And where might that be, you ask?
and the new departure date for Rwanda is June 4–which gives me about 2.5 months to get ready. I’ll be in the Maternal-Child Health sector which focuses on the first 1000 days of life.
It’s not Madagascar; it’s certainly not where I thought I might go, but it is an opportunity to do something in a field I’m qualified to serve in.
- It’s a small, land-locked country in Eastern Africa
- The genocide that people immediately think about when they hear ‘Rwanda’ happened 24 years ago .
- It’s a safe as if not safer than other African countries.
- It shares a border with DRC; Lake Kivu [a large lake that serves as Rwanda’s answer to oceans. It has beaches!] separates the two countries
- It’s capital is Kigali
- It’s official languages are Kinyarwanda and English [Although French was an official language up until a few years ago]. Most people under 18 speak English; people older speak French. But everyone speaks Kinyarwanda.
- It’s a more temperate climate due to its altitude so I may need long sleeves and sweatshirts.
- The sun essentially rises and sets at 6a/6p every day.
- There are four seasons: Rainy Season 1 and 2 and Dry Season 1 and 2
- Rwanda probably has the best road system in all of Africa
- The mountain gorilla lives in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda and no where else on Earth
- Rwanda has set a country goal to become Africa’s 1st middle-income country. I’m not exactly sure what all that entails, but it sure says a lot about the hope and progressive nature of this country.
So I don’t know a whole lot about what is to be my future home for the next two years, but it is still close enough to the Indian Ocean that I have a chance to swim in it. I hope I get to visit a few other nearby counties while I’m in the area [Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, maybe Mozambique… I’m looking at you especially]
The musical accompaniment to this post is a little bit of a reach but shout out to Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton’s When I Get to Where I’m Going for inspiration for this post