Friday, November 17, 2006

Back in Kigali, Rwanda

Last day in Burundi
Originally uploaded by tomgivemeaning.

I am writing this entry at the bar of the Hotel Rwanda, the Hotel Des Mille Collines. I took this photograph at 6:30am on a beach in Bujumbura and we all left the hotel at about 830am. We arrived in Kigali by about 5pm.

Compounding the already miserable experience of a day-long drive, two of my traveling companions became sick, apparently from the fruit at breakfast. I had spent the first few hours of the drive regretting passing on the fruit. This cornucopia of beautifully exotic fruit looked so appetizing but I diligently stuck to my bread and boiled egg (my breakfast for the entire time in Burundi).

By about noon (just as we crossed into Rwanda) Kent had fallen sick and an hour later, John M (stoic as he is) reported "not feeling well" which translates into "I'm feeling as bad as Kent" (which, for the record, is a most miserable feeling). As luck would have it, both Kent and John M were riding in my truck.

Time will tell whether or not the mosquito bites I received last night will lead to Malaria. Apparently it takes anywhere from 3-9 days for Malaria to manifest in symptoms. The Malarone I'm taking will only lessen the effects. At breakfast, we were marveling at how lucky we had been to have had the whole group be healthy these two weeks. Of course, just as we celebrate our health, two of us fall sick and the mosquito bites carry the high likelihood that I will get Malaria.

Tomorrow, I'm off to DR Congo. I'm feeling pressed for time right now (I'm going for dinner with the team) and frankly am totally drained from the day of traveling.

Before I go to dinner, two things:

I am grateful for my traveling companions. We have enjoyed ourselves with relatively few tensions, shared a lot of laughs and even more spirit, thoughts and heart.

I believe that I am bringing back more from Africa than I brought to Africa. And ultimately, as silly as this may seem to some, I believe that Africa as a whole is far richer than our continent.

Hopefully I will post again before leaving Rwanda.

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