Wednesday, February twelfth.
We meet first thing in the morning with our staff. It is like being the director of an orchestra. The guys we have are young, eager, tireless, enthusiastic, and for the most part, exciting work with. Having a good staff was one of my big concerns.
An early daily ritual is the morning shower. No hot water because we do not fire up the wood burner in the back. Two years ago I would strip on the side porch after dark, stand to the side of a two gallon basin with hot water and take a sponge bath. Now I strip, turn the water on and just look at it for a couple moments, finally tentatively and carefully, I put my head forward and get my hair wet. Several drops hit my shoulders. Meanwhile, my head is washed, arms and I have soap on my body, and the big move has to be made. With a sharp intake of breath, the immersion is completed for the day. In four more days I will enjoy one of the wonders of the Western world…a hot shower. Keith and Janet arrived an hour late. Pete and Dave returned from Uganda. They got their 90 visas.
Thursday, February thirteenth.
Janet, Keith, Jim, and I went together and did a swing around the Kibuye Prefecture. Still, very few NGO and staff around. Everything appears calm and quiet. ICRC was constructing a brick wall around their compound. UNHCR was riding in a convoy of five cars with military in front and back. We had no incidents and felt quite good about our progress and plans for the future. In the evening we had a telephone conversation between ourselves and the US home office agreeing to continue the program under certain restrictions and changes. A long day but rewarding. I am seeing, feeling, and anticipating coming HOME. Love you babe. Thanks for loving me, praying, and the freedom to do this kind of work and living this kind of life.
Friday, February fourteenth.
Orientation of Janet was the focus today. Right off I asked her to drive. If she could handle the driving on the left I knew she would do great. She did it like a trooper. We stopped at Chillington – supplier of hoes, Trama – Local transport hauler, Albert – Indian broker for NGO supplies, Alfred – Swedish Pentecostal Mission and colleagues, and several others. We ended at Food for the Hungry. They have sent fifty percent of their staff home. One of their houses had a break in. Nothing personal or related to the military so much as reflective of the life and times in Rwanda.
We ended the day in Kigale with a security meeting for Americans at the American Club headed by the Ambassador. Usually these meetings make me feel insecure. It was calm, rational, and hopeful. They reviewed the latest series of incidents throughout the country. As usual, there were about six, total of up to two dozen deaths. There have been over 500 since the first of the year throughout the country according to one of the latest UN Security reports. After general consular information and updates a military person gives an overview. The Ambassador wraps it up with his comments and we can ask question.
Jim brought in a new volunteer from Hollard, a former military officer. they will be leaving for Bujumbura in the morning. I will wrap up several reports, review everything with Janet, and pack my bags.
Saturday, February fifteenth.
As the plane lifted off the runway I could feel the stress lift off my shoulders, stress that I was unaware I even knew I carried.