Saturday, 7:00 PM (Kigali Time Zone)
I am currently sitting on the plane as we approach the airport in Kigali! It has been a long twenty-four hours (give or take a few) of travel, but this most recent flight went by quite fast. Since the flight was fairly empty, I was able to take up three seats in the middle section and stretch out. I spent some time sleeping, listening to some music, talking my friends onboard, and learning Kinyarwanda. While I am not nearly at the level that I desired to be, I am happy that I do know some of the language, and even if my interactions with some people are simply greetings or questions, I still consider that relationship and joy.
We didn’t really have any problems at all travelling. None of our flights were delayed and hopefully all of our baggage will be at the airport when we get there. I also hope that we get through customs and security quickly, so we can start our drive to Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (www.agahozo-shalom.org). Most of us are already jet-lagged and this will last for a few days. I am still excited, regardless of how tired I may feel, because this trip promises to be something simply different. We will be doing construction and working with the students in their various clubs and after school activities. Our mornings will start early (around 6:30 AM or 7:00 AM). I will be sure to post a daily schedule once I can.
One of the most important aspects of this trip, to me, is this idea of community service, whereby the community does not necessarily just mean that we, as Yale Reach Out participants, are serving others in our community; rather, we are in community as we serve, an element of service that I believe to be incredibly strong and powerful. Energy exists when people unite to serve one another.
Hopefully I’ll write more about this energy as I experience it in the next seven days, during this service part of our trip. Meanwhile, the flight attendants are coming around and informing us that we need to put the tray tables back to their original position and our seats back upright… J We are almost there. Safely.
I took about 200 pictures today (most of them were of all of us in the airport and on the planes) and will upload some of them as soon as I can…definitely by tomorrow.
One last thing: The group as a whole also has a blog that can be accessed at http://reachoutrwanda.wordpress.com . Please let me know if that link doesn’t work for some reason.
I hope and pray that this trip brings blessings, growth, service, and love to everyone directly and indirectly affected by the interactions that will occur.
Thanks for listening and reading.