Monday, June 21, 2010

Biking in the Dark

As travellers we know that there are few moments along the journey where you become completely absorbed by your surroundings. We are in Rwanda and every ounce of our being gives into this. You don't know when these moments will come, they are not anticipated and they can not be found in a guide book. For us this moment came last night, we like to call this our Rwanda moment number 1!

Last week we were invited to the local school to play a game of soccer against the teachers. So yesterday we arrived at the knee high grass football field in our work clothes and running shoes to face our opponents dressed head to toe in matching red uniforms. We enjoyed the moment despite knowing we would surely lose. After the match we were surrounded by 600 students, half of the school had come out to watch. We enjoyed some beers with the team and were soon encompassed by darkness. And by darkness I mean you can not see your hands wave in front of your face. We then spent 45 minutes trying to find our bikes while negotiating in Kinyarwandan with our taxi drivers trying to increase the prices again. A fun game that we usually lose. We finally bunched together, left our bikes and headed down the road for a 40 minute walk home, all the while continuing the negotiations. After nearly another half an hour we settled on a price and were offered free rides home.

Now begins our Rwandan moment number one. We climbed on the back of our bicycle taxi driver's bikes and settled in for a bumpy ride home in the pitch dark. As we rushed down the hill I began to realise that I never felt more encompassed by Rwanda. My life in the hands of my new friend Bernard, the bugs and the rain flying at my face, and the distant singing of the Rwandan women along with a little bit of fear and a whole lot of excitement. In that moment I let go and let myself become completely engulfed by Rwanda.

Dan and Jen
DWC Student Team Leaders
June 2010

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