Almost Home

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!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Almost Home

  1. Madelynn Mueller

    Welcome Home, and thanks to all who contributed to the (almost) daily postings which let your loved ones at home share a bit of what you were experiencing while you were in Rwanda and at ASYV. I’m glad to read that you have plans to meet again and “bring it back”.

    It will be interesting to hear how your perceptions of home will change after this experience (episodes of culture shock).

    – Madelynn Mueller (Melissa’s mom)

  2. The Mayber Family

    Posted this on facebook the day you all returned, but most of you did not get to see it. Here it is…and thanks again for sharing your adventure with all of us!

    “Mwaramutze” to all of the returning students from the UW Hillel Does Rwanda trip! The Mayber family would like to thank you all for sharing this life-changing experience with us from afar. Dana, we are so proud that you chose this for your spring trip in lieu of drinking for a week in Mexico or other options available to you. The lessons you have learned (on yet another amazing adventure) will certainly help you go far in life, because (as it was written), you have had the chance to see far. Your efforts this past week will certainly help repair the world (Tikkan Olam). “Murikoze” to each and every one of you!

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