We have finally made it to Chicago and are now waiting for our bus to get here to finish the last leg of our long journey. It is 3 pm Madison time now, but 9 pm Rwanda time, we have been traveling for a whopping 23 hours. We began our final day in Rwanda at 6:30 am for a final breakfast with the kids where we said our last goodbyes and exchanged last-minute email addresses. Many of our farewells were tearful and emotional. We will all really miss the kids and the country that has been our home for the past 10 days. The kids were starting their exams so when they went to school we went back to our rooms to clean and pack. We rigorously cleaned for about two hours, which included sweeping and squeeging the floors to clean them of the standard Rwandan red dirt. Then we loaded all our bags onto a truck, and loaded ourselves onto our van and headed to Kigali. There we did some final shopping at art co-ops and were able to eat lunch either of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the grocery store, or at a restaurant nearby. After we had all successfully spent the last of our Rwandan francs, we boarded the bus again to go to the airport.
We checked in and after waiting around at the gate for about two hours we boarded the plane to Brussels. The plane made a stop in Nairobi, Kenya on the way to Brussels. The flight was smooth and pretty empty and many of us had almost a whole row to ourselves so we were able to stretch out and sleep for almost the whole flight. When we arrived in Brussels we were pretty well rested. We had two hours in the airport so we tried some Belgian chocolate and waited for the plane. Our flight to Chicago was long and despite some scary turbulence, we made it to Chicago right on time. We are all so exhausted but relieved to be off the planes and finishing our journey home. All in all our travels went smoothly, no lost people or luggage! We are excited to be home and take a hot shower, but we all miss Rwanda already. For many of us this was a life-changing experience and I know that none of us will ever forget it. We are ready to begin “bringing it back” and already have a meeting planned to discuss our trip and to work out the details of the ideas we have to “bring it back”. We will continue to update our blog with news of our friends at the village, our events, and current events in Rwanda.
Thank you all so much for following our trip to Rwanda, we hope you will continue to keep up to date with our blog and feel free to post your comments and questions!