What an absolutely amazing start to our journey in this incredible country! While the 30-hour travel time was quite the marathon, filled with its fair share of challenges from beginning to end, the enthusiasm and positive energy kept us going.
Our adventure began with the task of condensing our carry-ons by half due to weight restrictions – talk about a packing puzzle! Then I lost my watch going through Qatar airport security, and, with the assistance of a native Rwandan airport attendee, persuaded a Qatar airport manager to return it to me.
Navigating through customs proved to be an unexpected hurdle as our supplies for the villagers of Rugarika raised some eyebrows. We had to patiently explain the purpose of each item, convincing them that these essentials were meant to make a difference. Even after the meticulous explanation, we hit a roadblock. However, our tenacity paid off when a Rwandan airport employee I had been chatting with, dressed in military uniform, intervened with his reassuring words, and we were finally on our way.
After the customs adventure, the saga with money exchange unfolded. While the majority of our funds were smoothly exchanged, an unexpected twist occurred with a portion deemed too old for their liking. But hey, every challenge is just another step in the adventure, right?
Amidst the whirlwind, the welcoming faces of Brigitte and Paterne greeted us with open arms and stunning bouquets of flowers. Their warmth was like a breath of fresh air, melting away any travel fatigue we might have had. From that point on, they’ve been our anchors, guiding us through every step of this incredible journey.
Our first day was peppered with precious moments. Sharing breakfast with Brigitte and Paterne on Karina and Albert's balcony allowed us to soak in the surroundings and each other's company. Finally settling into our rooms was a welcome luxury after the long trip.
Dinner was not just about good food, but a chance to chart our course for the week ahead. After dinner, with all six bags open before us, we meticulously organized the gifts, toys, shirts, balls, and supplies. The excitement was palpable as we eagerly looked forward to tomorrow – the day we start sharing these gifts in the village.
And what’s on the agenda for tomorrow morning? A visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial – a poignant and meaningful way to pay our respects.
So, as we wrap up this whirlwind of a day, we're thrilled to share some pictures and videos that capture the essence of our adventure. Stay tuned as we continue to explore, learn, and make a positive impact, one step at a time! 🌍📸🌟