This is the worst part.
This is my last full day in Rwanda, and I’m in the Never Again office, catching up on email and trying not to throw up or cry. And it’s not the water or the anti-malaria meds, but the thought that tomorrow I will get on a plane and not be here for another eleven months.
So instead of thinking about leaving or packing, I am writing. It’s a lovely form of denial or distraction. And it helps me consider what the pull is here for me, and why.
I will always be an outsider here, despite what the street philosopher who had had many, many bottles said to me in French last night: “You’re not a muzungu; you’re us.”
Despite everything, I need Rwanda. I need my kids and my family, my teaching job, my Meeting for Worship, and my wonderful US friendships, but I also need this place, these friendships, this work here. More than ever, these two parts of my life really don’t feel like parts; they are separated only geographically.
I’m so grateful that the internet and cell phones make the geographic distance feel shorter, but still….
…the liminal transition between three continents, my two homes, is not fun. Last year, I cried, slept, and drank lots of red wine on the flight home. This year, I hope to sleep and get some writing done.
Lots of friends here have already called to say “Bon voyage!” I answer in French and they laugh….
I can’t even think or write about the face-to-face goodbyes.