Saturday, October 1, 2011


I have spent more months this year within the borders of the United States than outside them.  This is the first time in two years I have done this and now I know why.'s always a little bumby, however this time I feel like my fuselage is on fire and I'm losing those all important reentry tiles needed to halt the potential for complete fire ball combustion.  

Let's face it, America is nice, really nice.   For all of you complainers, whiners, and entitlement whores sucking the life out of the greatest country in the world, get a clue, get a life, get a reality check.  You have it made!  Hands down, your life, no matter how difficult is easy compared to living in a place like Rwanda.  I am not complaining about Rwanda or having a pity party about being back here.  I just need to adjust to the fact that everything requires enormous energy, persistence, patience and a nicely placed dose of aggression here and there.  I make the choice daily to live here and I still choose to do just makes me appreciate how Getting in last night after 20+ hours of flying, Max, Jock and I drive the 1 hour and 45 minute trip home, which takes us over 2 hours because of the rain, pitch black darkness, random Rwandans on the road walking into oncoming traffic and the inevitable road construction.  Plus, when did Kigali start resembling Nairobi in the traffic department?  

The best part of coming home to Rwanda...Zulu, without a doubt, my 130# lean, mean ripped guard dog and unconditional lover and "oogler", Zulu.  Aren't dogs the best?  I'm gone for 3 months and for him all is forgiven in 3 seconds.  He is my baby and hasn't left my side since I walked through that door.  Except for the 20 minutes after I gave him a bath where he was busy rethinking that unconditional love thing.

Kongo is here too...I've never been a cat person but Kongo is not really a house cat, more like a tiger cat but only 7 pounds.  He slept in bed with me all night.  Zulu right next to me in his bed snoring away.  Kongo, sporting a large gash across his face, had obviously been in a bit of a dust up with some local animals.  I'm sure he won!  While Zulu also has an unexplained injury to his rear right paw.  It looks like he got it stuck in something and yanked it out ripping into one of his toenails.  He appears to be on the mend however.

In the span of 20 hours, we have unloaded over 300 pounds of gear we brought over from the US.  We are experts at getting through bag check in slightly overweight (our bags, by the way generally they let 52 pounds slide) and generally carrying 50+ pounds in our carry ons.  When we were boarding in Brussels for the flight to Kigali they had the bag Nazis in place.  Luckily for us, a woman directly in front of us started arguing with the SNB employee and caused such a distraction we slipped through the line and onto the plane.  The best lines I have ever heard during an airline employee/customer exchange:

Flyer:  "I have two carry ons, my purse and this bag, they let me have them on my United flight here.  What is the problem?  I can have a purse and a bag!"

SNB Employee:  "Ma'am we are SN Brussels!"  With complete Belgian authority to her voice and a very heavy accent.

I'm thinking that meant she was not going any further.  

As the flight attendant watched me stroll through the aisle to my seat I kept thinking how I was going to hoist this 35+ pound bag up over my head like it weighed no more than 22 pounds, the allowed weight.  Saved again while she attended to the elderly woman a few rows up with her significantly lighter carry on.

So back to the past 20 water, Max lost TIGO internet card so I can't get to the internet until I got Felix out of bed and to the house this afternoon, bathed 130# dog, wondered why the piles of filing that had been filed in June when I was here were now back and on MY desk, rained all night and morning, washed clothes and washing machine backed up again and flooded the bathroom, hot water faucet doesn't work in the kitchen, clothes put on the line this afternoon are still wet, drove into town almost running over 17 various Rwandans not looking before they cross the street (it's a mile and a half to town), car is not running right AGAIN, realizing we're almost out of power because someone forgot to pay Cash Power to load up on electricity for the weekend (we pay as we go for electricity) and finally breaking down and buying a bottle of wine.  So much for my "Rwandan Resolution". Oh, and no riding because it's raining...AGAIN.

But, tonight I get to see my friend Molly who is in town for a week before heading to Zimbabwe (lots of previous posts about Molly).  I also have my big lug of a dog following my every move and who will be joining me for a pizza at Volcana this evening!  And Tuesday camp starts and all the riders will be here and THAT is why I do what I do and live how live over here.   

So...a couple more words about my time in America.  America is the most beautiful, most diverse, friendliest country I have experienced and I'm sure it's because I'm biased as an America.  I'm also brutally honest when it comes to how I view America after spending a few years living abroad....Americans need to stop this attitude of entitlement.  Americans built the greatest country in the world with unprecedented freedoms, why are we letting it fall by the wayside?  Why is America not GREAT anymore?  No one owes any one anything. 

If you've's the Preamble to our Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. 

No where does it say we provide your Section 8 housing, your food stamps, your WIC.  We don't provide for bailing you or your mortgage company out of bad loans and bad choices (yes, I lost my house too!).  We don't guarantee employment, we offer the opportunity to build a business and create your own employment.  Quit waiting for the President, for Congress, for your employer, your spouse, your parents to bail you out.  It's not happening.  Our government, frankly is pathetic at this point!  I have talked about all the corruption in Africa, however, at times its easier to deal with because you know the corruption rules, it's in your face corruption.  Make no mistake the US is one of the most corrupt governments in the world.  We just do it "legally" with lobbyists. I think it's time Americans fight a little more for what they want in life.  Perhaps it's a good thing I am not living in America at the moment! I have totally veered off course with my "Rwanda sucks at the moment" blog.  Really I think it is what we make it in the end...our attitude, our fight, our desire to live out our lives how we choose...this I choose, Rwanda....for now.


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