:00am from your laptop you went to bed with to remind you not to forget things in the morning. By the time 5:30am rolled around I had slept an hour and was up running through the house grabbing all my gear to head to Kigali for three days.

I hit Amahoro Stadium at 8:30am and found all the riders. By 9:00, Jenny was there. Jenny is my new Project Rwanda partner in crime and essentially a "mini me". She is motivated, driven, feisty and actually "mini". She would be hanging out the window, watching riders, motorbikes, traffic, cars coming the wrong direction, riders broken down on the side of the road for the next four hours. Jenny came back to Rwanda in September to run our Wooden Bike Classic. Thank God for Jenny!

The Tour of Kigali was a three lap 45k circuit through the crazy streets of Kigali. Only half way through the first lap we come up on Jean de Dieu. I knew there had been a crash a few kilometers before and it wasn't pretty. One bike completely mangled, several riders involved, however I thought everyone on our Team had made it through unscathed. Coming up on Jean de Dieu, his rear wheel obviously damaged, blood running down his leg and hand I knew he had tangled with the downed group. I jump out of the car, pull the ONE spare rear wheel I had out from the back of the car and run to his aid. The crash had smashed his brakes and we couldn't get his damaged rear wheel released. I grabbed the allen wrench and had to take off the brake pads to get the rear wheel out, the whole time I thinking, "Where is my mechanic?" and I'm looking at Jean de Dieu, his eyes pleading for me to hurry. I finally get the wheel off, slap on the new one, tighten the brakes and he hops back on as I push him up the hill.

Two more laps, hundreds of close calls with motorbikes, a police officer jumping off his motorcycle with a giant stick swinging at them, one car-motorbike collision, one motorbike off into the Rwandan ditch, six thrown waterbottles, four gallons of water, 50 bananas and we finish still in one piece. Team Rwanda swept the first six places as they should, with Nathan, Abraham and Obed finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

After the awards, I went to dinner with a prospective Project Rwanda bike purchaser. At 7:00pm when I finally rolled into the house I was staying at I was exhausted. And Sunday night, the first night in a week, I slept.

Sleep is so elusive for me here. I cannot figure out why. At home, I sleep, eight/nine hours a night. In bed by ten, up by six, routine. Probably because NOTHING in my life here is routine. Even through difficulties during the past few years, I always was able to sleep. Here, it's a different story. It is a nightly battle that I appear to be losing.

Monday I wake up actually refreshed. Jenny is still sleeping. We are couch surfing at her friend, Amy's. I have never slept in so many different places. I head to Fina Bank to drop off paperwork for our new bank account and on to Ecobank to hopefully get access to our Project Rwanda account. I have been trying to work on getting added to the account for almost two months. I think the next step is actually producing a "first born".

At Ecobank I am told by Christelle that everything is in order and that is a relief since I just left a check with Felix to pay the guards, the electric bill and the car insurance. It is the 5th, they were supposed to be paid on the 1st. Unhappy guards are not a good thing to have!

I head back, pick up Jenny and the day of meetings starts. We are trying to secure sponsors for our Wooden Bike Classic in November. As the morning moves quickly on, the panic sets in. I have 12 bikes that have to be pulled from the Kigali warehouse, racks put on, tuned and loaded up by 2:00pm. I move the pick up to 3:00 and head to the warehouse. Kiki is meeting me there to help me. He is leaving for Senegal at 4:00am in the morning. I get there, pull out the bikes and start wrenching on the racks and then the rain starts. It rains harder. The skies then open up like the world hasn't seen since the days of Noah and the ark. During all of this I get a call saying they won't accept the check I left for Felix in Ruhengeri to pay the guards. Someone's going to die at Ecobank! Blondie Muzungu has had it!

Kiki shows up and there is no way he is going to work in the rain with a ten day stage race in three days. Then his phone rings, Sibo is out of surgery. Sibo had to have an elbow abscess drained and they put him under general anesthia. He rode in such pain in the Tour of Kigali and he had to have it drained before he left for Senegal. Nyandwi, another rider has been at the hospital all day with him. They need to get him out of the hospital but they need me. I have the money to pay for the procedure. Well, I did until Ecobank decided they didn't know who I was again and needed that "first born". I call the pineapple coop and tell them we have to scrap it and they will have to pick up the bikes on Tuesday and Kiki and I head to the hospital.

I cannot, will never be able to, put into words the sight of a government run Rwandan hospital. I would rather die on the side of a road then enter that place as a patient. It was crowded, overflowing with people with all varieties of ailments, sicknesses, diseases and injuries. We had to get Sibo out of there quickly. Nyandwi takes me to the recovery room. Before we can enter we have to remove our shoes. I ask to wash my hands and they point me to a bathroom with no soap to be found. You have got to be kidding me, in a hospital? I am covered in mud due to the mixture of all the dust from the bikes and the torrential rains. My hair is dripping wet, my hands are filthy, my jeans are looking more brown than blue and all I need to do is take off my shoes?

I walk in and see a room full of people laying on sheets that look like they have seen better days. There are no curtains, no dividers, everyone stacked next to one another. I walk in and grab Sibo's leg. He lifts his head and gives me his big Sibo smile, his eyes roll back and he's down. I'm looking for Dr. Albert, our Team doctor. The nurses tell me I have to pay, get his medication and then he can be released. After an hour and a half of going from one building to the next, paying 72,000 RWF ($130USD), I went back to the recovery room and Sibo. At this point Sibo is semi coherent and smiling. That's good enough for me, he's out! Then a heated conversation breaks out between the nurses and Kiki and Nyandwi. They are telling me I cannot take him out until he drinks some juice. Of course the hospital doesn't have juice, food, no basic staples of any kind, so Ceceila from the cycling Federation heads out to buy some juice. In the meantime I'm arguing with the nurses in English, Kiki's translating to Kinyarwanda and Sibo's laying there. I keep telling them he is going home. Finally, Dr. Albert walks through the door and hands me the official discharge papers. I give Sibo a big hug and a kiss on the head and head out with all three boys safely in the hands of the Federation representative. Twelve hours later those three and three more are on a plane to Senegal.

Is this still the same day.....could it still be just Monday?

I head back to Amy's to shower and meet a friend for dinner. By the time I get home at 10 I am wiped out but I spend another hour making sure everything is done for all our meetings Tuesday and texting with Jock in between flights from California to Senegal. Of course, no sleep Monday night as I wait for the phone to ring. Kiki and Nyandwi were instructed to call me if there were any problems getting on the plane to Senegal. I slept all night with my ear to the phone. Luckily no call, unluckily also no sleep.

Tuesday, more meetings, meet Abuba, a fill in mechanic to assemble the bikes, get the bikes picked up by the coop, fight with Ecobank, get money released (but just one check, they are doing me a customer service favor since I still haven't produced the "first born"), pick up supplies at the store, go to Fina Bank, order my new checkbooks so I can take all my money out of Ecobank and put it in Fina Bank. Fina does not have the "first born" requirement. Then, Jenny and I head home to Kigali, it's dark, road of death, no moon and we're both exhausted. However, the exhaustion has morphed into a serious case of "slap happy" and we spend most of the next two hours laughing. I am thankful I have Jenny!

Three days....did someone say three months?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Saving the World (or Rwanda) is Not Always Warm and Fuzzy

So, after my "Home is Where My Heart Is" post....today is my ugly reality. Just in case any of you thought that life was all "beautiful, amazing, gorgeous Africa", it is not....it's just like most other places X 10! I have had the most amazing "highs" and equally spectular "lows" and they tend to come back to back. There seems to be no middle ground and as much as the "lows" wipe me out, I still come back for more. I still will not trade a life of same ol' same ol' for it.

This morning I awoke to no water, again....now two days into no shower and a flurry of emails asking why Max was "stuck" in Paris with no visa and no way to board the plane. In the four weeks in Vegas I was so focused on getting the riders visas to Senegal, Namibia and Botswana I was completely unaware that my own French mechanic had to have a visa to enter Rwanda. Max was stuck in Paris and couldn't board the plane without a visa. Not only had he totally spaced the flight he was supposed to be on Tuesday but now after paying a fee to get him rebooked he still couldn't leave. I learned this morning that being American brings you an immense amount of "privilege" while traveling. I just get on a plane and go to pretty much any country I want. For other nationalities that is not the case. The French cannot enter Rwanda without giving up their first born. Obviously there is no love between Rwanda and France. I learned a very expensive lesson.

At 7:30 am I was not quite "with it". I had gone to bed (dirty) at 11:30, woke at 2:00am wide awake thanks to the unforgiving reality of the jet lag I think I am supposed to be immune to, and then went back to bed at 3:30 never actually falling asleep. My first email I opened elicited utter panic. It was too late, there was nothing I could do but apologize and learn from my mistake. Now, provided everything goes as planned Max will arrive on Saturday only to work the Tour of Kigali on Sunday, fix all the bikes on Monday and leave Tuesday for Senegal. That would be the perfect scenario, if the visa issue is fixed by tomorrow.

I had to regroup....which I did an amazingly poor job of and headed to Kigali for meetings. My first meeting was with David Baard from Akagera Aviation. We are using them for the Tour of Rwanda and trying to figure out the logistics of camera filming and medical evac. It is always interesting to meet people who know me through my blog. I tend to feel overly exposed since they "know" me from my brutally honest excerpts of life in Rwanda while I know nothing about them. David "knows" me from my blog about David Pluth. He had flown David around Rwanda while he was filming before his death. He found me through searches on David. The only good thing coming from David's death has been the work done towards securing a medical evacuation helicopter based in Kigali to get people out of this country in event of emergency. I do not say this sarcastically or flippantly...I know if something bad happens to me here, I will most likely die here. That is reality. One bike accident, car accident or other medical emergency I will not make it home alive. That is just something you have to be "okay" with. I pray.

I then headed into town to deal with getting the plane tickets for Nic Nic and Alex. They were invited to the South African training camp. This is the next step for Team Rwanda riders. This is a HUGE deal for these boys, especially Alex. I am supposed to go to Rwandair and purchase the tickets, they are supposed to be $600 total. When I get there I find they cannot honor the special fair and in addition to that they cannot even give us their best fare. I am now faced with a $1,456 airfare. I have a signed check, which they will not take, even after my best theatrics. I do not have any other option at this point. I put the full plane fare on my personal credit card. Rwandair was kind enough to charge me an extra 5% for the convenience!

Brutal honest side note....I had to be put the airfare on my parent's credit card because I'm in the middle of a foreclosure on my house in Las Vegas and my credit is less than stellar. I called my mom from Rwanda and told her I just charged $1456 on her credit card for a couple of riders. My parents, being the incredible supporters they are, left me a message saying no problem, do what you have to do. There is nothing more humbling at 43 than asking your parents to accept a charge for two boys they do not know in Rwanda to help them get to a camp to pursue their chance to be the next Adrien Niyonshuti. I am a lucky girl....thank you mom and dad....

One thing you learn quickly in Rwanda is that you have very few options. Most decisions are met on the fly and you do what you have to do to make what you believe in happen.

Jenny and I finish the day with a meeting with Aimable from the Rwanda Cycling Federation. Aimable is a total stand up Rwandan who loves the Team. His associate Emmanuel drove to Buhgembura, Burundi to secure the visas for Senegal today for the team. We are so fortunate to have this support.

So, we head out on the road of death at 6:30, it is now dark (I hate driving this road in the dark). I call Nicodem (Nic Nic) to make sure he is ready to go to South Africa tomorrow. Thank God, he is a rider that has totally embraced learning English and he tells me Alex is with him and they are ready to go. I am relieved Alex is with him. I call Kiki and talk to him about the Tour of Kigali. He is happy to know Max and I will be there to support him. The visas are ready for the team for Senegal and all is good in the world of Team Rwanda.

During all this chaos I pick up a purchase order for 12 bikes to go to Butare.

This....is my life....just one day in Rwanda.

As I sit on my porch in Ruhengeri typing this blog I am content. A day that started as a disaster has finished strong....however, there will be no relief until I KNOW Nic Nic and Alex are safe in South Africa.

Home is Where My Heart Is.....