"We are preparing for our descent into Kigali, Rwanda. In just a few minutes, we will be on the ground finding our luggage and preparing to go to the Iris hotel. When we arrive there, we will have a meeting and dinner before going to bed. Rachel Barber and I will be rooming together. She is from Phoenix, Arizona but plays college volleyball in Indiana.
It has been a quiet flight. I was separated from the group on the plane. I took 2 benadryl for a stuffy nose that started today and slept most of the flight. I kept being awakened by drinks and food: Beef and rice with a roll, cheese, salad, and a chocolate chip muffin for lunch. A "pizza pocket" for dinner. A Belgium ice cream bar between those. Of course, pretzels and a coke was my first snack.
It's dark outside my window. I should be able to see the lights of Kigali soon. Still praying for peace and a blessed trip. May His will be done."
We have safely arrived in Kigali, Rwanda!
Me & the wonderful Anna Kayisinga
Sunday, May 27th, 11:33AM:
"I am feeling more at peace today. It feels a bit like home again. We had a wonderful welcome last night at the airport. We were welcomed by Julius, Anna, Seth, and John Tall. I loved the sweet hugs and smiles!
After exchanging money and a short ride to the Iris Hotel, we put our stuff in our rooms and gathered around the dinner table. We ordered and waited for food for what felt like forever. It was after 10 before we got our food. While we waited, Anna and John went over cultural do's and dont's."
The cultural do's and dont's told us that women in Rwanda don't whistle. We learned the acceptable ways to greet and hug someone of the same and opposite sex. We also learned how to shake hands. You shake hands differently with someone who is older than you to show honor to that person. You also shake hands differently if someone is eating or if their hands are dirty. We were reminded that people in Rwanda are no longer identified by Hutu or Tutsi status. I'm thankful for that! We were also told to be cautious about what we ask in regards to that and/or the genocide. We must wait and let others bring up that sensitive subject in the homes; if it comes up at all.
"After a good night of sleep, I awoke to lots of random noise outside. Rachel got in the shower, so I finally got up too. Since then, we've had breakfast, walked by "Hotel Rwanda", and been to the shops in Kigali.
I am now sitting on the balcony listening to Jarred and Haley play and sing beautiful worsip music. Fanny just arrived! Praise God!" (At this point in the trip, our ministry partners (interpreters) like Fanny began to show up. We then anxiously awaited on the team to assemble and then began our journey to Rwamagana, Rwanda).
Walking from the Iris into Kigali
We walked by the real "Hotel Rwanda"
This is where we stayed in Kigali
The Iris Restaurant
Rachel & I being silly (We didn't take the picture right next to each other because she's so much taller than I am!)
Haley, Sarah, and Jarred: Worship on the Balcony
Bridget, Fanny, and Pam are finally reunited! We were all on a team together last year.