June 4th: Boda's & Breakfast for Dinner

2:19 PM

June 4th: 

We woke up early this morning and packed our backpacks for Rwanda. Even after a day, I already feel myself getting used to the things that felt so foreign in the beginning. Every few blocks are guarded by men with ak-47’s, I’m not sure if it makes me feel safe or more in danger, but either way I have realized that it is just normal for this culture.

It was a hectic morning. We had trouble finding a taxi because the traffic was bumper to bumper. And when I say bumper to bumper, I mean our bumper was TOUCHING their bumper. We squeezed into a taxi van with 14 other people and headed to the Old Taxi Park where we met up with Lindsey and Jenelle, two of my wonderful Roadie friends who are visiting Uganda as well. I am so grateful to have them on the journey, they are solid girls with good hearts. Anyways, by the time we met up we realized that we only had about ten minutes to reach the bus to Rwanda. Running with a 40 pound backpack in the heat of Africa on the busy streets of Kampala is something I won’t soon forget. The exhaustion was followed by major disappointment as we watched our bus take off without us in it. And just when we thought Rwanda was out of the picture, our Ugandan friend Julias hopped on a Boda-Boda, James Bond style and starts off after the bus. We followed his lead and jumped on the back of our own Boda’s (Think Mary Kate & Ashley-”Passport to Paris” but a little more sweaty). Weaving in a Boda through the busy streets of Kampala was one of the largest adrenaline rushes of my life. At one point, I had to leave my fear at the Taxi Park and decide that I was going to trust this lifestyle. That is one thing that my travels have taught me so far, to trust. All of the Ugandans that have hosted us and looked after us have proven to me that culture immersion means doing as the Ugandans do even if it is something you never thought you could do (like going to the restroom in a pit latrine, that finally happened).

Back to my morning, Julias was able to stop the bus and we made it just in time to board our 9 1/2 hour bus ride to Rwanda. The ride was incredible, just long enough to allow me to take in the beauty of the African hills. We passed dozens of villages where the locals would stop to wave at us. I love waving, I think we should all do it a little more often. 

We arrived at the guest house we are staying at around 7. The guest house is typically a house for students studying abroad for a semester. We were blessed enough to have connections that allowed us to stay here for the week. We were greeted by the guard, his two dogs, a sweet older couple and Aidah, the precious housekeeper. I can already tell that Rwanda is completely different than Uganda even though I haven’t seen it in the daylight. After getting settled, Aidah made us pancakes and eggs with bananas and tea. If you know me at all, you know I am awfully obsessed with tea. I typically drink it three times a day, and Rwandan tea is wonderful. Considering that was my first real meal in Africa, I was in heaven. Even being absolutely dirty and bus-ridden, I had never felt more rejuvenated. We have wi-fi at the house for the next few days which is a huge bonus, although it is nice not to be drowned in social media. In other new, tomorrow morning will mark my first shower in a week, my skin permanently smells like bug spray and I’m on my way to a pretty wicked Chaco’s tan line. 

P.S. While I was traveling, my hardworking father retired from his job. I’m so proud of you Dad and you deserve every bit of relaxation coming your way. 

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