Saturday, February one.
Ten o’clock on Saturday morning at Kigali International Airport we discovered there are four flights scheduled for the day. Not exactly O’Hare International. Kenya Airways office was closed. Rwanda Airways was closed. We found someone who looked official but he did not know a Francine. About ten persons and three hours later, we discovered that she did exist but did not work that day. No one knew her schedule…she had a phone…she had no phone…she lived nearby…she lived far away…she had the vehicle…there was no vehicle.
Finally, we got a phone number, called, and a young man answered. “Yes,” he spoke English. “Yes,” he knew Francine. “Yes, this was her home. No,” he did not know the address and could not direct us to it.”
We finally found someone who could take us to her home. It was quite far. She was not there nor was the vehicle. She was an Adventist and attending church. Her sister was there, a beautiful twenty-eight-year-old woman dressed in army fatigues, a 45 stuck in her belt and a scar across her cheek to her chin.
She said, “Follow me!” We roared off in our Toyota Land Cruiser trying to keep up. The Hilux truck was in the front yard of their parents’ home. It would not start. The military lady took charge. She kicked Pete out of the driver’s seat. I drove the cruiser and gave her a push. It started with a cloud of blue and black smoke and stopped dead anytime the foot came off the accelerator. This is after spending $4,500 on an overhaul three days previous. We pushed and coaxed it to a warehouse I knew about and left it. We returned home at four P.M. accomplishing a big zero. Jim from Burundi was back. We had a great talk, laughed and cried about our situation and had a good meal. I felt better.
Sunday, February second.
Restful day catching up. Have I told you my Kiyarwanda name? The family name is always placed first: Havemana Ludoviko.
Monday, February third.
In the morning, I sat in the passenger seat of our 3.5 ton lorry determining which of the two potential drivers I would hire. I selected one and disappointed the other one. Later in the day, I was able to obtain an additional 20,000 hoes, 100 metric tons of fresh bean seed and pay $1,219 for transportation. Some places I had to stop in three times and up to five different shops and venues just to find an item. No one stop shopping here in post genocide Rwanda. Worked on reports and communication until after 10:00 P.M.
His name was Albert. He is from India. His company is called Pace, Inc. As I walked into his hardware store to purchase 12,000 hoes he stopped me. He immediately knelt at his desk, crossed himself, and prayed for about 30 seconds. Then he rose and we continued our discussion. I asked, “Why do you stop and pray like this?” He said, “I do this every time I enter and leave my office at the beginning and end of the day. I cannot do my work without praying.”
It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult undertaking which more than anything else will determine its outcome.
Tuesday, February fourth.
I am up early working at the computer. I hear something. It is Mama Lillie coming out of a spare room we have in the house. She works late preparing supper, cleaning up, and then is afraid to go home in the dark. She says the soldiers will take her to the bushes. I am surprised who I find often who spends the night in our home after the doors are locked and the outside lights are on…when the power stays on.
I simply refuse to spend one second more of my time in Kigali yet it appears to be necessary to make things happen. Another day spent chasing people No luck in getting the Hilux running. I finally picked up a mechanic and we pulled it to the garage. The chief administrator of the garage is a French woman. I could not understand her.
Dave and pete are doing the upcountry work and doing a great job. Jim arrived back from Kibuye late afternoon.