Our final day in Rwanda! We fly out at 7:45 pm. This was a day packed right up to the last minute to get to the airport. Just like the Bishop to make sure we use every second! We had lunch with the Commission to prevent Genocide and the rector of KHI to present the beginnings of our proposal to them. We proposed a 3 pronged response to the needs we observed:
1. Information dispersal: (a) 1 page informational statements to educate adults and children about the symptoms of trauma, simple things to do if one witnesses another having a trauma reaction (grounding), and ways to remember the genocide without creating more trauma. This would be sponsored by the Commission; (b) basic workshops for psychiatric nurses, doctors, HIV workers, and pastors), (c) helping community care givers, and (d) developing better ways to run the memorial 100 days using their own new theme of Hope.
2. Support the sending of key Rwandans to the US to complete MA/PhD in Counseling so they can return as teachers
3. Developing a Masters degree counseling programfor KHI to run that is Christian based (at least a track of it would be.
Our proposal was met with enthusiasm!
We thought we were going to end the day with a bit of shopping. I got a bit of coffee and a few trinkets. However, on our way to the airport, we detoured to see the Minister of Education. He had been unavailable earlier in the week and now wanted to meet us before we left. Though we should have been at the airport, we flew across the city to meet with him for 15 minutes. As an MD, he was able to give us some good guidance.
Got to the airport and through security (much laxer than the US). A large number came to see us off. Sadly, the Bishop was not allowed to get on the plane. Something wrong with his visa (he got back to the States where his family is staying til December two days later). Our plane left one hour late and very full of children (expats on the way to holiday in Europe). Going up the stairs to the plane I got what I hope not to be my last sniff of the cooking fires. After the doors closed the attendants went through the cabin spraying something to kill mosquitoes (repeated after our brief stop at Entebbe, Uganda). They said it wasn’t dangerous to us but I wonder just the same.
After a full day in Rwanda, we travelled to Belgium (10 hours), had a lay over of several hours (where I purchased some Belgian chocolate), and then another 8 hours to Newark. Sadly, I cannot sleep on planes so I enjoyed several “Bourne” movies. Our team was not able to sit together on the flight to the US and this was sad. As we got off the very full flight, we lost track of Leah. We went in the wrong customs line and she must have gotten through before us.
So, we end our trip with much to process, little time to do it, and no time to do it together. I have grown fond of my new acquaintances in Rwanda and teammates Leah and Josh. But, now it is time to sleep as 40 plus hours of being awake is taking its toll!